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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.

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. Open enrollment for ORCA LIFT cards has begun and cards will be sent out  for use beginning March 1. 

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 spring! 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.

4th Annual Together We Are the Cure Lupus Walk
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Registration 9am, walk begins at 10am
Seward Park
5859 Lake Washington Boulevard Seattle, WA 98118

May is Lupus awareness month. Sisters Against Lupus is proud to collaborate with the Alliance For Lupus Research for their 4th annual walk. More information

Torchbearers: Portraits of African American Leaders in Seattle and King County by Robert Wade
On view through Sunday, May 3, 2015
Northwest African American Museum
2300 Massachusetts Avenue Seattle, WA 98144

Robert Wade is a Seattle-based fine art and commercial photographer. For this special display at NAAM he has captured a sampling of dynamic community leaders including Norman B. and Dr. Constance Rice, Adriane Brown, Larry Gossett, Marcellus Turner, Barbara Thomas, Claude Harris, Gregory Dean , Dr. Quintard Taylor and Mariane Lenhardt.
http://www.naamnw.org/exhibits/

Racial Justice Lecture
Anti-Racist Vision for Our Collective Liberation: Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Matter to Everyone
Thursday, May 7th  6:30pm
Seattle University, Pigott 103
901 12th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

Chris Crass, Author, Educator, and Movement Builder for Collective Liberation will be presenting. Free and open to the public.
Reserve seats at http://collectiveliberation.bpt.me

University District Street Fair

Saturday,  May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 10am-6pm
NE 45th St & The Ave, Seattle, WA 98105

Celebrate the 46th Anniversary of the longest running street fair in the US. The best in local arts & crafts, music, and food. So get ready for an amazing weekend at the U District Streetfair!
More information, http://udistrictstreetfair.org/

West Hill/Skyway Community Service Areas Town Meeting and Open House
Thursday, May 21, 7-9pm
12424 76th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98178

You are invited to meet with King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett and Sheriff John Urquhart in your community to discuss public safety, transportation, County budget priorities and your own issues of concern.

Capitol Hill Housing Community Forum
Thursday, May 21, 5:30 - 8:00pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave. S Seattle, WA 98144

The Community Forum is our annual public discussion of neighborhood issues. The guest speaker is Denise Scott, a national leader in neighborhood revitalization, and a panel of community leaders will explore the most pressing issues facing the rapidly changing Central District. Click here for more information. 


A New Way to Get Health Insurance

Open enrollment of Affordable Care Act is open again.  Now is the time to buy into the insurance exchange,  and depending on your income, some may be eligible for free health insurance. If you earn too much for free Medicaid insurance, you can  enroll for low-cost private insurance through February 15, 2015.

All health plans offered through Washington Health Planfinder include basic benefits like doctor visits, emergency care, prescriptions, maternity care, and preventive care like cancer screenings and vaccinations. Free or low cost coverage is available. No one will be denied coverage because they are sick or because they have a pre-existing condition.

Learn more and find enrollment at www.kingcounty.gov/coverage. Visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org to enroll online.


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.


Budget AdoptedImage: Council budget adoption

On November 17, the Council passed its first biennial (two-year) budget for all county agencies, including those contained within the County General Fund. I am encouraged that even during challenging budget times the Council passed a balanced budget that continues to be committed to equity and social justice. This budget works with our partners to save our public health clinics, ensures transit service remains stable for the next two years, and continues supporting programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The 2015-2016 budget of $9 billion also reinstates the Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit and creates an Executive Equity and Social Justice Office.  

The King County Budget is the single most important document through which the Council sets policy for county government and oversees the prioritization and delivery of critically important services . The biennial budget process is the culmination of months of review and negotiations. The biennial budget process is the culmination of months of review and negotiations. To review the budget click here.


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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Equity and Social Justice
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