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November 13, 2019
Renters’ Commission to be Established to Better Protect King County Tenants
“As inequality grows in this region, it is the Council’s responsibility to ensure that renters’ rights are protected, and their voices are elevated. The King County Renters’ Commission gives renters the vehicle to strengthen their role in unifying their voices to create and advocate for policies that will benefit renters, especially those in the unincorporated areas of King County.”

October 15, 2019
First Piece of Major Renter Protection Package Clears Committee
“This package of legislation is a major step in the right direction to protect the most disenfranchised residents in King County. If this legislation is approved, King County can be a model throughout the country on protecting renters, enhancing affordable housing, and mitigating the impacts of gentrification on longtime residents and those in need of affordable housing.”

October 14, 2019
ADVISORY: Major Renter Protection Package Faces Possible Vote
A significant four-piece renter protection and affordable housing package championed by Councilmember Gossett is up for possible action at the King County Council’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

June 19, 2019
Council celebrates freedom with recognition of “Juneteenth”
“Juneteenth is now the closest occasion for there being a true ‘freedom day’ to celebrate in this country for people of African descent.” 

May 15, 2019
Organizations to receive surplus County vanpool vans
“These are vehicles that still have a lot of ‘life’ in them, going to organizations who understand the value of assisting people young and old get to medical appointments or activities.” 

May 15, 2019
County employees sent into “working retirement”
“These are vehicles that still have a lot of ‘life’ in them, going to organizations who understand the value of assisting people young and old get to medical appointments or activities. This is a program that understand the difference these vans can make in the lives of the people who use them, and I look forward to seeing how they are put to good use.”  

April 29, 2019
Councilmember Gossett’s statement on adoption of I-1000
“Almost 400,000 signatures were presented in support of I-1000. Those signatures represented a call, a call of the of people demanding the State Legislature act on removing many of the onerous barriers that I-200 created for people of color, underserved populations, women, and veterans wanting to expand opportunities available to them.” 

April 24, 2019
County Council recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month
“This recognition is a reminder to the survivors of sexual assault, especially those who are in underserved populations or communities of color, there are resources available and people who are able to help. Don’t go through this alone, reach out, and people will be there.” 

March 27, 2019
Responding to the rise of Islamophobia
“We in the African American community and other communities of color know too well how hate can result in violence. We must continue to come together to take a stand against Islamophobia especially in our county whose namesake is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We must follow Dr. King’s words, ‘Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’” 

March 26, 2019
Hearing on youth solitary confinement raises question
“The Executive and Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention staff could have been much more forthright in identifying a series of problems that they should have known have arisen in the implementation of the solitary confinement ordinance at both our youth and adult detention facilities.”  

March 13, 2019
Immigrant and Refugee-Focused Commission Appointed
“King County has always been a welcoming refuge for communities fleeing civil conflict and economic hardship and looking for a place to build a future for their families. This commission, and the members who will serve their communities, will be a vital resource and a strong voice for the new residents who now call Martin Luther King, Jr. County home.” 

March 8, 2019
Gossett: Manafort Judge ignored the content of his “criminal character”
“It’s long past time for White judges to start considering the content of Black defendant’s character instead of judging them solely by the color of their skin.”  

February 27, 2019
Eddie Rye, Jr.’s lifetime of community activism recognized with MLK Medal of Distinguished Service
“For over half a century, Eddie Rye has devoted his life to not only the equality of King County’s African-American Community, but all underserved and unrecognized communities of color.”

February 22, 2019
Funding for senior housing along light rail
Gossett, Dembowski present funds for housing complex near future light rail stop 

January 16, 2019
Kohl-Welles, Gossett to host viewing of homelessness documentary
“Trickle Down Town not only creates an enhanced visual component to the all too familiar homeless crisis in our region, but also shows what we all can do as a community to ameliorate the problem.”  

November 13, 2018
Gang Unit and Massive Investments in Housing, Homeless Services, and Transportation Headline Budget
“In this budget, we have indicated that we want to take a more critical look at how to achieve zero youth detention. I believe that we can make significant improvements in addressing mass incarceration by the Council, Executive Constantine’s staff and Department of Public Health working together to develop strategies to achieve our goal.”

November 5, 2018
Anita Khandelwal confirmed as Director of Public Defense
“Anita Khandelwal has made it clear the clients who come through the Public Defender Office will be her primary focus, even when it put her at odds with public opinion. The public defender is a lifeline for the underserved and impoverished facing the criminal justice system. I know Anita will be a strong advocate for these communities.” 

