Removing barriers and increasing access
King County is examining its decisions, policies, and practices to create more opportunities for all of our residents. We can’t do this alone, however, so we are issuing a “call to action” for others to join us. These are just a few examples of our work.
Learn more about building equity and opportunities in our region.
See the full infographic.
Access to health and human services
Health insurance: Coverage is Here King County
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Every agency in King County government is helping people who are uninsured get enrolled in free or low-cost health insurance. Businesses, non-profits, schools, and other partners have joined our Leadership Circle to help. Since Oct. 1, we have helped more than 150,000 people enroll in affordable health care.
- WHAT'S NEXT: If you are Medicaid-eligible, you can enroll anytime. The next open enrollment period begins in November 2014.
Health and human services transformation
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Developed a plan with health and human service partners to transform a fragmented system into one that focuses on outcomes and prevention, and provides services to the people and communities at highest risk, when and where they need them.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Implementation of the plan with local, state, and national partners who share our vision and bring resources to support the transformation.
Early childhood development and quality education
Readiness to learn
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Through Nurse Family Partnership, Public Health - Seattle & King County supports young first-time mothers to get their babies off to a good start.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Partnering with University of Washington and others to develop a regional vision of early childhood development and learning so kids start kindergarten ready to learn.
Community and public safety
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Partnered with law enforcement and retailers on “Safe Storage Saves Lives,” a campaign to reduce risk of death or injury to the more than 5,000 King County children who live in homes with an unlocked and loaded firearm.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Partner with key organizations and agencies in King County to develop data-driven strategies to reduce gun deaths among young adults.
Access to affordable, healthy, and local food
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Childhood obesity rate declined by 17% following work with school districts to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Improving access to local produce and eliminating food deserts through a new local food initiative.
Access to safe and efficient transportation
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Metro prioritizes transit service for low-income communities and communities of color when considering service changes.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Implementing a fare reduction for low-income people and working to save bus service from cuts.
Affordable and safe quality housing
Youth and young adult homelessness
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Partnered with the Raikes Foundation and others on nationally-recognized actions that are reducing youth homelessness through prevention and stable housing placement. In 2013, 70 youths were housed.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Partner with PRIDE Foundation and others to reduce homelessness among LGBTQ youth and foster youth.
Access to parks and natural resources
Parks and trails
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: In White Center, we built a new technology center for youth, community garden, picnic shelter, and play area.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Implement voter-approved parks levy, which includes funding for the Lake to Sound Trail in South King County.
Healthy built and natural environments
Lower Duwamish Superfund clean-up
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: In partnership with the City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, and Boeing, King County completed early actions that will cut historic pollution by 50%, addressing a key health concern for vulnerable local populations who fish and recreate in the river.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Work with Lower Duwamish communities to better address access to healthy foods, transit and trails, affordable housing, clean water, and clean air.
Equity in King County practices
Small business certification
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Expanded opportunities for small businesses to contract with King County, Port of Seattle, and Sound Transit. From 2010-2013, 600 additional small businesses received certification.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Expand opportunities for small businesses even further by bringing Seattle Community Colleges on as a partner.
King County hiring and promotion
- WHAT WE'VE DONE: Designed and implemented an anti-bias training for King County interview panels.
- WHAT’S NEXT: Hire a Diversity Coordinator, who will work to advance a King County workforce that mirrors the diversity of our region.