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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.

Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes the journey of a Ukrainian refugee family, a meeting with South King County leaders, King County Board of Health’s expansion to include more community members, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the return of Trailhead Direct, Department of Commerce’s Building for the Arts Grant, transit and health updates, and more.

Washington Trivia

This University of Washington alum was the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. Who was he? (Answer is at the bottom).

An Escape from Ukraine to King County

The media pictures from Ukraine cannot compare with the personal stories of the refugees of this tragedy. Tetiana Ponochovna told me of her journey from Bucha, Ukraine to King County with her husband and three daughters one day ahead of the Russian tanks. King County cannot send howitzers, but we can help with housing. Thank you, Hon. Consul General Valeriy V. Goloborodko, for your commitment to peace and all you do for those in need.

At the King County Council Chambers with Councilmembers Reagan Dunn, Rod Dembowski, Girmay Zahilay, Sarah Perry, Joe McDermott, Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Hon. Consul General Valeriy Goloborodko, and Tetiana Ponochovna and her family

Meeting with South King County leaders

Local goverment works best when we can meet around the table and talk about our region in person. I welcomed catching up with South King County Fire Commissioner David Berger and Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson. I was lucky to be in Ethiopia in my 20s after serving in the US Army; I got to know Lydia and one of her remarkable sons because of my travels to east Africa in the 1970’s. Lydia’s life story is the story of American emigration as hoped for by our founders. She lights up any room with her energy, interests and commitment to others.

With SKC Fire Commissioner David Berger and Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson

King County Board of Health expands to include more community members

The King County Board of Health is expanding in 2023 to include more members of the community it serves. Currently, there are 8 elected officials and 3 health professionals on the board. The expanded Board will include 8 elected officials and 8 non-elected people who represent the public, healthcare, and other community stakeholders.

Applications to join the Board are welcome from King County residents who share a commitment to public health principles and addressing racism as a public health crisis, including public health and health care providers, people with experience with public health programs, residents who are working to address health inequities, and others who have permits with Public Health. Applications are due June 30, 2022. 

King County celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

As we celebrate the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, King County TV will be featuring local AANHPI leaders, not only to highlight their inspiring stories and contributions to the community, but also to see how their past is connected to the present. Below are links to videos featuring Rachel Yang, a Korean-American chef and James Beard nominee that co-owns the Relay Restaurant Group which includes the popular Joule and Revel restaurants, and UW Professor Shawn Wong, a Chinese-American University of Washington professor and author.

Chef Rachel Yang: https://youtu.be/FHckJIThUZ4

UW Professor Shawn Wong: https://youtu.be/ns2mKRYd6zA

Trailhead Direct returns May 28

King County Metro and King County Parks are teaming up to launch Trailhead Direct for the season. The weekends and holiday transit-to-trails service will begin Saturday, May 28th, and run through Sunday, September 11th. Riders can take the bus, Sound Transit Link light rail, or bike to easily get to the Sound Transit Capitol Hill Link station, where Trailhead Direct coaches will depart every 30 minutes. The 2022 season will include service on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Read more here.

Department of Commerce’s Building for the Arts Grant

The Washington state Department of Commerce’s 2023-25 Building for the Arts (BFA) grant application is now open. These grants fund 33% of eligible capital costs up to $2 million for acquisition and major new construction of arts or cultural facilities. Grant application workshop is on May 25th, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Application deadline is June 23, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

For program questions about the BFA Grant please call 360-725-3075, email capprograms@commerce.wa.gov or click here. For technical assistance with the ZoomGrants application please contact questions@zoomgrants.com or call 866-323-5404 x2.

New ORCA card system for regional transit now active

This Monday, May 16th, the new and improved ORCA system launched for hundreds of thousands of transit customers across the Puget Sound region with access to a new myORCA.com website, myORCA smartphone app, and real-time value loading for ORCA cards. All current ORCA cards, including youth, senior, ORCA LIFT, and reduced fare cards work with the new system. The transition to the new ORCA system will continue as crews replace over 6,000 card readers and vending machines across the region over the next few months. ORCA customers do not need to get a new card. Read more here.

Non-Profit Corner

Below are a couple places where your donations go a long way:

Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Donations accepted in person Monday-Friday (8:00 am to 3:00 pm)

Auburn Valley Humane Society
4910 A St. SE, Auburn, WA 98092
1123 E Main St., Auburn, WA 98002 (Thrift Store)
To donate supplies, call 253-545-0314 Monday-Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm), Sunday (11:00 am – 5:00 pm).