October 22, 2018
Diane Narasaki’s commitment to “a better world” recognized by King County Council
“While we know that she is not retiring from social justice work, our communities and the King County Council would like to thank her for all she has contributed towards the building of the beloved community in Martin Luther King County.”  

October 15, 2018
County Council Declares October Filipino American History Month
“Filipinos have been contributing to the economic, political, cultural and social fabric of our region for many decades and so it is important to recognize their history and contributions.” 

October 11, 2018
Gossett statement on death penalty ruling
“I am very pleased with the ruling outlawing the death penalty due to what often appears to be inherent racial bias!” 

October 1, 2018
Celebrating talent in all forms
“In the only county named after The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must protect the most vulnerable and ensure that race, class, gender and ability are not barriers to equal protection and equal opportunity for everyone to reach their full potential.” 

September 25, 2018
Cleaning records, creating opportunities
“This legislation is both a social justice and economic tool that removes a barrier preventing far too many people from improving their lives.”  

September 17, 2018
Joint Statement on Passage of Safeco Funding
“The ordinance we voted on today has been called a compromise. Make no mistake, this is not a compromise.”

July 23, 2018
“Retiring” county employees prepare for new adventures
“These vans will help get seniors to appointments, take young people to events, and provides a transportation option to those with special needs. I wish these new county ‘retirees’ an active future of service to communities throughout King County!”  

June 25, 2018
New Harassment, Discrimination Policies Requested by Council
“In this period of open racism, sexism and homophobia, the social movements in our country have pushed local governments to strengthen policies that protect the human rights of all and ensure our employees feel safe and respected in their workplace.”

June 18, 2018
Council celebrates freedom with recognition of “Juneteenth”
“Juneteenth is now the closest occasion for there being a true “freedom day” to celebrate in this country for people of African descent. Now, more than ever, people of Martin Luther King, Jr. County should understand the significance of Juneteenth.” 

June 18, 2018
Council: End immediately Trump policy separating mothers and children
“Our immigration policies must reflect the historical principles of family reunification and uphold the rights of the child and the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” 

April 30, 2018
Domestic violence advocate Bettie Williams-Watson recognized for her work with MLK Medal of Distinguished Service
“Ms. Bettie Williams-Watson has raised awareness of these traumatic acts particularly within the African American community. Yet, due to her understanding of the historic trauma and fragmentation African American families have experienced throughout our 400 years, she understands the need to provide culturally effective awareness and interruption upstream, therefore providing programming for perpetrators as well.”  

March 5, 2018
Low Income Priority Hire Program Moving Forward
“The creation of a permanent King County priority hire program is a good step in ensuring that our economically distressed residents can begin to benefit from the booming construction industry that has taken root here.” 

February 26, 2018
Council adopts guidelines for immigrant and refugee assistance that make King County a “National Model”
“With this ordinance, we continue the work we began in 2009 of ensuring that Martin Luther King, Jr. County builds the beloved community and makes our region a safe and welcoming community for all.” 

January 29, 2018
Council approves creation of Immigrant and Refugee Commission
“The new residents of King County are working hard to become part of the greater community and this commission will be their voice. For people newly arrived not only in the county, but possibly in the country, there are numerous challenges. The commission provides them a ‘seat at the table’ which can be invaluable in being comfortable in their new homes.”

January 29, 2018
Council approves legal assistance for families during inquest process
“This legislation ensures that these families now have a guide in this process, which is a step in protecting them and making sure their voices are heard during the inquest.”  

January 8, 2018
Celebrating Anniversary of King County Logo by Exploring ways to Increase its Visibility
“In 2007, there was a commitment to phase in the logo and to proudly display it throughout the county. After a decade, it’s time to make sure that has being done and what steps can be taken in the future to continue expanding its use.”  

December 11, 2017
Council bans solitary confinement for youth in detention
“This legislation is two positive steps forward. It ends the county’s policy of a practice that is detrimental to young people, and increases the effort we must make to provide youth in county custody with the services they need to improve their lives.”

December 11, 2017
Council transforms how juveniles are detained in King County
“Over the last decade, we have worked to create a ‘paradigm shift’ in the treatment of young people and people of color in the criminal justice system. Accepting these recommendations are the vital next step in that shift. We must give youth the tools they need to succeed if we’re serious about our goal of zero youth detention.” 

