King County Councilmember Larry Gossett
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: https://www.aclu-wa.org/news/termination-program-dreamers-act-cruelty.
Council Approves a Flat Fare for Metro Riders
The King County Council unanimously approved steps simplifying Metro Transit's complex fare structure to a flat $2.75 adult fare. The new fare plan eliminates a payment system that fluctuated between time and distance and could cost an adult rider between the ages 19-64 anywhere from $2.50 to $3.25 a ride. The new fare eliminates the Peak and Zone Fares for Single Adult Rate and does not affect the roughly 1 in 3 Metro riders who pay ORCA Lift—Metro’s low income fare program— or youth, senior, and disabled fares. The new fare structure will go into effect in July of 2018.
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
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
Click here for information on the 10 year anniversary of the county logo
What’s Happening in District 2
Fall is here and the leaves will be falling. 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
Northwest Tap Connection Fall Show “Da Freedum"
Saturday, December 2, 2017
2pm & 6pm show
Paul Roberson Performing Arts Center @ Rainier Beach High School
8815 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Join Northwest Tap Connection for the Fall Show "Da Freedum." Northwest Tap Connection is a race and social justice oriented dance studio located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. The mission of Northwest Tap Connection is to train, inspire, and nurture young dancers towards artistic excellence, and to train the whole dancer. This is the fall show where youth ages 4-21 will showcase their talent in various types of dance. Click here for more information.
Youth/Young Adults in Tech Event
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave S. Seattle, WA 98118
Want to start your career in Tech? Come learn about free and affordable tech training programs for youth/ young adults ages 16-29. 12 different FREE and affordable local Tech training programs will be at this event including young, diverse, local Tech professionals from: AMAZON, CONCUR, OUTREACH, SYMETRA, & TABLEAU. The event is FREE and food is provided! Space is still available. Register today @ www.mytechcareer.eventbrite.com
Solid Ground and Seattle Food Committee for Food Justice Film Fest
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Enjoy a special screening of short films on food justice from around the world, and a lively discussion about the movement for sustainable farming and truly healthy foods. The evening will include movie snacks before the show, a thought-provoking Q&A with local food justice experts, activists and leaders, and a reception following the films. TICKETS Get your tickets today! Tickets are available on a sliding sale to ensure that people from all income levels can attend and participate in the conversation. Contact Maggie Karl at email@example.com or 206.694.6857 for questions.
Get Enrolled: Health Care Insurance and ORCA LIFT
Monday, December 11, 2017
Skyway Library, 12601 76th Avenue S., Seattle WA 98178
Healthcare open enrollment started November 1! If you want insurance to start January 1, you need to enroll before January 15 in Washington State. Get your insurance questions answered by a Navigator and get enrolled, and save on your transit fare with ORCA LIFT! Free event. Registration not required. First come, first served.
Montlake Community Club Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Boyer Children's Clinic, 1850 Boyer Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
Board meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of the month – 7 p.m. September – May. All residents, property owners and business operators, 18 years of age or older, with street addresses in the Montlake neighborhood are members of the Montlake Community Club.
Someday We’ll All Be Free: A Conversation about Abolition
Friday, December 15, 2017
Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 1000 4th Ave Seattle, WA 98104
What is the role that libraries can play in imagining a future without prisons? Join an interactive community dialog featuring local community organizers and national advocates on criminal justice reform. Presenters include: Luis Rodriguez (poet laureate, author, mentor); Michele Storms (ACLU of Washington); Jerrell Davis (Rainier Beach Action Coalition; Wa-BLOC); Wesley Roach (Breakdances With Wolves – Indigenous Pirate Radio,). We’ll have a video call-in with Patrisse Cullors (co-founder Black Lives Matter). The evening will include a panel, a live tweet up and Q&A. http://www.spl.org/calendar-of-events?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D125599180
Free Bilingual Legal Clinics
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Avenue S. Seattle, Washington 98144
On the second Wednesday of every month from January to November, El Centro de la Raza will host a free bilingual legal clinics with volunteer attorneys from the Law Office of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. Sign up for consultations is on a first-come, first-served basis and will open at 4 PM. Read more here in English or here in Spanish. A few upcoming dates are February, 14 and March 14, 2018.
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.