Halloween Bash with The Beatniks

 

The Beatniks are a local legend. They have played their brand of 60’s to 90’s rock and roll for Microsoft, the Seahawks, actor Bruce Willis, and our Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. 

Lindquist is bringing The Beatniks to the Swiss Pub in Tacoma on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00 pm. This is a Halloween celebration and costumes are encouraged. 

At past Lindquist fundraisers, Peter Buck of R.E.M., actress and singer Molly Ringwald, Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows, and Lindquist himself have joined The Beatniks on stage for crowd-pleasing classics such as “Wild Thing,” “Gloria,” and “Louie, Louie.”  

 Lindquist was appointed as our Pierce County Prosecutor in 2009, was elected in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. He is running again this year.

“When I first ran in 2010, I promised to make our community safer,” Lindquist said. “I’ve kept that promise.”

Lindquist’s campaign has cited his innovative public safety initiatives, including successful efforts to protect elders, dramatically reduce gang violence, and get career criminals off the streets with data-driven prosecution.

He has also championed therapeutic courts for people with substance abuse or mental health issues, along with other reforms to the criminal justice system.

Additionally, last year Lindquist filed a lawsuit against Big Pharma to hold them accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and recover money for Pierce County.

Crime is down in Tacoma and Pierce County, while it is up in Seattle and in Washington State.

“Mark stands tall as our Prosecutor,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “He’s inclusive and brings everyone to the table to solve community safety issues.”

Lindquist is endorsed by Democrats and Republicans, including Governor Jay Inslee (D), former Governor Dan Evans (R), former Congressman Norm Dicks (D), Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R), and local Congressman Derek Kilmer (D).

He is also endorsed by unions and businesses, firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, several members of the Tacoma City Council, including Deputy Mayor Anders Ibsen, and more than 500 other organizations and community leaders.

When Lindquist throws a party with The Beatniks, it always draws a diverse, interesting, and large crowd. The event is kid-friendly.


Safety and Civility

Our Community is Safer Because Mark Lindquist is Our Prosecutor

After the Tacoma City Club candidate forum, people praised Mark’s presentation. Some asked for a copy of his closing statement, which focused on the need for civility and integrity in our public dialogue. Mark doesn’t use notes when he speaks, so the text below is not 100% accurate, but it’s close and approved by Mark.

Closing Remarks by Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, delivered at Tacoma City Club candidate forum on October 3, 2018.

I’m going to wrap up with three quick stories, snapshots really.

First snapshot: 

A few years ago I was in a parking lot with my wife Chelsea and a woman I didn’t recognize approached me. She said, “I know you.”

Neither Chelsea or I could tell where this was going. 

The woman continued, “You prosecuted my boyfriend.”

Not knowing what to say, I said hello.

She said, “The judge hammered him, like ten years.”  

As I stood there listening, I was thinking, well, at least she partly blames the judge.

But she went on to tell me that while her boyfriend was in prison for assaulting her, she got her life together. She found a job, her kids enrolled in a school they liked, life was good. She just wanted to let me know and express her gratitude.

I hear stories like this pretty often. These moments remind me what our work in the Prosecutor’s Office is truly about.

Second snapshot:

Do people remember Lee Atwater? He was the campaign manager for the George H.W. Bush and semi-famous for using misinformation, general meanness, and “naked cruelty” in politics. Naked cruelty was his own phrase. On his deathbed, he deeply regretted this. He came to believe our politics needed to be more civil and spiritual. That was in 1991.

Third snapshot:

Recently I was speaking with a gentleman who spent more than 40 years in public service. He was lamenting how nasty and negative our politics have become, the worst he has ever seen. Now he’s done. He left me with the notion that it’s up to us, those of us still in the arena, to turn this trend around.

And it is up to us, all of us, public servants and citizens alike, to elevate the dialogue. If we endeavor to improve our politics, and therefore our country and our communities, we need to rise above the mire and treat each other civilly, honestly, and respectfully. 

Robert F. Kennedy said we all want basically the same thing: to live our lives in purpose and happiness and raise our families in safety. As your Prosecutor, I’ll continue to focus on making that possible in Pierce County. Thank you.


Caring and Keeping Us Safe

Our Prosecutor Mark Lindquist cares and he’s committed to keeping us safe.

In the nine years Lindquist has served as our Prosecutor, felony crimes in Pierce county have gone down 18%. Misdemeanor crimes are down 29%.

Using FBI numbers on serious offenses, last year crime was up by 7% in Seattle, up by 5% in Washington, but down by 4% in Pierce County.

