Friends and Neighbors:
This has been a hard month. Between days of hazardous smoke choking our region, passing the two hundred thousand mark for lives lost from COVID-19, the tragic news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing and the lack of accountability for Breonna Taylor’s death, 2020 continues to test our commitments to one another.
Even with heavy hearts, our communities continue to organize for needed systemic reforms and this week, we received news that our efforts are working. This Tuesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine presented his proposed budget for 2021-2022 and it includes significant investments into our district.
There is no doubt we’ve still got way more work to do, but after generations of disinvestment we are starting to see the needle move for Skyway:
• $10 million seed money for Skyway Community Center
• $10 million for participatory budgeting in Skyway & White Center
• 32,000 hours of new Metro service to Skyway (e.g., for more bus service or expanding Via service to Skyway)
• $4.6 million in marijuana tax revenue redirected from law enforcement toward community-based
programs in King County. We will fight to have a specific percent of this revenue reserved for Skyway.
• $750,000 start-up funds for Skyway and White Center to design alternative system of public safety
Now that the budget is before the County Council, we will continue to fight to invest in Skyway without displacing those who call it home. This announcement is only the first step and we’ll keep you up to date about how you can make your voice heard as the process moves forward.
For a full breakdown of the new investments and some of the other work our office has been engaged in over the last nine months, head on over and read coverage from The Stranger. It’s a great article that shows you what we’ve been up to for District 2!
And lastly, if you want to learn more about the budget process, including how it's made, what the critical dates are and how you can get involved, head over to our official Facebook page to watch the most recent Community Budget Workshop with King County Budget Dwight Dively! It includes all the information you’ll need to help us make our budget reflect the values of our community.
While we’re hard at work on the budget for the next two years, we wanted to share the immediately available funding opportunities. Linked here are all the currently available grants through the King County Department of Community and Health Services. If you or your organization are interested, please feel free to contact our office for additional details about the process and getting engaged.
SKYWAY COMMUNITY NEEDS LIST
The King County Department of Local Services is RIGHT NOW in the process of compiling a “community needs list” for Skyway. This will help inform the next 20 years of planning in our community. Many have already done their part, but if you live in Skyway we need you to head over to this link ASAP and fill out this survey to guide the next phases of developing our community equitably and sustainably.
WHEN TWO CIVIL RIGHTS ERAS COLLIDE
Last week I had the honor of catching up with my predecessor, Larry Gossett, on KUOW for their series “Beyond the Protest.” I’ve said time and time again that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Our work today would not be possible without the sacrifice of the community leaders who came before us. Please be sure to listen and then engage in the struggle for change.
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay