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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 Spring 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

Free Credit Counseling Workshop 
Wednesday May 24, 2017 & June 28, 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.

Family Nature Class: Owls 
Friday, June 2, 2017
Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Drive E., Seattle, 98112

The UW Botanic Gardens welcomes families with children, ages 2-5 years old, to join the fun of experiencing the great outdoors. Make connections with the natural world that will last a lifetime! Through science-based exploration and outdoor play, preschoolers and their caregivers will experience the UW Botanic Gardens using their senses. There is a cost for the class, for additional information, please visit 

West Hill/Skyway Community Service Areas Townhall Meeting
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Secondary Learning Center, 7800 South 132nd St., Seattle, WA

Join me at the Westhill/Skyway Community Service Areas (CSA) annual townhall. Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett and Sheriff John Urquhart will join me to answer questions and listen to your concerns. The CSA townhall offers expanded ways for King County to engage with the 255,000 residents who live outside city boundaries. Residents are widely spread across the unincorporated area, except in the mountainous eastern third of King County. King County serves as the local government for residents of unincorporated areas, this is an opportunity for Skyway/Westhill residents to engage with their elected officials. I hope to see you there! For background: about Community Service Areas

Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, June 16, 2017
Rainier Beach Community Center - Outside Promenade, located at 8825 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

Come celebrate Juneteenth! Each year Atlantic Street Center hosts annual  Juneteenth Celebration and will  partner with Therapeutic Health Services and Seattle Parks and Recreation for this year’s event.  This historical significance of Juneteenth derives from the true ending to slavery in the United States. This took place on June 19th, 1865 when Union soldiers under the leadership of Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. Upon their arrival, they notified those still under the yolk of slavery that they were now free – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. This year’s celebration will focus on the education and self-empowerment within the communities that we serve and will be holding a resource fair that will highlight organizations that serve the King County metropolitan area.  The celebration includes food, games, music, fellowship, and resource fair. This is a free event and I hope to see you there.

Third Annual Father's Day event hosted by BUILD Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 17, 2017 
Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St., Seattle, 98112

Please join BUILD (Brothers United In Leadership Development) for the third annual Father’s Day event celebrating everything regarding fatherhood. They will be honor men and fathers for their hard work and dedication uplifting the community. Space is limited, RSVP. For more information please email or

Grand Opening Celebration of the Jimi Hendrix Park 
Saturday, June 17, 2017
2400 Massachusetts Ave Seattle, WA 98144 (next to the NW African American Museum)

The improvements to Jimi Hendrix Park are done and it's time to celebrate. Join me at the unveiling of the new space that is welcoming and provides an experience that clearly defines its namesake. The celebration will feature performances by local artists, food trucks, a photo booth and much more. Come enjoy the new park. Free event open to all. For more information: or email Maisha Barnett at

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.

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