Equity and Social Justice
Fair and just.
This principle, stated in our county's strategic plan, is incorporated into all of our work at King County. We recognize that our economy and quality of life depends on the ability of everyone to contribute. We will work to remove barriers that limit the ability of some to fulfill their potential. It is troubling that race, income, neighborhood are each major predictors of whether we graduate from high school, become incarcerated, how healthy we are, and even how long we will live. We are committed to implementing our equity and social justice agenda, to work toward fairness and opportunity for all.
New and noteworthy
Reflecting on Race and Racism through Spoken Word, Story, and Conversation
King County’s Cultivating a Culture of Equity and Social Justice through Literature and Poetry project has launched a series of four literary events which feature local poets presenting their work to King County employees to generate discussion and understanding of issues of race and social justice. The events are scheduled in January, April, June, and September 2016.
King County joins the Welcoming Community national network
Consistent with our vision for Equity and Social Justice, King County is working to build an inclusive community that values the needs, priorities and contributions of immigrant and refugee residents. In August 2015, King County joined over 60 local governments around the nation to become a Welcoming Community. Learn more about what we are doing.
King County Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
For the 29th year, King County employees and the public gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to recognize our individual and collective responsibility to continue his important work. The theme for the 2016 celebration, held Jan. 14 at Paramount Theatre in Seattle, reflects Dr. King's belief that the greatest tool in building his "Beloved Kingdom" was the power of love. View the celebration and learn more.
Executive takes action to confront homelessness, expand access to affordable housing
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a series of actions to confront homelessness and create additional affordable housing, building on the work he's already done since declaring a state of emergency in November. Learn more about the proposed actions.
Ian Haney López discusses Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
Author and scholar, Ian Haney López, spoke to a national audience of government employees at the 2015 Governing for Racial Equity Conference hosted by King County, on how over the last fifty years politicians have exploited racial pandering using dog whistle politics, to convince many voters to support policies that ultimately favor the very wealthiest while hurting everyone else. Watch the video.
Executive Constantine addresses income inequality and racial disparity in 2015 State of the County
In his 2015 State of the County address, Executive Constantine highlights that “The state of the County is strong… On average, King County families are doing well. But that is only on average, for the disturbing truth is, almost all of our job growth is coming at the very top and the very bottom of the income spectrum… Here, and throughout the nation, below-poverty households are disproportionately concentrated in communities of color. The darker your skin, the more likely you are to join the growing ranks of the working poor.” Watch the address and read the speech.
New 2015 Equity and Social Justice Annual Report
Read the report and learn how King County is building equity through Best Starts for Kids, increased access to health care and transportation, becoming a more equitable and diverse employer, and more.
King County Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan
In September 2014, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an Executive Order calling for the development of the first Strategic Plan for King County Equity and Social Justice, involving county agencies, employees and the community.
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King County serves all residents by promoting fairness and opportunity and eliminating inequities.. Learn more...
The Office of Equity and Social Justice works jointly with the Inter Branch Team - representing all branches, departments, agencies and offices of county government - to facilitate accountability and collaboration in order to advance the "fair and just" principle within the county. Learn more...