November 6, 2017
Council Votes to Fund Measures to Prevent Gun Violence
The people of King County stand with the people of south Texas and send our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones in yet another preventable attack.

October 16, 2017
National Recognition Highlights Filipino American History Month
“The Filipino community has been active throughout King County for over one hundred years, so we recognize their impact on the region. This year we celebrate those WWII soldiers who are finally being honored for their service to a country that didn’t recognize their sacrifice for over a half century.”  

October 2, 2017
Councilmembers Call for Congressional Response to Tragedy
“Failure to act at the Federal level continues to put King County, and every community in America, at risk – and this remains simply unacceptable.” 

October 2, 2017
Celebrating talent in all forms: County Council declares October Disability Awareness Month
“When everyone is accepted and allowed to be an active member of the community, we all benefit. This proclamation is a reminder that everyone has talents that should be recognized and celebrated.”

July 24, 2017
New careers for “retiring” County employees
“Providing a ride for a senior looking to get to a medical appointment or taking a group of children on a field trip, these vans continue to be a valuable transportation asset even after they leave county service.”

June 12, 2017
County Council appoints Javier Valdez to State House
“Javier Valdez has the pulse of the people in the 46th district because of the long time work he has done there. I believe that he will represent the interests of both his district as well as the people of Washington state to ensure equity and social justice is the overarching guide to the legislation passed at the state level.” 

May 22, 2017
Melba Ayco recognized for bringing “Rhythm to the Region”
“For over three decades, Ms. Melba has been a servant of the people. 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.”

April 24, 2017
Protecting the rights of Juveniles in Custody
“This legislation, vetted through our community-based Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee, will protect our children by ensuring that they will be represented by an attorney who will have their best interests at heart. Science, courts, and best practices show that youth must be provided protection from potential self-incrimination and abuses that can occur once in contact with our criminal justice system.” 

April 17, 2017
Council approves blueprint to implement voter-approved changes for civilian oversight of law enforcement
“Oversight is vital and an independent, civilian directed panel if there are complaints is a strong step toward ensuring that people will continue to have confidence that their concerns about those enforcing the law will be investigate fairly.”

April 17, 2017
County Council approves funds to assist immigrants and refugees
“We are working to ensure that for the thousands of residents in our community fighting for citizenship, there is a fair and just road in reaching that goal, without fear of punishment.” 

April 10, 2017
Recognizing survivors and raising awareness to stop sexual violence
“This is a continuing effort to shed light on something affecting far too many in our community and that is too often is kept in the dark, with survivors afraid to speak out or seek assistance.”

March 6, 2017
County Council Women’s History Month proclamation recognizes, celebrates the challenges and contributions of women
“Earlier this year, we were reminded of the continuing impact women have in the building of Martin Luther King, Jr. County when close to 200,000 women marched in defiance of the current administration in Washington, D.C. Those women—young and old, and a rainbow of color—told us very clearly that while we have made great strides as a country in moving towards gender equality, we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed, especially women, who continue to be disenfranchised.” 

February 13, 2017
Recognizing history, challenges, and contributions of African-Americans
“Over the years I’ve heard many ask: Why is there a Black History Month? Well, for centuries, the countless contributions, sacrifices, and influences of millions of African Americans were hidden, ignored, and denied.”

January 30, 2017
Gossett Issues Statement on Unconstitutional Immigration Ban
“The President’s Executive Order, which does not include the countries of the people who actually committed the 9/11 attack, strains credulity.”

December 12, 2016
County Council Appoints Rebecca Saldaña to State Senate
“I am extremely pleased that my colleagues and I utilized the lens of Equity and Social Justice in selecting Rebecca Saldaña as our new 37th District State Senator. I have no doubt she’ll effectively represent all members of her district.” 

November 14, 2016
Commitment to public safety, homelessness and transportation highlight King County Budget
“Public safety is about insuring that people have roofs over their head, food to eat, access to safe recreational activities, transportation and programs that can help remove the barriers to leading a productive and stable life. Through this budget, we addressed some of these important human services and public safety issues in our county.”

November 14, 2016
Shrinking School to Prison Pipeline, Expanding Transit for Underserved Highlight 2017-2018 Budget
“While this budget is definitely a step in the right direction, I am hopeful that in the near future we can add more resources to make our transit system more accessible for the poor and indigent.”

November 14, 2016
Celebrating the history and heritage that helped shape the region
“As a descendent of slaves, I am proud to stand with my Native American friends as we honor November as Native American Heritage Month in Martin Luther King, Jr. County. Our communities together have survived genocide, mass incarceration and stolen lands - and – We Are Still Here!”

