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King County Councilmember Larry Gossett

Councilmember serving the communities of District 2
Councilmember
Larry Gossett
Council District 2  
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-477-1002
Toll Free: 800-325-6165
TTY/TDD: 206-296-1024
Fax: 206-296-0198

Serving the communities of the Central Area, Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, the Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Skyway, UW, Fremont, Ravenna, and Laurelhurst.

Operation Nightwatch

Van donationEach year, the King County Council donates vans from Metro's Vanpool to local cities and nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for low-income, elderly, youth and disabled residents. The vans are part of a fleet of county vehicles that have been 'retired' after exceeding a certain number of miles.

This spring, I had the opportunity to donate a retired van to Operation Nightwatch. Operation Nightwatch provides food and shelter nightly for 150 homeless adults in downtown Seattle, housing for 24 low-income, formerly homeless or housing vulnerable seniors (age 62 and older), and provides assistance to unsheltered homeless people surviving outside. They will be using their van to transport homeless adults to shelter late at night, and to transport low-income seniors for grocery shopping, healthcare appointments, and enrichment activities.


Elementary School Students at the County Council

Elementary School Students at the County CouncilI was honored to host 18 girls and boys from Martin Luther King Jr. and Emerson Elementary Schools during their recent visit to the County Council. The 4th and 5th grade students visited the Council to get hands-on understanding of how the Council works as well as learn how their Council serves constituents. The youth learned about the Council, met with staff, and toured the Council Chambers. I had the opportunity to have lunch with the students and talk with them about government-local and national and hear their views on what the Council should address. A special thank you to the staff, Ms. Vallerie Fisher and Mr. Michael Melonson for bringing their students for a day at the Council.


ORCA LIFT Reduced fare

Image: Orca Lift program

I was a proud prime sponsor of the legislation creating the low-income fare, the new ORCA LIFT reduced fare program to make public transportation more affordable for those who need it most. The creation of the low-income fare has been 3 years in the making. I am excited King County is committed to bus service for all. Thank you to the members of the Low Income Fare Advisory Committee for the hard work they put into recommending the creation of a low income fare. The ORCA LIFT fare can be used on Metro Transit buses, Sound Transit Link light rail, the Seattle Streetcar, King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit buses. You can apply for the ORCA LIFT program at Public Health - Seattle & King County and selected social service agencies including these locations in District 2: Seattle Vocational Institute, Rainier Community Service Office, King County Juvenile Detention, and the Rainier Beach Community Center. See a list of enrollment locations here.

The reduced fare on an ORCA card is valid for 24 months and the reduced fare for King County Metro buses is $1.50 per trip any time of day, for one- or two-zone travel; Sound Transit Link light rail is $1.50; Seattle Streetcar is $1.50. Click here for additional information

Read the OpEd I co-authored with Councilmembers Phillips and McDermott:
A transit option for those who depend on public transportation


What’s Happening in District 2

It’s summer in King County! This time of year reveals beautiful landscapes and local events that make King County a fantastic place to live. Here are a few events throughout the district you may enjoy.

25th Annual Walk for Rice
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Registration 8am-10am
Walk begins at 10am
Seward Park
5859 Lake Washington Boulevard Seattle, WA 98118

Walk for Rice is a fund-raising event featuring a 2.5 mile walk/run. Each year, over 1,000 participants help raise money for Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) to buy rice and other food for the ACRS Food Bank. More information

Walk for Change
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Registration at 9am-10:30am
Walk begins at 11am
Celebration 12:30pm-3pm
Rainier Beach Community Center
8825 Rainier Ave S. Seattle, WA 98118

The Walk for Change is a community event celebrating fathers and encourages the relationships between fathers and sons by walking together as a symbol of unity and a statement of commitment to their families and communities. More information

Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
July 3 - July 5, 2015
10am – 6pm, daily
1010 Valley St. Seattle, WA 98109

The 39th Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival kicks off in 2015 on July 3rd and runs through the holiday weekend.  The Center for Wooden Boats annual festival is designed to celebrate the maritime heritage of Seattle, and get people out of the water on historic boats. More information

Wallingford Family Parade & Festival
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Parade at N 45th St from Interlake N, East to Bagley Ave N and then North to N 50th St.
11:00am - 5:00 PM

This year marks the 66th year of the family-oriented parade through Wallingford's historic commercial district from Interlake Ave N  to Bagley Ave N. This year the festival will be along 45th at participating local merchants, featuring activities and specials throughout the day.  More information: www.visitwallingford.org

National Night Out

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Night Out” is a national Crime Prevention event. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities. It is a great chance to learn about crime prevention, while also celebrating your community and spending time with your neighbors.


First Hill Streetcar Construction

Construction of the city of Seattle’s  First Hill Streetcar is complete. Delivery of the streetcars is behind schedule, but several vehicles are now nearing completion, with initial deliveries expected in December and the entire fleet expected to be ready for operation in late 2015. Check the First Hill Streetcar  website for updates.

The First Hill Streetcar is funded by the city of Seattle and will operate mostly in District 2 with ten stations along S Jackson Street, 14th Avenue S, Yesler Way, and Broadway, between Occidental in Pioneer Square and Denny on Capitol Hill.  The system will be operated by King County Metro, Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m.  On Sundays and holidays it will run from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.  The fare will be the same as that for Metro buses.  ORCA cards and transfers will be accepted.


Expansion of the County’s Mental Health Recovery Model

I have always been in support of services and adequate treatment for those living with mental illness and I am proud the King County Council gave its unanimous support for the expansion of the County’s successful Mental Health Recovery Model to include substance abuse services.

In the past, too many County residents battling mental illness received a jail cell instead of a treatment bed. King County has created a new paradigm in assisting the mentally ill. The establishment of a behavioral health component is a welcome addition to the program. The legislation adopted by the Council will continue the current successful recovery model for mental illness and expand the framework to include substance abuse treatment.


50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. This summer, marks the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of this historic legislation. The act was initially called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963, following a series of protests by African Americans, including the Birmingham Campaign in May of 1963. During his speech, President Kennedy requested legislation “giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public – hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments”, as well as “greater protection for the right to vote.”

While civil rights leaders felt essential provisions of the act were not included, such as protection against police brutality, discrimination in private employment, or granting the Justice Department authority to initiate desegregation or job discrimination lawsuits, it did enable the U.S. Attorney General to join in lawsuits against state governments for operating segregated school systems, and other provisions.
Passage of the Civil Rights Act stands as one of the major milestones in our nation’s history, raising the level of consciousness, equality, and humanity for all during the past 50 years. However, the work that began 50 years ago is unfinished. Let our commitment for justice and equality for all redouble as we move forward.

King County  commemorated the 1964 Civil Rights Act with a lunch time discussion on the historic passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the impact it has had on the country and the county workplace over the last 50 years. I was joined by County Executive Dow Constantine for this important conversation.

LarryGossett

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Larry Gossett

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larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov

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In the community

Read my Seattle Times OpEd: Economic recovery has left African Americans behind

Visit with Congressman John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis, Mrs. Gossett and Councilmember Larry Gossett.
It was an honor to once again spend some time with Congressman John Lewis, a “Living Legend” in America’s struggle to end segregation and create the “Beloved Community” of Dr. King. Lewis marched with Dr. King and spoke at the legendary “March on Washington.” Since joining Congress, he has often been called "the conscience of the Congress.”

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