Bloodworks Northwest
1414 S 324th St., Suite B101, Federal Way, WA 98003
Whole blood and apheresis donations are accepted Monday-Tuesday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm), Wednesday, Friday-Saturday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm), and Sunday (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). To schedule a donation appointment, call 253-945-8660 or 800-398-7888 or visit https://schedule.bloodworksnw.org/DonorPortal/.

Bridging a Gap (BAG)
33313 1st Way S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Food donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
St. Luke’s Church - 515 S 312th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Communities in Schools - 1825 S 316th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Red Canoe Credit Union - 33616 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003

Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S 352nd St., Auburn, WA 98001
To volunteer, please call 253-838-3604 or email director_fwsc@hotmail.com.

FUSION Décor Boutique
1108 S 322nd Pl, Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)
Please call beforehand at 253-839-4045 with a description of the items.

Multi-Service Center Food Bank
1200 S 336th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations may be dropped off at the warehouse Monday-Friday (8:30 am to 4:00 pm)

The Salvation Army
26419 16th Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Open Monday-Thursday (9:00 am to 4:30 pm) and Friday (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

2022 South King County Scholar Athlete Auction and Lunch

Please join the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund auction and lunch this Saturday, May 21st, at the Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center, with NBA Legend Lenny Wilkens, hosted by the Voice of the Seahawks, Steve Raible. In past years, over 250 community members raised more than $50,000 for scholar athletes in South King County school districts. Please consider attending this year’s event to continue supporting our local scholar athletes and athletic programs.

Tickets can be purchased in advance of the event for $50 at www.skcscholar.org. The ticket includes admission to our lunch, live silent auction, and remarks by Lenny Wilkens and Steve Raible. All event proceeds will benefit the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund.

Left: Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin speaks to more than 250 supporters at the 2018 South King County Scholar Athlete Breakfast. Right: Auburn High School Athletes with Jim Zorn and Steve Raible.

Health Updates

Changes coming to King County COVID-19 testing sites

As the availability of free rapid self-test and community testing options have increased, demand at King County COVID-19 test sites has significantly declined. To better align with demand and transition to long-term testing solutions, Public Health – Seattle & King County will end its operations of the Tukwila, Federal Way and Auburn COVID-19 testing sites. The last day of King County operations for the Federal Way and Tukwila testing sites will be Friday, May 27th, and the last day of King County operations for the Auburn site will be Wednesday, June 1st. Read more here.

Pfizer's COVID-19 boosters for kids 5 and up get emergency use authorization from FDA

On Tuesday, May 17th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized a booster of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 under an emergency use authorization. The decision now falls to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on whether to formally recommend the vaccine for that age group. The booster shot is 10 micrograms, which is the same dosage given during the primary series of vaccines for that age group. Older patients receive larger doses when getting vaccinated. Read more in the KING 5 news article here.

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Yesterday, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 1,118 daily average positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 416,048. In addition, Public Health reported 2 daily average deaths, bringing the total in the county to 2,779.

Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County COVID Daily Summary Dashboard here.

Order free COVID home test kits: www.covidtests.gov | https://sayyescovidhometest.org/.

Vaccine Locator: To find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, visit Vaccine Locator.

For King County residents: Register here to schedule your appointment at one of the high-volume vaccination sites in King County.

For in-home vaccination: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977.

Register by phone: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 or Washington COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #.

For veterans: Call 206-716-5716 or visit www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine.

For more information, visit Getting vaccinated in King County.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741-741 or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Find your King County Council district here.

With best wishes,

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Wing Chong Luke was the first person of color elected to the Seattle City Council and the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. He was once the Assistant Attorney General of the State of Washington in the Civil Rights Division and served from 1957 to 1962.

Born in a small town near Canton, China, Wing and his family moved to the United States and later settled in Seattle in 1931. Wing attended Roosevelt High School and became the student body president. He also earned one of the nine slots as a high school consultant for the White House Conference on juvenile problems. During his senior year, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and later received the Bronze Star Medal and six combat stars.

After his service, he entered the University of Washington and graduated with a B.A. in political science and public administration. He also attended the UW School of Law to earn an LL.B. His legacy remains up to this day and his name is the namesake of multiple institutions such as the Wing Luke Museum, Wing Luke Elementary School and Wing Luke Memorial Foundation, among others.

Photo source: https://www.wingluke.org/our-history

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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