September 26, 2016
County Council approves method to assist small art and culture organizations
“This plan will give both individuals and organizations that might have been missed in the past because of their size a chance to compete for grants. To really integrate equity and social justice into all our decision making, we must revise how we do business in all phases so everyone will truly benefit from efforts they also contributed to.”

September 19, 2016
County Council approves “transformative” implementation plan for Best Starts for Kids
“I am striving to make Best Starts for Kids as accountable as possible to the most disadvantaged children and families, especially in King County’s communities of color. I want to ensure the County is making a strong commitment to effective evaluation, and I am confident in the Communities of Opportunities that we will be able to establish an overall objective of a 10 percent improvement in the life conditions targeted in the years of BSK funding.”

August 29, 2016
Gossett statement on the passing of Bob Santos
“I was immensely proud of Bob being one of my ‘Amigos’ and with Roberto Maestas and Bernie Whitebear, we spoke, marched and, at times, went to jail to ensure that our communities received the opportunities that had been denied them for too long.”

July 15, 2016
Landmark report presents recommendations on giving immigrants and refugees greater voice
“Many of the newest people in our county arrive here without the knowledge of the resources available to them, services that many of us take for granted. If we want these families to be full participants in Martin Luther King County, we need to ensure they have the information they need. The task force recommendations are a strong first step in making this a reality.”

July 25, 2016
McDermott and Gossett: Council’s vote continues inequitable location of marijuana facilities
“Moving forward, the County must look for ways to ensure adequate access to recreational and medical marijuana. We must also address any unintended consequences this legislation may create.”

July 11, 2016
Amendment to make King County Charter gender neutral sent to voters
“Words carry weight and guide us in our practice and policy making. The voters will now have the opportunity to change the wording of the county’s ‘constitution’ to reflect our changing world.”

June 15, 2016
King County Welcomes New Director of Police Oversight
“Deborah Jacobs comes well prepared to fulfill the mandate of a more robust Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. She has deep knowledge of police practices, advocacy and experience in building relationships with communities.”

June 13, 2016
County Council Celebrates “Juneteenth”
“For those newly freed men and women and for their ancestors who have spread across the U.S., Juneteenth is a day to celebrate the end of over two centuries of bondage in this country. It’s also a day to remember their sacrifice and understand that even today people of color are still not truly ‘free’ until we enjoy the rights that so many others take for granted.”

June 13, 2016
County Council recognizes “Justice for Janitors”
“This is a recognition that reminds us of the service custodial staff provides, and that these hard working people simply want what every other worker wants, fair wages that will allow them to take care of their families and conditions that will allow them to do their job with dignity.”

June 6, 2016
County Council recognizes LGBTQ Pride Month
“As we celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month, we are reminded that we must protect the victories that we have won in the past in protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, but we must also move forward to ensure that discrimination is eradicated completely. Only then will there be room at the table for all!”

May 16, 2016
County Council adopts fall transit updates that reflect community input
“Even with light rail through the heart of the Rainier Valley, for many in my district, buses remain their primary source of transportation. These service changes are the culmination of those bus riders in the community working with Metro and the County Council in expanding opportunities for people who still depend on buses to get them to work, school and the services they need.”  

May 2, 2016
Council approves new ballot drop off boxes in District 2
“Mail in ballots are a convenience for some, but for too many voters, especially in underrepresented communities and communities of color, mail in ballots have shut them out of a fundamental right in our democracy. We must increase accessibility for all our voters, especially those who have grown to believe government does not work in their best interest.”

April 14, 2016
Long-time Central Area business owners George and Nettie Jordan recognized by County Council

“George and Nettie Jordan have been one of the bedrocks of the Central Area, through their store and their support of numerous activities and program. This is a well-deserved recognition for the impact they had on Seattle’s African-American community.”

March 30, 2016
Larry Gossett recognized for his work on achieving equity and social justice
ASPA recognized Gossett’s commitment to social justice from his days as one of the original founders of the University of Washington’s Black Student Union and his continuing work as an advocate “for the underrepresented and the underprivileged in King County.”

March 28, 2016
Councilmember Gossett responds to today’s State of the County Address
“Community activists have been vocal in saying their support of any light rail expansion would hinge on the return of the light rail station at S. Graham St. I am encouraged that Executive Constantine understands the importance of this stop and has made it part of the proposed ST3 plan.”

