June 29, 2018
Strengthening King County’s workplace culture
Even though we have made great strides in the wake of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements in exposing major systemic problems in our society, many people are still suffering discrimination, harassment and abuse because of their identity, some examples being their race, gender, and sexual orientation or having disabilities, especially in the workplace. In fact, anywhere from 25 percent to 85 percent of women report having experienced workplace sexual harassment. In 2014, nearly 9,000 incidents of workplace harassment related to racial discrimination were filed in the United States. However, these numbers are very likely low due to fear of retaliation if they were to speak up or from not knowing what their options are to address the problem. It has been estimated that 75 percent of all workplace harassment incidents go unreported.
In response, I recently introduced legislation (2018-0256) at the King County Council to completely re-vamp our approach to preventing and addressing sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and discrimination, including race-based discrimination. I am very pleased that the ordinance passed unanimously on Monday. Continue reading >>>
Investing in our region
Over the last few of weeks, I have been hearing from some constituents on how the County plans to spend money to finance maintenance and capital improvements at Safeco Field. The proposal (Motion 2018-0266) was transmitted by King County Executive Dow Constantine and describes the distribution of the County’s hotel/motel lodging tax revenues beginning in 2021. Some people have expressed that not enough of the money is going towards alleviating our housing crisis and supporting those who are addicted to opioids. Continue reading >>>
HHHS meeting held at Pike Place Senior Center
On June 19, I brought the Council’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee which I chair to the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank to hear directly from the public about the proposed implementation plan to distribute funds from last year’s voter-approved Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy.
The proceeds from the 6-year levy, approved by voters in 2017, will be directed to:
• Veterans. To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for veterans and military servicemembers and their respective families.
• Seniors and caregivers. To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for seniors and their caregivers and to promote healthy aging in King County.
• Vulnerable Populations. To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for vulnerable populations.
Testimony was offered from a number of service providers, residents and recipients of County services and members of the committee had an opportunity to hear a briefing from staff and discuss the plan. The need for this funding is clear and I am pleased to see the amount of thoughtful work and consideration the Dept. of Community and Human Services has put into the proposal.
At Tuesday’s HHHS committee, I sponsored a striking amendment that incorporates input from our deliberation process and feedback from stakeholders and the general public. The amendment was adopted along with a few other and the proposed amended ordinance passed. Next, the plan moves to next Monday’s full Council meeting where it likely will be forwarded to the Regional Policy Committee where members will consider, and potentially vote, on the amended version. (COMPLICATED PROCESS!) I expect it will be scheduled sometime in July or August. It will then go before the full council for a final vote. Check the Council’s committee agenda website for upcoming Regional Policy Committee agendas, where it will be announced.
Honoring King County resident Jeffrey Barker
This week I had the pleasure of presenting King County resident Jeffrey Barker with a proclamation recognizing his work throughout the county helping and inspiring those in need.
As the associate principal flutist for the Seattle Symphony, Jeffrey Barker’s passion is music. However, Barker is just as passionate about working to highlight the challenges of homelessness and working with the homeless to unlock their creativity and find inspiration through music.
Jeffrey was recently recognized by the League of American Orchestras, which presented him the 2018 Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service. Click here to watch a short video about Jeffrey’s work in our community. Continue reading >>>
Take Metro to the mountains
Did you know you can now use Metro to get to a favorite hiking destination? Trailhead Direct is a pilot project sponsored by King County Parks and Metro’s Community Connections program. This project seeks to ease vehicle congestion, reduce safety hazards and expand access to hiking destinations along I-90. Currently, Trailhead Direct serves three popular hiking destinations: Mount Si, Issaquah Alps, and Mailbox Peak. Click here to learn more and see you on the trail!