The Prosecutor’s Office has helped reduce crime with a variety of innovative strategies. For example, to better protect and serve survivors of domestic violence, Lindquist unified felony and misdemeanor domestic violence teams in the Prosecutor’s Office with victim advocates and law enforcement in one central location.

Rape survivor, and former Sexual Assault Center Board member, Jo Jensen praised Lindquist and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, “I was raped when I was 17-years-old. In those days you didn’t come forward and talk about it. But today, things are better because of the Prosecutor’s Office and people like Mark Lindquist.”

“When victims are treated with compassion, they find their voices, and are able to tell their stories in court,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “Attackers are then held accountable and we’re all safer.”


Protecting Victims

Mark Lindquist Protecting Victims

by Tacoma Weekly Staff

In 2017, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office consolidated its felony and misdemeanor domestic violence prosecutors and victim advocates in one central location. This consolidated unit is the first of its kind in Washington and is housed inside the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (CJFJC), which partners with law enforcement and other community advocates.  

“Working together we can better protect and support victims,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “By providing resources and services to victims of domestic violence and their children in one safe location, the result is an effective, coordinated response to prevent domestic violence from escalating.”

Domestic violence crimes happen within families, marriages, dating relationships and households. Crimes include assault, violation of protection orders, harassment, and property damage. The one thing these crimes have in common is they evoke fear and anxiety in victims, especially children. The CJFJC is a one-stop-shop approach to expedite justice and ease fears.

At the CJFJC, victims can meet with prosecutors, victim advocates, and law enforcement officers. Even in non-criminal matters, victims can meet with community victim advocates and receive the individual assistance they need to develop a safety plan, get protection orders, housing, and legal and mental health counselling. 

By offering these services in a single, safe location, the CJFJC reduces the barriers that, historically, have kept victims from getting help. Together, prosecutors, victim advocates and other CJFJC partners employ a “coordinated community response” to domestic violence and thereby help them lead safer lives. 


Keeping Our Elders Safe

Our Prosecutor Protecting Elders

Keeping Our Elders Safe

by Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, first published in The Tacoma Weekly

Mr. Villegas’ life savings began to dwindle under the control of his daughter. He was 81-years-old with dementia and early Alzheimer’s. Frugal, he lived on a modest income. His savings was nearly $200,000, primarily from the sale of his home, but his daughter drained his account to almost nothing over the course of a few years.

Without money, Mr. Villegas could not afford the assisted living he needed. Luckily, Mr. Villegas’ son Robert became aware of the situation and intervened. Mr. Villegas’ daughter went to prison for the theft and Mr. Villegas moved in with his son, where he was properly cared for.

In 2011, we formed an Elder Abuse Unit to protect elders and vigorously prosecute those who take advantage of vulnerable adults. We recognized that as our population ages, there are more elders who need more protection. Since then, our office has been a leader in the prosecution and prevention of elder abuse, whether it’s financial exploitation, physical abuse, or neglect.

Just as we have been leaders in reducing gang violence, prosecuting “cold cases,” and removing career criminals from our streets with data-driven prosecution, we have been leaders in protecting elders with a specialized team.

In 2016, we won a grant from the Department of Justice of nearly $400,000 — we were one of only nine counties in the country to receive this award. The funds are being used to coordinate a comprehensive approach to protecting elders and other vulnerable adults.

Initially, our Elder Abuse Unit was a one-woman team with Deputy Prosecutor Erika Nohavec. Yes, as Erika sometimes joked, there can be an “I” in team when it’s a one-woman team. Our team subsequently expanded to include two deputy prosecutors, two victim advocates, and a legal assistant. The Pierce County Council recognized the vital work we are doing and provided the additional staff.

One major component of this comprehensive approach was the formation of the Coordinated Community Response Team. This group includes prosecutors, law enforcement departments, the Attorney General’s Office, Adult Protective Services, the Korean Women’s Association, and other stakeholders.

Our vision is to create a safe community for vulnerable adults. Our mission is to effectively respond to the needs of older victims, hold abusers accountable, identify and bridge the gaps in services available to victims, and improve coordination between service providers through multidisciplinary collaboration. This collaboration also helps us hold offenders accountable. Working with multiple agencies, our office successfully prosecuted a caregiver in 2016 for a shocking case of neglect.

Mr. Carter was found nonresponsive in his bed and was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital. Several large and deep pressure ulcers were discovered on his backside, the worst of which was 8×13 inches and went down to the bone.

His paid caregiver packed the wounds with paper towels and Neosporin. This led to a serious infection, which ultimately killed Mr. Carter. Doctors and nurses said it was worst example of neglect they had seen in their careers. This was the first murder conviction in Washington premised on a failure to seek necessary medical care for a vulnerable adult.