March 21, 2016
Ernie Dunston recognized for his service to at-risk youth
“Ernie is the most selfless person I know in our community. He has exhibited his commitment to servicing African American at-risk youth through the Breakfast Group’s Project Mister Program. Ernie has led the efforts to lift hundreds of Black youth out of poverty.”

March 21, 2016
King County residents receive MLK Medal of Distinguished Service
“In a County named in honor of Dr. King, it is an honor to recognize those who have given so much in their own way in helping achieve MLK’s ‘Beloved Community’ through their work in their communities.”

March 21, 2016
“Retiring” County employees prepare for new careers
“The four agencies receiving this year’s vans reflect organizations that serve diverse populations in District two from seniors, youth, people of color and homeless people. I am glad that King County can continue to assist these agencies to carry out their missions and to provide services, especially to the populations most in need.”

March 7, 2016
Celebrating their strength: King County proclaims March “Women’s History Month”
“We have made great strides as a country in moving towards gender equality but we must be diligent in our efforts to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed, especially women who continue to be disenfranchised.”

February 16, 2016
County Council recognizes history and contributions of African-Americans
“In a County renamed for one of the greatest African-Americans of the 20th Century and that uses the image of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr as its logo, it is fitting that we celebrate those men and women—the famous and the nameless—who have played a role in the history of our nation.”

February 1, 2016
Recognizing Brigitte Bertschi and the 40th Anniversary of the Bertschi School

Since its origin in a rented classroom in Lowell School, the Bertschi School has evolved to become a warm and inviting Capitol Hill institution that is a safe haven for all children

January 25, 2016
Council approves members of King County Children and Youth Advisory Board

“The members of this panel will have a major voice on the future of Best Starts for Kids, so they will have a major voice on the future of young people in King County. I’m encouraged that young people will have a role on the board and hope their voices are heard.”

December 14, 2015
County Council, Elections partner in making voting more convenient and accessible
“People in King County shouldn’t lose their right to vote because they can’t get to a mail box. Having ballot drop boxes located in convenient locations expands the opportunity for all people to be able to vote.”  

December 7, 2015
Council approves nation-leading paid parental leave program
“We owe it to our employees to provide the best benefits we can offer including the ability to care for their newly born and adopted children. This parental leave policy will be a big step towards showing that King County is a family friendly government.”

November 24, 2015
Fiscal Options, Transportation and Public Health Highlight King County’s Legislative Agenda
“There’s a belief that King County’s growing economy has eliminated the fiscal challenges we faced. Our Legislative Agenda is a vivid reminder that those challenges are still there and the lack of revenue options are hurting those still feeling the impact of the Great Recession.”

November 16, 2015
County Council appoints Cheryle Broom as Interim Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight
“Cheryle Broom’s background and history as our County Auditor will serve her very well in her duties as Interim OLEO Director. She will ensure the framework in place to investigate concerns raised by the public on the actions of Sheriff deputies and to build community accountability will continue to function in this important office.”

November 9, 2015
County Councilmembers statement on the passing of King County Superior Court Judge Patricia Clark
“In Judge Clark’s courtroom, defendants were treated with justice, but also with the idea that they were young people who needed guidance and lessons. Beyond her family, Judge Clark’s greatest legacy will be those young people who thanks to alternatives such as Drug Court and Family Court, are given an opportunity to become thriving members of the community, and not just another young person in jail.”

October 19, 2015
Council approves transit route overhaul
“The potential elimination of the 43 would have subjected a large number of seniors and people of color to the possibility of multiple transfers to get to downtown Seattle. We heard the concerns of the transit riders that depend on the 43 and have been able to maintain daily service, and a one bus ride to downtown, along a vital transit corridor.”

October 12, 2015
County Council celebrates and recognizes value of workers with disabilities
“The passage of the ADA was a major victory for the civil rights communities. It continued the struggle for the advancement of human rights for all people. However, with this twenty-fifth anniversary, we must renew our commitment to ensure that all people’s skills and talents are valued to make them contributors to our society and that resources are committed to ensure that happens.”

October 5, 2015
A proud history recognized: County Council declared October Filipino American History Month
“Most people do not realize that Filipinos have been in the US longer over 400 years or the contributions that Filipino Americans have made through their labor, public service and heroic war time sacrifices while serving their country.”

September 28, 2015
First ever carbon free town hall held in Seattle
“Developing the alternatives to climate change is an equity issue. Aiko Schaefer reminded all of us there will be underserved communities and populations of color that will bear the brunt of the impacts of global warming if developed nations do not get involved in helping them.” 

