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Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Aims to Provide Equal Opportunities for All Children, Youth & Families

Brother's KeeperBest Starts for Kids (BSK), a six-year levy King County voters passed on November 3, 2015, is expected to raise approximately $65 million per year, and to invest those funds in prevention and early intervention to assure opportunities for children/young adults from 0-24 years old. It will be the most comprehensive approach to early childhood development in the nation, starting with prenatal support, sustaining the gain through teenage years, and investing in healthy, safe communities that reinforce progress.

Half of the revenue raised through BSK will be directed toward children under five years of age, pregnant women, and new parents. Research indicates the earlier we invest in the lives of infants, children and their families, the better the outcomes. There will also be funds targeting programs for children and youth ages five through twenty-four. Since human brain development continues throughout this time, it is critical to implement measures around mental health and substance abuse during this span.

I want you to be engaged and be a part of the process with Best Starts. The Implementation Plan is available for your review here.  The Plan details the BSK vision Implementation drivers, fiscal management, evaluation, Youth and Family Homelessness Initiative, and next steps. I want to know your thoughts on how this process is going. The Health, Housing and Human Services Committee will review the plan and have meetings to discuss the plan in-depth.

There will also be funding for Communities of Opportunity (COO), a placed-based initiative to improve economic opportunities, safe neighborhoods, affordable housing, and healthy food, among other environmental factors. COO is a rather unique partnership between King County and The Seattle Foundation. Research indicates strongly that, yes, place matters, just as race matters in the equitable outcomes of residents.

Your Vote Counts! New Drop Box Locations for the General Election

There are new drop boxes for you to deposit your ballot in the November 8th general election in District Two. The drop locations addresses are below:

New Holly Campus of Learners
Learners Building

7058 32nd Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98118

Rainier Community Center
4600 38th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

Skyway Library
12601 76th Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98178

University of Washington Campus
Schmitz Hall

(by north entrance on NE 41st Street)
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98105

Help Shape the Future of Access Transportation

We need your input! Metro wants your feedback to help shape the future of Access Transportation, Metro’s ADA paratransit service. Your feedback will inform Access staff as they plan for new Access contracts that will take effect in 2018.

In this first phase of outreach, we want to hear about how we’re doing with Access service, what’s most important to you, and your ideas for improvements. Please share your critiques and commendations.

Metro has an online survey and an invitation for those interested to apply to serve on a community advisory group that will provide guidance to this effort between now and the end of the year. We invite you to help engage seniors, people with disabilities, and those who care about them in sharing their feedback and applying to serve on the community advisory group.

Here is how you can ensure your voice is heard:

If you have comments or questions about this project, please forward correspondence to DeAnna Martin, DOT Community Relations Planner, at or 206-477-3835.

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.

What’s Happening in District 2

Here are a number of events happening throughout the district you may enjoy.

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

The award winning University District Farmers Market is a part of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance founded in 1993. The University District Farmers Market is open year round and committed to supporting and strengthening Washington's small family farm businesses by creating and operating vibrant, successful neighborhood farmers markets. Come out this summer for the “Ready, Set, Go…Cook!” annual chef contest on Saturday, August 13. The contest is simple, but challenging. All ingredients must come from the farmers market for under $20, and there are three secret ingredients from the U-District Food Bank thrown in to challenge the chefs. For more information, visit or contact the NFMA at (206) 632-5234.

Columbia City Farmers Market
Wednesdays, May to October 2016
3 pm - 7 pm
37th Ave S & S Edmunds St, just off Rainier Ave S., in South Seattle, 98118

Columbia City Farmers’ market is a part of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance founded in 1993. The market offers fresh produce, local venders, and entertainment. Visit for additional information.

Seattle Black Panther Party Revolutionary Film Festival and Forum 2016
Friday, September 16 - Sunday, September 18, 2016
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122

This 3 day event will pay tribute to both past and present revolutionaries as we revisit powerful documentaries and films. Be a part of the discussion with our many guest speakers and local activists. Live music food and plenty of hard hitting truth to go around!
9/16 Day 1 Film Festival will be held at the Rainier Valley Culture and Art Center followed by live music
9/17 & 9/18 Main Program with Guest Speakers include:
Emory Douglas former Minister of culture
Terika Lewis first woman to join the BPP
Felipe Luciano former Deputy Chairman of Young Lords
Aaron Dixon former Seattle BPP Captain

Contact: or view

1st Annual Africatown International Creative Arts & Culture Expo
Saturday, September 17, 2016
3 pm - 6 pm
Coyote Central, 2300 E. Cherry St. Seattle, WA 98122

This is the launch of Africatown International’s Global Classroom Initiative featuring beautiful African and African American art, culture, food and music. For the first time EVER, you have a chance to support a project that will build a bridge between youth that come to Africatown Center in Seattle and youth in Gambia, West Africa. This event includes a live and silent auction of beautiful African art pieces, African music, delicious appetizers and raffle prizes! There is a cost for the event. For more information:

South End Social
Thursday, September 22, 2016
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Amara - 5907 Martin Luther King Junior Way South, Seattle, WA 98118 - View Map

Amara, together with the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce, would like to invite you to our upcoming South End Social event. We are excited to meet our new Rainier Valley neighbors, and introduce our organization and our mission to you! Please stop by for a quick bite of food and some lovely conversation.

For more information on the social and the new building, click here

Contact Councilmember Gossett

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