Councilmember Rod Dembowski
King County "Youth Action Plan" calls for a new set of priorities
The Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous support to the Youth Action Plan (YAP), a new set of priorities that will guide and inform the County's annual investment in programs and services for children and youth, from infants to 24-year olds.
Development of the YAP was completed by an appointed task force of twenty-five experts representing a broad range of organizations and entities with substantial expertise and knowledge relevant to children and youth. Community input was collected through five community conversations held across the county, and through a survey of more than 1,000 youth. The nine recommendations contained in the YAP are the culmination of the task force’s work over the last year.
The recommendations in the Plan include:
- Social Justice and Equity
- Apply social justice and equity principles to our children and youth policies
- Strengthen and stabilize families, children, youth, and young adults
- Stop the School to Prison Pipeline
- Break down barriers between government, non-profits, and other providers of services
- Use data to measure program efficacy and to make investment decisions
- Invest early, invest often, and invest in outcomes
- Increase accountability and oversight
Metro Transit Audit Manager
The new Metro Transit Audit Manager was officially appointed in March, and is operating within the independent King County Auditor's office. This position will be responsible for ongoing reviews and audits of Metro's near billion dollar annual budget.
Audits have proven to save Metro money, in addition to increasing transparency, improving accountability and fostering more trust with the public. My ultimate goal has been, and continues to be, to reform Metro such that we can grow the system to serve the significant unmet demand for transit.
At its March 3rd meeting, the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee received a briefing from the new Transit Audit Manager regarding their work-plan for upcoming audits of Metro Transit.
Paid Leave and Family Friendly Workplace Policies
The King County Council unanimously passed Motion 2015-0102, which declares that it is County policy to establish a paid parental leave program for our employees. When implemented, the legislation will provide working moms and dads employed by King County up to 12 weeks in paid parental leave after a birth, adoption, or new placement of a foster child. The legislation also directs the County Executive to develop a workplan for providing paid family leave for eligible County employees to address the serious health condition of the employee or close family member.
Additionally, on March 30th the Council unanimously advanced recommendations from the King County Women's Advisory Board for improving wage equity and promoting family friendly workplace policies. The board's recommendations include ways to encourage and promote family leave and workplace flexibility, as well as actions to achieve wage transparency and end the gender pay equity gap.