July 27, 2015
County Council offers increased support for arts and cultural programs
“King County is a community of cultures, and this is an opportunity to assist both large programs and neighborhood projects in celebrating the heritage, history and art that makes up those cultures.”

July 22, 2015
County Council sends “Best Start for Kids” initiative to the voters
“The voters will have the final word on how we will respond to the challenges facing young people throughout Martin Luther King, Jr. County.”

July 20, 2015
Charter amendment to establish charter-based office for civilian oversight of law enforcement sent to November ballot
“This is an opportunity for the people of King County to have a voice in the direction of investigating matters of misconduct in the Sheriff’s Office.”

July 20, 2015
County Council approves task force to investigate creation of immigrant and refugee commission
“Today, we have taken an important step in recognizing the growing population of immigrants and refugees in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. County. We realize that in order for this population to become full contributors to King County, we must first address their needs. This task force will help us towards that goal.”

July 20, 2015
County Council Expands Access to Voting
“In America, access to the ballot box is vital in getting your voice heard. The language you speak and read should not block you from the ballot box. This legislation removes a crucial barrier to exercising a basic right of living in a democracy.”

July 20, 2015
County Council unanimously confirms appointment of Patty Hayes as Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County
“Patty Hayes' lifetime experiences and commitment towards serving those most in need makes her an excellent choice as our new Director especially in these challenging times for public health.”

June 22, 2015
William Hobson recognized for decades of service on behalf of the homeless
“His compassion for the most disenfranchised people in our society matched with his creativity and drive to create housing and services for that population have earned him well-deserved local and national attention. Bill’s shoes will be very hard to fill.”

June 15, 2015
County Council approves new priorities for assisting children and youth
“The recommendations that are part of the YAP represent a holistic approach to making sure those programs are available to all young people, but especially those whose circumstances mean they may not be able to get those services in the underrepresented communities they live in.”

June 15, 2015
Council adopts call for equity of services for homeless youth
“Homelessness contributes to disproportionality in our juvenile justice system. Housing is a human right. Thus, we must ensure that all youth regardless of their race, gender identification and sexual orientation can access housing.”

June 1, 2015
County Council proclaims June “Gay Pride Month”
“There have been accomplishments within the LGBTQ community that would have been unthinkable as recently as the start of this century. So while this month is a celebration, it’s also a reminder that the struggle for equality is ongoing—even in a community as open and progressive as King County.”

May 18, 2015
County Council approves members of advisory board for Economic Opportunity and Empowerment Program
“Economic opportunity is the first step in ensuring that people of color will not need to use the facilities that will be part of the CFJC. The advisory board is a positive move toward providing underserved communities the chance to get the skills and business that will help them and the communities they live in.”

May 4, 2015
County Council calls for Executive to consider specific climate actions in Strategic Climate Action Plan
“It is important that King County leads the region in developing concrete steps in dealing with the number one problem of climate change in our world. Climate change is not something that impacts somewhere else. It is about the Northwest, our water, our mountains and landscape, our air and the quality of life we want people in King County to have as well as people around the world.”

May 4, 2015
Celebrating the power of the arts in school: County Council recognizes May as Arts Education Month
“Art is an essential part of our society. We should celebrate those that contribute in this field as they contribute ideas and creativity that make our world a diverse and better place to live. Without art, our society will lose its soul.”

May 1, 2015
County Councilmembers call for release of King County resident Nestora Salgado from Mexican prison
“Ms. Salgado’s false imprisonment is one of the numerous human rights violations occurring in Mexico as a result of both the US and Mexican government turning a blind eye to what is occurring in the country. We must do everything to change this policy—beginning with the return of Nestora Salgado to her family in the US.”

May 1, 2015
Council honors civil rights “defender” Henry McGee
“Hank McGee has an astounding history of five decades of being on the frontlines of civil and human rights in this country. However, even though Hank is retiring, he is not retiring from being active in the struggle.”

April 30, 2015
Neighborhood school, homeless program to benefit from donation of “retired” King County vans
“For almost 20 years we have been giving 'new life' to King County's used vans. This year's recipients will continue to be served by King County through this important donation.”

April 27, 2015
Bonding time: County Council establishes policy to provide employees 12 weeks of paid parental and family leave
“I consider this an important human rights issue that impacts children, parents and society. I am proud to join my other Councilmembers in sponsoring this legislation to provide 12 weeks of parental leave.”

