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Metro Seeks Public Input on Ways to Simplify Fare Payment

Currently, Metro customers are faced with a complex fare structure, including a surcharge during peak commute hours and another charge for trips that cross a zone boundary. For example taking the bus from one city to another, Rainier Beach area to downtown Renton is considered 2 zones and will incur an additional charge for the rider although the distance for the ride is fairly short. Metro and other transit agencies that use ORCA farecards are looking at ways to simplify fares. Metro is considering two options for changing bus fares for adults (*No changes are being considered for youth, senior, disability, ORCA LIFT, or Access fares*) to make them easier to understand, speed up boarding, and reduce fare disputes. We want to hear which option you prefer.

Metro’s current adult fare structure includes extra charges for travel during weekday peak commute hours (6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.) and for trips that cross a zone boundary during those peak hours. Riders can pay $2.50, $2.75 or $3.25, depending on when and how far they travel.

They’re considering two options for making adult fares simpler:
• Option 1: A single $2.75 fare for travel any time, any distance
• Option 2: A $3 peak-period fare and a $2.50 off-peak fare, with no extra charge for two-zone travel

The public comment period is closed, but there is still time to tell me what you think of the proposed fares. We want to hear from you! Please email me at

Melba Ayco Recognized for Bringing "Rhythm to the Region"
Longtime director of Northwest Tap Connection receives MLK Medal of Distinguished Service

Over the last two decades, Melba Ayco has been bringing rhythm and wisdom to young people throughout South Seattle. Ayco’s devotion to all forms of dance was recognized today by Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Gossett when he presented “Ms. Melba” with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service.

“For over three decades, Ms. Melba has been a servant of the people,” said Gossett. “She has used her talents and love of children to give them access to the arts, thus, continuing to build Dr. King's ‘beloved community’ in this region.”


Ayco has worked for the Seattle Police Department for over three decades, but her passion is dance. Since the 1990’s—first as the Program Director and Artistic Director at TTapp Central, and now as the Founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Tap Connection—Ayco’s mission has been to provide a space of support and respect for artists of color to create artistic works “relevant to our past, present and future.” 

Race and Social Justice is the foundation of Northwest Tap Connection. Its mission is inclusive of providing quality dance and job opportunities to under-served communities, but also to raise a generation of socially conscious artist that product work that foster change. The studio has been committed to the support of Artists of Color through employment, use of their music through tribute shows and the history of their contributions to the Art World.

For thousands of students—from kids just out of diapers who are part of the fabled “10 o’clock” class, to young people who have performed on Broadway—Ayco has been there as teacher, mentor and friend. 

Ms. Ayco has choreographed for Seattle Theatre Group, the Northwest Folk-life Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Seattle Children Museum, and MoPop (Experience Music Project). Her community service has been recognized by the City of Seattle, as a recipient of the 2009 Mayor’s Art Award for outstanding leadership, and by Africatown, which recognized her as a Community Builder earlier this year. 

Ayco is one of nine citizens living across King County whose contributions to their community echo the incredible selfless leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK Medal of Distinguished Service recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in communities across King County. 

Communities of Opportunity 

Brother's Keeper

Community of Opportunity (COO) started as an innovative partnership in 2014 between King County and the Seattle Foundation based on the research that where a child grows up—the community in which they live—greatly impacts their health and well-being. This unique public-private and community-based partnership allows for a greater achievement impact and broader system change than if we approached the work in independent silos. Complex challenges require new approaches and real community engagement. This requires that community members be at the table from the beginning to harness their perspectives, relevant knowledge and lived experience. Community members have a vitally important role in shaping COO. Since 2015, over 90 community residents along with 45 community organizations and their leaders have co-designed solutions in partnership with our subject-matter experts at King County and the Seattle Foundation. The COO mission is creating greater health, social, economic and racial equity in King County so that all people thrive and prosper, regardless of race or place.




Councilmember Gossett featured on Prosecutor's Partners

Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Heritage 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. County Council declared May 2017 as Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month in King County and encourages all residents to join in this celebration and participate in the many festivities planned to recognize Asian Pacific American heritage. The month of May was chosen as Asian Pacific Heritage Month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the US on May 7, 1843 and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, as the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. 

Click here to read the King County Council's proclamation of the month of May as Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month in King County.



Celebrating Black History Month: King County's Logo

MLK logo 225pxClick here for information on the 10 year anniversary of the county logo


What’s Happening in District 2

It’s Summer and there are some exciting events happening. Here are a number of events happening throughout the district you may enjoy.

University District Farmers Market
Saturdays, year round
9am - 2pm
University Way NE (the "Ave"), between 50th & 52nd streets, Seattle, WA 98105

King County’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) Event  
Thursday July 27, 2017
6pm - 7:30 pm
El Centro de la Raza , Room 307, 2524 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA  

Please join me at this discussion on the state of systems of police oversight and accountability. In light recent tragic events involving police use of deadly force, King County’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) and it’s Community Advisory Committee on Law Enforcement Oversight (CACLEO), joined by the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC), are holding a joint forum on systems of police oversight and accountability in King County.  There will be an overview of current police oversight systems, learn about their limitations, and how it impacts public safety, and what’s next. There will be a Q & A session for you to pose direct questions about OLEO, CACLEO & the CPC before shifting into a listening session, so that each can learn about how to best serve the diverse communities of King County.