We prosecute and we prevent. Raising awareness and educating people on how to protect themselves, their friends, and their family members is part of how we reduce crimes against the vulnerable and keep them safe. If you know of a group that would benefit from hearing from us, please let us know.


Lindquist Sues Big Pharma

by Tacoma Weekly staff

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist filed a federal lawsuit against the three largest manufacturers and marketers of prescription opioids in the United States: Purdue, Endo, and Janssen.

“Where there is harm to the community, there should be accountability for the corporations,” said Lindquist. “I’m a career prosecutor and this is the first time I’ve asked the County Council to file a lawsuit. I’m confident we have a strong case.”

Prescription opioids are a class of powerful pain relievers, including OxyContin. The chemical make-up of these prescription drugs is nearly identical to heroin.

Revenues for the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these drugs have skyrocketed. Purdue has generated estimated sales of more than $35 billion from opioids since 1996.

The lawsuit contends the opioid crisis was created by the aggressive marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies that provided false and misleading information to doctors and patients. The companies claimed opioids were not addictive and were a safe way to treat long-term and chronic pain.

Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing fatal car accidents. In Pierce County, opioid use has reached crisis levels. From 2012 to 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in Pierce County rose to 423. More than half of the local homeless population is reported to be addicted to opioids. Crime is also driven by opioid addiction.

County Council Chair Doug Richardson said, “The opioids crisis has impacted nearly every department in our county. Whether it’s the Sheriff’s Office, emergency management, public health, or the court system, Pierce County has shouldered a heavy burden in dealing with this crisis.”

The rise of prescription opioids in Pierce County was followed closely by a dramatic rise in heroin use. For many, heroin replaced prescription opioids when they could no longer obtain these prescriptions.


Public Service Culture

 

Seeking Public Servants

by our Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, first published in The Tacoma Weekly

Walt Bettinger, the chief operating officer of Charles Schwab & Company, sometimes takes job candidates to breakfast. Before the meal arrives, Bettinger asks the restaurant manager to botch the applicant’s order.

For example, instead of the pancakes and orange juice she ordered, the applicant could be served bacon and a banana shake.

This, of course, is a test.

How does the applicant react? Is there anger? Is there a scene? Does it throw the candidate off-kilter?

Or does the applicant respond with coolness and grace?

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, action is character. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in nine years as your elected prosecutor is to hire character with competence.

I personally interview all of the finalists. The future of our office depends on hiring talented, diverse, service-minded people with integrity.

The safety of our community also depends on this.

We best serve the community, we best protect the community, we best keep the community safe when we hire the best people.

Based on experience, we have condensed what we are looking for into three criteria we call the trifecta: good worker, good colleague, good emissary.

A good worker is someone who has the skills to do the job well. If a candidate is a finalist meeting with me, they almost certainly qualify.

A good colleague is someone who can do the job well and also help those around them excel. Good colleagues are team players. They treat everyone respectfully. They understand the job isn’t about them, it’s about serving the public.

A good emissary is someone who can do the job well, help their colleagues do their job well, and represent the office well to the public we serve.

In this noisy era of fact-free politics, it is especially important that public servants let the community know what their government is doing for them. The antidote to misinformation is information.

We also have to listen.

Last year, I spoke with approximately 200 community groups. I listened, I learned, and we made adjustments in the office based on feedback from our constituents. Everyone in our office is expected to communicate with the public to some degree.

People from the community serve on our juries and elect the county council members who set our budget. We earn their confidence through action, including communication and responsiveness.

We have a staff of about 220. Many were hired long ago. A few have struggled with our demanding standards and our culture of public service. We are progressing from the trial warrior culture of the past to the public service culture of the future.

Public service is not for everyone.

It’s a tough job. You’re always busy, you’re sometimes maligned. People can burn out. To survive and excel, you cannot let bacon and a banana shake throw you off-kilter. You have to find grace.

You will not make everyone happy.

If you want to make everyone happy, sell ice cream.

Like many organizations, we use character-driven interview questions designed to distinguish positive people from negative people, learners from blamers, hard workers from slackers. You can guess who successful organizations prefer to hire.

Every year, some people retire or move on. We are often hiring. We want our office to reflect the diverse community we serve. We are always changing and growing and improving.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has had a few cool careers, said, “I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.”

If the ecstasy and occasional agony of public service appeal to you, if you want to help us keep our community safe and strong, if you can be a good worker, a good colleague, and a good emissary, then you should consider applying to our office.

If you’re a finalist, maybe I’ll take you out for breakfast.

A career prosecutor with more than 22 years of service,  Mark Lindquist is our Pierce County Prosecutor. He was appointed in 2009, elected in 2010, and reelected in 2014.