My heart spans across a wide, complex area of Tacoma - now more diverse than ever before. My first home was on South Hosmer Street in the Hilltop neighborhood, but I spent most of my growing-up years in Fircrest.
I've always felt the Hilltop - rich with culture, church life and old-timers with so many stories to tell - was misrepresented and misunderstood. It's historic, beautiful. Families have lived here for generations.
Sadly, in the late 1980's, the Crips & Bloods moved in and drugs and violence took hold of the streets. The Hilltop has been trying recover and salvage its family-friendly reputation ever since.
In 1990, when "The Hill" was in crisis, Reverend Vernon Burroughs of Tacoma's Allen AME church told me, "I believe in miracles." Well, more than 25 years later, he has lived to see miracles happen!
People teamed up to form the "Hilltop Action Coalition" and with the help of Tacoma Police, began reclaiming their neighborhood block-by-block.
You will see the power of what can happen when a neighborhood rallies and stands up against crime. It is inspiring and a national model for community policing.
It has been a privilege to take you "Beyond the Studio," home to Tacoma with me to show you the true heart of the Hilltop - its people!