In addition to me, featured speakers are: Deborah Jacobs, OLEO Director, Abel Pacheco, CACLEO Member, District 2, and Fe Lopez, Seattle CPC Executive Director. Refreshments will be provided. For questions, contact my office at 206.477.1002

Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade 
August 4-6, 2017
10am-8pm, daily
Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman Seattle, WA 98144

Umoja Fest brings the soul to Seafair! Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade is a world-class festival parade and related activities that not only entertains but also educates and empowers our community. Umoja celebrates the best of the African American community and African Diaspora culture in northwest featuring Music, Food, Culture and family fun! Attractions include the Africatown Heritage Parade featuring dance troops and drill teams, Children’s Day & Family Fun Village, Soul N The Park, Afrobeat & Roots Stage, Heal The Hood Basketball Tournament & Hip Hop 4 Peace stage and delicious flavors of the African diaspora from restaurants and food trucks, vendor marketplace and community resource Fair and more!

14th Annual Rainier Beach Back 2 School Bash
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Rainier Beach Plaza (Rainier Avenue South & South Henderson Street)

The Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) in partnership with residents and dozens of organizations will sponsor the annual neighborhood-wide event to celebrate the start of the new school year. Serving hundreds of students and families every year, we look forward to giving out free backpacks and school supplies for all in attendance. Neighborhood organizations will be present to share resources. Back 2 School Bash. 
For more information, please contact Danielle 206-518-7444 or contact at:

The Othello Park International Music & Arts Festival 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
12pm and 6pm
Othello Park, 4351 S. Othello St, Seattle WA, 98118

The 2017 Othello Park International Music & Arts Festival will feature for food, fun and festivities that reflect our wonderful community’s diverse cultures. The festival  gather in a grassy meadow under big, old trees at the 10th annual Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival. A world of ethnic variety will convene with music, dancing, food, art activities, booths and a petting zoo including a camel! Othello Park features strolling walkways, a permanent stage gracefully designed to suit its pastoral landscape, and a zip line. Come sit, relax, and enjoy the park’s beauty and the show.
Then you will want to be up and about visiting the array of tents and booths and sampling Rainier Valley’s colorful diversity of businesses and organizations. For more information:

Caribbean Sea-Fest 
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Volunteer Park Amphitheater, 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98112

The purpose of the third annual Caribbean Sea Fest is to bring together the culturally and linguistically diverse members of the Caribbean Community in the Pacific Northwest along with those interested in learning and experiencing Caribbean cultural expressions to share in a day of cultural performances, cultural expression, and cultural exchange. The secondary purpose, and the reason for holding it at the Volunteer Park Amphitheater, is to encourage community members to connect with the natural environment. We will have a green theme throughout. This is a family-oriented event; children are most welcome. It will be grassroots, vibrant, and participatory. The Sea Fest will feature Caribbean food, music, and live performance. The theme of Caribbean Sea Fest: Solar Energy powers our culture and our future. Like us:

Skyway Parade and Block Party
Saturday, August 19, 2017
9:30am parade; block party 10am-2pm
Skyway Library, 12601 76th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178

Skyway Solutions is reviving an old tradition and invites you to Celebrate Skyway! Parade and Block Party. This event is for the entire community and will celebrate the diversity of Skyway-West Hill. The parade will start at 9:30am from the Skyway Library going north on Renton Avenue and will end at Eritrean Orthodox Tewhado Church. Immediately following the parade will be the block party, featuring music, performances, food trucks, raffle prizes and info booths from local organizations and government and other essential services. It is free and open to all to enjoy! Prospective volunteers can email: Spread the word! See you there! 

Free Credit Counseling Workshop 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 (workshops held every 4th Wednesday of the month) 
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, 105 14th Avenue, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98122

This is a workshop to inform and educate you on your credit report. You can receive a copy of your credit report, learn how to read your credit report, what items impact your credit score rating, how to improve your credit score and learn about the fair debt collection practice act. This workshop requires registration, call 1-800-368-1455 or call 206.461.3792 for additional information.

King County Takes on Racial Disproportionality in our Juvenile Justice System

In 2001, King County implemented the Juvenile Justice Operational Master Plan, or JJOMP. Its intent was to decrease the number of juveniles being detained in King County’s Youth Detention Center. While we were successful in drastically reducing the Average Daily Population (ADP) from approximately 200 in 2000, to our current ADP of approximately 60 youth, racial disproportionality increased in catastrophic ways.

For example, fifteen years ago, about 36 percent of youth in our detention facility were African American. Today, African American youth account for over 60 percent of the ADP. These numbers are beyond unacceptable, and call for a new paradigm shift in our system. As a result, in the fall of 2015 we convened the Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee (JJESC), a group of activists, organizers, and community members unlike any King County government has organized in the past. Many of the members of the JJESC represents our incarcerated juvenile population in terms of race, ethnicity, life experience, and cultural expertise.

While dismantling racial disparity is our top priority, it is just one part of a paradigm shift we are undertaking in our Juvenile Justice system. We need to stop criminalizing our youth, since studies show the longer and deeper a young person sinks into our system, the worse the outcome. This is not only counter to what our systems are SUPPOSED to do, it is counter to our stated principles of Equity and Social Justice. For more background information on this effort please visit:

Community input on our workgroups will be critical to our success! Please check for the time and place of the JJESC monthly meetings.

Contact Councilmember Gossett

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