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Local councilmember works to build community relations with JBLM

Lakewood City Councilmember Don Anderson was recently elected to the Association of Defense Communities. Photo credit: City of Lakewood

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Lakewood City Councilmember Don Anderson was recently elected to the board of the Association of Defense Communities (ADC).

He has served on the Lakewood City Council since 2008.

"It is a wonderful opportunity to continue to work toward building community relations with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and the South Sound area," Anderson said.

His term is for three years; however, he has been closely associated with ADC and JBLM in establishing and maintaining communication between the two for about a decade.

ADC's mission is to advance issues that strengthen communities and support the military and improve the quality of life for service members and their families.

With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organizations, ADC represents every major defense community/state in the country.

Anderson's election is additional evidence of his longstanding support of military personnel living in Lakewood and on JBLM, and it is the fulfilling of a challenge.

"Washington state is the only state that has no cabinet level or department devoted to connecting military bases to the surrounding communities," explained Anderson.

"Somebody has to be talking."

As a new ADC board member and as a longtime leader in the South Sound Military Communities Partnership (SSMCP), Anderson is well positioned to talk to and about the issues that concern both JBLM and the surrounding municipalities.

SSMCP is a partnership of more than 50 members comprised of cities, counties, tribes, nonprofits, corporations, local organizations, and JBLM which provides a regional forum to address military/civilian land-use compatibility issues that may negatively affect JBLM's mission readiness.

"SSMPC bridges the military and civilian communities on the local level through flexible partnering throughout the South Sound," continued Anderson. "ADC is the way in which the South Sound can plug into the national discussions about issues concerning communities and bases like JBLM."

Anderson's efforts at the state and federal levels have been instrumental in obtaining nearly $500 million in improvements to the Interstate 5 corridor adjacent to JBLM, and they have played a significant role in obtaining multi-agency funding commitments for the McChord Field clear zone property acquisition.

His active support of military members and their families has been recognized by his induction into the Order of St. Maurice (Civis) by the National Infantry Association and his selection to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Civilian Hall of Fame.

Anderson received his BA in business administration and his JD from the University of Puget Sound, where he competed in both football and track.

He was an attorney in private practice with the Tacoma firm Eisenhower & Carlson, PLLC for over 30 years, focusing on business, real estate, and commercial litigation. Early in his legal career he served as managing partner and chairman of the firm.

Prior to entering private practice, he served overseas as a U.S. Navy JAG officer from 1978 to 1981.

"I look forward to keeping the lines of communication between the military and communities open as if the fence did not exist," he concluded.

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