April 27, 2015
County employees prepare for “working retirement” Council approves transfer of surplus vanpool van to organizations throughout King County

“These vans have served a vital role in the County, but in their ‘retirement’ they will perform an even greater task. They will transport people throughout King County to services, to hospitals and clinics, to ball fields and gyms, destinations they may not have been able to go to if the vans were not available.”

April 27, 2015
Collaboration for the next generation: County Council hears from County Executive on efforts to assist young people
“The Executive has prepared a blueprint on how to address the challenges of the growing inequalities impacting low income communities and communities of color. I hope the Council and the Executive can work together to further the development of the blueprint so that in the long range King County can lessen the impact of inequality in all our communities.”  

April 1, 2015
Gossett: Phillips worked “outside the box” to find solutions
“When it comes to the challenges of the County Budget, transportation, climate change, and racial inequities within the communities that make up King County, Larry has been a tremendous leader and resource for getting us to think ‘outside the box’ in getting the Council to focus on real solutions for making meaningful social changes for low income and working class citizens who reside in the great Pacific Northwest.”

March 31, 2015
King County takes action to root out racial disparity in juvenile justice system
“King County’s ‘paradigm shift’ will be guided by the premise that we will build a juvenile justice system that values all our children and decriminalizes the misbehaviors that some children experience.”

March 2, 2015
Council confirms appointment of Lorinda Youngcourt as Director of the Department of Public Defense
“Because defendants are entitled to an attorney regardless of their income or status, public defense plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system. The voters understood that role when they supported the creation of a King County Public Defender. I look forward to working with Ms. Youngcourt to bring our public defense office into higher and more responsive levels.”

February 26, 2015
Councilmembers introduce legislation establishing paid parental leave for county employees
“It is high time that Martin Luther King, Jr. County passes legislation to address the needs and wants of new parents. I consider this an important human rights issue that impacts children, parents and society. I am proud to join my other Councilmembers in sponsoring this legislation to provide 12 weeks of parental leave.”

February 17, 2015
More buses in Seattle: County Council approves contract for city to purchase additional transit
“This agreement means there are now funds to restore night and ‘off-peak’ service to the riders in my district that depend on Metro Route 27 to get them to their jobs and the services they need in Downtown Seattle.”

February 4, 2015
Reflecting on an act of discrimination: County Council recognizes Native American Expulsion Remembrance Day
“It is extremely important that we’re honest with ourselves and each other by documenting all aspects of our American story from a multicultural perspective, including the forced marginalization of the proud Indigenous People, who’ve contributed as much as anyone to this nation, and on whose land we currently live. Yet these acts of inhumanity are still difficult to locate in many of our history books. Our nation cannot continue to heal until we acknowledge the inhumane acts that have been perpetrated against so many of our brothers and sisters.”

December 8, 2014
Providing revenue options, maintaining the safety net, providing local options for transportation highlight King County’s state legislative agenda
“The King County Council’s 2015 state legislative agenda contains significant components that impact the ability for us to implement equity and social justice in our county. Access to mental health treatment, public transportation for those that are transit dependent, fair and equal treatment by law enforcement and criminal justice agencies and funding for public health clinics are all issues paramount to people leading healthy and productive lives.”

November 17, 2014
King County’s first biennial budget highlights secure families and communities as it meets mandated responsibilities
“In the County that is named for America’s foremost Civil Rights leader, I’m encouraged that even during this challenging budget time there continues to be a committed effort to meet the needs of the county’s underserved populations, populations that are predominately communities of color. We did this through finding partners to save programs in our public health clinics, ensuring that transit service remains stable for the next two years and with the continued support for programs that help young people who find themselves out on the streets of our county.”

October 6, 2014
Providing path to the American Dream: Council gives support to living wage
“Today's vote reaffirms the Council's commitment to equity and social justice. This Living Wage Ordinance is a positive step toward providing the marginalized members of our community including the working poor an escape from the vicious cycle of poverty.”

September 4, 2014
Council: Commitment to effective oversight of Sheriff’s Office has not wavered
Joint statement in response to announcement that Charles Gaither has resigned as the Director of King County’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight.

September 2, 2014
Council adopts legislation amending detention of immigration detainees
“I am very pleased with the passage of this legislation as it aligns our policies with recent federal rulings. Of equal importance, it maintains public safety by honoring criminal warrants, which is the norm for anyone in the criminal justice system, and moves us closer to treating all those being detained in our correctional facilities with the same level of justice regardless of their immigration status.”

