Since his election as King County Executive in November 2009, Dow Constantine has been working to instill a culture of performance that changes the way King County does business and forging partnerships with residents, cities, employees, and other county leaders to craft real, sustainable reforms.
In his first year in office, he forged a partnership to obtain a $44 million federal allocation for Howard Hanson Dam repairs and dramatically reduce the threat of Green River Valley flooding, assembled a coalition of governments to fund the construction of a new South Park Bridge, and joined with the state to finance the County's purchase of a Maury Island gravel mine slated for major expansion, preserving a mile of natural Puget Sound shoreline.
Before his election as Executive, Dow served as a King County Council member for eight years, and has held elected office in Washington state for 15 years.
A Seattle native, Dow graduated from West Seattle High School and the University of Washington. He earned University of Washington post-graduate degrees in law (1989) and urban planning (1992). Today, Dow lives in the West Seattle neighborhood where he grew up.
Dow became interested in politics at an early age and in college served as a legislative intern to 34th District State Sen. Phil Talmadge. After graduation he practiced law and worked on a number of community projects. While helping with efforts to preserve open space, he first worked with County Council member Greg Nickels, who later hired Dow as a legislative aide.
A two-term state representative (elected 1996 and 1998) before being elected to the 34th District's senate seat in 2000, Dow was co-chair of the House Judiciary Committee and vice-chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
Dow was appointed to the King County Council in January 2002, and won election to the office four times--in November of 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007. Dow served as County Council Chair in 2009 and led the panel that wrote the 2007 King County budget. As a four-year member of the Council's budget leadership team, he worked to slow the growth of King County's jail expenditures through such innovations as drug court, mental health court and driver re-licensing programs. He has been a consistent supporter of transportation alternatives as a Sound Transit board member and former chair of the Council's Transportation and Regional Transit Committees.
A current board member of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Dow was also a founding board member of the West Seattle High School Foundation, which has raised thousands of dollars for student programs and activities.
Throughout his public service career, Dow has been an outspoken advocate for environmental protection, public transit, and government reform. As King County Executive, he is working to make King County government more efficient and performance-based - and to give citizens maximum value for each tax dollar.