Retiring THA director as unassuming as his ’82 Corolla. His legacy, though, shines through (Tacoma Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
May 12th, 2021

From The News Tribune: 

Michael Mirra finally got the call-up he’s been waiting for, he joked late last week. 

Nearing his 68th birthday, the native New Yorker is joining the Yankees, at long last. 

“Center field would be my first choice, but I’m probably not in a position to be picky,” Mirra quipped, a day after he announced his retirement from Tacoma Housing Authority, where the Queens-born former litigation attorney and housing advocate has spent the last 17 years as executive director. 

The joke was earnest and understated, much like the man who delivered it. It was also aided by a long body of work, which is another one of Mirra’s calling cards. His love of the Yankees is well known, like the baseball that sits in his corner office at THA’s Hilltop headquarters is well-worn. It was as though he’d been quietly preparing for this wry punchline for years, not unlike the years he’s spent working without personal fanfare to build the affordable housing units and supportive programs Tacoma needs. 

During Mirra’s long career at THA, his preference to avoid the spotlight has been genuine, quirky and characteristic. His lightly rumpled suits and outdated dress hats have been his unassuming uniform, and his 1982 Toyota Corolla — which he’s driven since 1986 — has embodied the unselfish approach he’s taken to his important work. At any high-profile city meeting, Mirra’s car is easy to pick out. So is his influence. Wherever the Yankees ultimately employ him, they’re getting a treasure. 

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