Tacoma Urbanist

Jul. 14, 2011 at 12:03am

Huffington Post Reports on Tacoma's Billboard Battle

Via the up and coming Tacoma Komo News:

Less than a week before the Tacoma City Council will meet to discuss the fate of Tacoma's skyline, the question of whether digital billboards will light up the T-Town sky has grabbed the attention of the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post article on Tacoma's fight against digital billboards can be read here.

City councils, community activists, and preservationists are squaring off in cities across the country against corporations like Clear Channel, a communications and marketing company that owns hundreds of radio stations across the country and maintains millions of advertising displays in 45 nations around the world. At issue is whether to permit digital billboards frequently promoting the latest edgy TV shows or beer ads to proliferate in our cities.

Currently, the states of Maine, Hawaii, Vermont and Alaska ban billboards, including digital ones, entirely. Many other states permit traditional "static" billboards but ban digital billboards.

In Seattle's mid-sized sister city of Tacoma, Wa., activists are facing off against Clear Channel in an effort to reduce the number of static billboards in the city and to ban digital billboards in their entirety

There was also a film maker shooting a documentary of some sort at the public hearing last Tuesday (7/12/2011).

comments [8]  |  posted under Tacoma


by Erik on 7/14/2011 @ 12:19am
From the Tribune:

Tacoma at epicenter of national billboard debate? It appears so

One anti-billboard advocate traveled from Minnesota just for the hearing because Tacoma is "the active battleground on the West Coast."

Ossian Or is executive director of Scenic Minnesota and a board member of Scenic America, a leading organization against billboards. He joined Paula Rees, a Seattle resident who conducted a study of downtown Tacoma, in saying the city is on the national stage for how it decides to handle its dispute with Clear Channel.

"There are very fine attorneys who have beaten Clear Channel regularly and aren't that expensive for a city this size, who can be brought in and call their bluff. And it is a bluff," he said in an interview. "The threat of a lawsuit shouldn't create this kind of fear."


Come on Tacoma.....don't be bluffed!

by Erik on 7/14/2011 @ 1:51am
Next up: The final public hearing before the Tacoma City Council is scheduled for July 19th, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

Here is the agenda:


Some folks have arranged a "protest" against the threat of digital billboards at Tacoma City Hall at

Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market Street
Tuesday, July 19 � 4:00pm - 7:00pm


Hopefully, Tacoma can soon finish off the digital billboard threat so it can start focusing on rebuilding the city.

by fredo on 7/14/2011 @ 9:36am
When you give your testimony Eric you can finish off by saying fredo agrees with your position.

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/14/2011 @ 2:43pm
Since we're in the spotlight, we have to defeat CC not just for us, bit for Pittsburgh, Spokane, Toledo, Mesa, Ft Lauderdale, Oakland and every other mid-sized city that will eventually fight clear channel.

Join the Thousand-Human Protest on July 19th @ 4:30 outside city hall.
Bring signs. Bring banners. Bring megaphones. Bring friends. Bring an effigy of Clear Channel's CEO.

Ok, don't actually bring the effigy. Not cool to do so.
But bring as many people as you can. Politicians fear crowds.

by CaptainBritton on 7/14/2011 @ 3:31pm
Thorax is right! Drown out the city noise with people noise! See Ya'll there!

by NineInchNachos on 7/14/2011 @ 6:26pm

by KevinFreitas on 7/15/2011 @ 6:56am
We should help folks right sign slogans and come up with clever/easy crowd chants here so we're somewhat prepared/organized. Any ideas?

A good possible sign slogan steals from Clear Channel's own: Tacoma's choice is clear: NO DIGITAL BILLBOARDS

Or maybe snag on of the pics of a run-down billboard and label it either CLEAN CHANNEL CARES or BLIGHT MATTERS

by Jesse on 7/15/2011 @ 7:36am
Anyone know the tool who tagged the Swiss? Get that clown to tag all the Clear Channel billboards as "Illegal Billboard" in large bold letters.