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Applications Open for Youth & Amateur Sports Grants

 swimmersYouth and Amateur Sports Grants Program is now receiving applications for funding. Funding Opportunities in Unincorporated Area Facilities are aimed at increasing access to physical activity in unincorporated areas of King County. The total anticipated available funding for both unincorporated grants programs is $1,5000,000 and the minimum request for programs is $25,000 and maximum of $250,000 per grant. You can apply online. Review the infographic on the website link below for guidance on which funding opportunity to apply to. There will be three information sessions, one of which is in District 2 to assist you with questions and the application process. The information session is:

Thursday, October 12, 2017  at 10 a.m.
2100 Building, Seattle ~ 2100 24th Avenue South, Seattle, WA

Applications are due by 11:59pm on November 9th, 2017. Click here to apply

Dreamers Legislation Passes Unanimously

This week, the King County Council passed legislation calling on Congress to swiftly and comprehensively protect the legal status of thousands of Dreamers. The motion, passed 9-0, also directs King County’s federal government relations team to prioritize efforts in Congress to continue DACA protections. It also requests this team commence efforts to build a broad coalition of county officials nationwide. This heartless action from the White House punishes people who were raised, educated and contribute everyday to the only home they know--the United States. Congress must act to protect DREAMERS! A copy of the legislation is now being shared with Washington’s congressional delegation. For more information on the termination of the Dreamers Program and various resources, visit:

Metro Proposes a Flat Fare

For several months Metro has explored options to simplify Metro’s adult fare structure and make it more consistent with other agencies. They’ve engaged the public with online surveys and through direct outreach to people unlikely to participate in online surveys. A strong majority expressed a preference for a $2.75 flat fare, with no zone or peak surcharges. No changes are being considered for youth, senior, disabled, ORCA LIFT, or Access fares at this time. The fare legislation will be heard soon in the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. You can find details on the fare legislation Ordinance 2017-0350 at: If you would like to provide input, 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 almost fall and that means the leaves will be falling and exciting events happening. Here are a number of events happening throughout the district you may enjoy.

Michael Eric Dyson: 2017 Bullitt Lecture in American History

Friday, October 13, 2017
7pm - 8:30pm
Mount Zion Baptist Church
1634 19th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will present the 2017 A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History: "Martin Luther King Jr & (African) American Leadership in the 21st Century." Dr. Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, a contributing editor of "The New Republic," and of ESPN's "The Undefeated" website. He is also a contributing editor of Time magazine and hosts a program on NPR. Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Presented in partnership with Seattle Public Library.

Free Credit Counseling Workshop 

October 24, 2017
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.

The Griot Party Experience 3.0

Friday, October 12, 2017
7pm - 9pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

The Griot Party Experience continues its legacy by providing you with stories that heal. The Griot Party Experience is the celebration of stories that heal. Griot is a west African word that means storyteller or poet. Oral history is a custodian of the cultural history of Black and Brown people. The Griot Party Experience encourages the participants to heal via the celebration of story telling. Your story makes you human and anyone who strives to deny you of your story is attempting to deny you of your humanity. The Griot Party Experience is a deliberate attempt to help people claim and reclaim their humanity via sharing their story. Feel. Heal. Build. Grow. Ase. Agape. Namaste. Amen. Please join us in the celebration of stories that heal. Feel. Heal. Build. Grow. Please purchase tickets via this link:

Sherman Alexie Loves: Nikki Giovanni

Friday, October 27, 2017
7:30pm - 9:30pm
Benaroya Hall \ Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall Seating
200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

Poet, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni has captured America’s heart with her fiery, funny, and insightful verse for over 30 years. Giovanni is the author of over 30 children’s books and poetry collections. To purchase tickets to this event to go: 

Black College Fair

Sunday, October 29, 2017
Garfield High School
400 23rd Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

All students are welcome to this college fair hosted by UNCF featuring information on Historically Black colleges and Universities, Pacific NW Colleges, raffle giveaways, Alumni and a STEAM panel.  To register for this free event: http// For more information call (206) 292-8859.

Hope and Activism in a Complex Political Landscape

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Rainier Arts Center
3515 S Alaska St
Seattle, WA 98118

How can we find hope and community within this political climate driven by fear and division? Join Marcus Harrison Green, Town Hall’s former Scholar in Residence and the award-winning founder of the South Seattle Emerald, and Seattle Weekly editor Mark Baumgarten to celebrate the launch of their inspiring anthology Fly to the Assemblies! Voices of Dissent from the Pacific Northwest. Local thought leaders will read from their essays and share ideas about what we can do to take care of each other and keep democracy alive. Essayists include: Marcus Harrison Green, Mark Baumgarten, Sharon H. Chang, David Kroman, Kristin Leong, Reagan Jackson, and more. Purchase tickets :

Neighborcare Health Forum on Women’s Health

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
3pm-3:30pm reception; 3:30pm04:30pm Panel Discussion & Audience Q&QA
Pacific Tower | Panoramic Room
1200 12th Ave S, Suite 801, Seattle WA 98144

Come and hear what Neighborcare is doing to:
• Decrease unplanned pregnancies and ensure all teenage girls graduate high school
• Increase healthy birth outcomes
• Improve the overall health of women and their families

Casual attire. Leave your checkbooks at home.  RSVP by Thursday, November 2 to Ashley Martin or 206.548.3049


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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