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Councilmembers: (seated, from left) Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott (District 8), Council Chair Claudia Balducci (District 6), Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn (District 9), and Kathy Lambert (District 3); (standing, from left) Jeanne Kohl-Welles (District 4), Rod Dembowski (District 1), Girmay Zahilay (District 1), Dave Upthegrove (District 5), and Pete von Reichbauer (District 7).

As your Metropolitan King County Council, we oversee the second largest government and the most populous county in Washington State. With over 2.2 million residents, King County is the 12th largest county in the United States in terms of population. There are more people living in King County than in 16 states! At 2,130 square miles, the county covers more territory than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware.  

Our dedicated employees provide quality regional services every day to county residents. We are also the local government for approximately 248,000 people who live in unincorporated urban and rural areas, and we provide services by contract to many of the county’s 39 cities.

As the legislative branch of county government, the Council sets policies, enacts laws, and adopts budgets that guide an array of services, including:

The criminal justice system of prosecutors and public defenders, District and Superior Courts, juvenile detention, and adult jails;
The King County Sheriff’s Office, which directly serves residents of unincorporated areas and contracts with many cities to provide police protection;
Public health and human services;
Metro Transit bus service, Water Taxi, King County International Airport (Boeing Field), and county roads;
Wastewater treatment and solid waste management;
Regional parks, open space, and trails; and
Elections, records, and licensing.

Each of the nine members of the King County Council represents a geographical district of about 241,000 residents. Councilmembers are elected on a non-partisan basis and serve four-year terms.

The Council has several standing committees that oversee specific functions of county government and a Committee of the Whole that includes all Council-members. They also work closely with elected officials from local jurisdictions on three regional committees that address common interests in matters of policy, transit, and water quality. 

The Council’s review of ordinances, motions, and budgets help ensure that county government operates in an efficient, transparent, and cost-effective manner, with equal access for all county residents.


View our Frequently Asked Questions

Council districts

Councilmembers are elected to one of nine geographic council districts and must live in the district they serve. Council members serve four year terms and the positions are non-partisan. Each Councilmember represents about 241,000 constituents. Find your council district.

Service on outside committees

The duties of a King County Councilmember extend far beyond their visible attendance at Council meetings in the Courthouse. State law requires them to serve on many regional governing boards in such critical areas as transportation, public health, criminal justice, and other quality of life issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Learn more...

Learn more

Read the Council brochure 


How Laws are Passed in King County (114KB)
Visual depiction of the legislative process.
Graphic: How laws are passed

Contact the Council
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