July 21, 2014
Councilmembers find common ground on bus cuts
“In the coming months, Metro will prepare for cuts in September and February. The cuts authorized by today’s vote will be made based on Metro’s Strategic Plan which was unanimously adopted to keep politics out of route decisions. Metro will also complete another outside audit initiated by the Executive, to continue the County’s work to make sure our department is running as efficiently as possible.”

June 6, 2014
Councilmembers propose transit compromise
“This compromise proposal is the transparent and responsible course for those who rely on the bus—matching ongoing spending to known revenues, and later adjusting that spending up or down as circumstances inevitably change.”

May 27, 2014
New careers for hard working county employees: Council approves transfer of surplus vanpool van to organizations throughout King County
“The community agencies and organizations receiving these vans are helping ‘bridge the gap’ for those groups with limited transportation options.”

May 21, 2014
King County Council gives unanimous support for development of a living wage policy
“It is fitting the government of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. County take the lead in making sure the people who work for the county receive a living wage, and encourage those companies that partner with the county to do the same.”

May 19, 2014
Council Council’s 2014 Equity and Social Justice work plan will consider impacts of bus service reduction 
“Many of the communities that will bear the brunt of the transit reductions are the same communities that have had to endure the challenges of historic social inequities. Taking those inequities into consideration is the goal of the ESJ program, so it is vital the transit service reductions be part of our work plan for 2014.”
May 13, 2014
County Council approves effort to address the needs of incarcerated veterans
“It is our duty to provide these veterans with the best services that Martin Luther King, Jr. County can provide so that they can tackle the barriers confronting them in their efforts to transition back into our society. It is what is owed them for their service to our country.”

May 12, 2014
County Council recognizes and honors officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice
“The women and men working in law enforcement serve a unique role in protecting our communities. This week is an opportunity to thank them for their service and remember those officers who have given their lives in that service.”

May 5, 2014
County Council recognizes May as Arts Education Month in King County
“Through the celebration of Arts Education Month, we continue emphasizing the right for people in King County to freely ‘participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits,’ as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

February 24, 2014
County Council approves transit fare increase, creation of low-income fare program
“The low income fare has been about 2 years in the making and the work isn’t done yet. I look forward to continuing the good working relationship with the Executive and transit advocates as we develop an implementation strategy that works for Metro and those who will use this new fare.”

February 24, 2014
Council adopts plan to place human trafficking information in key locations across King County
“Through this motion we hope that having access to information on services and agencies key to those being trafficked will assist them in their plight for safety and freedom. It is one more tool to use in our efforts to end human trafficking.”

February 24, 2014
County Council unanimously supports funding mechanism for cultural programs
“Cultural access funds are important to all, but especially those whose economic resources might limit their access to the vibrant cultural array of resources in King County.”

February 10, 2014
Council approves formation of Transportation Benefit District
“Forming the TBD is a vital first step, but the final choice will be made by the voters of King County if the District chooses to send something to the ballot.” 

January 27, 2014
County Council, Executive join “12th Man” in shouting GO HAWKS!!!
“I look forward to joining the 12th Man in a ‘Beast Quake’ that will be sent from Seattle—pass through Denver—and be felt in New Jersey!”

January 13, 2014
Promoting awareness to end Slavery and Human Trafficking
“There is no greater tragedy than people forced into bondage—and the realization that there are men, women and children in our community who may be enduring this slavery. This proclamation is a reminder that we can play a role in ending this tragedy.”

December 16, 2013
Council approves appointments for vacancies in state Legislature
“This district was fortunate to have strong candidates for both the state House and Senate. The appointments of Senator Pedersen and Representative Walkinshaw, continues the 43rd’s history of strong activists representing one of the most diverse districts in the state.”

December 16, 2013
Colleagues recognize, say goodbye to Councilmember Julia Patterson
“I am especially proud to have partnered with her on issues of racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic justice. Julia has been a champion in supporting those on the margins of our society, and she will be greatly missed.”

December 9, 2013
Strengthening vital services, transportation options and investing in community assets highlight
King County’s state legislative agenda

“Many people in King County continue to struggle and their challenges match the challenges facing County government. We’re asking the state to provide us with the revenue options needed to maintain the programs and transit services that are lifelines to the most disenfranchised residents of King County.”

December 2, 2013
Council adopts legislation restricting detention of immigration detainees
“We want law enforcement to focus its resources on the most dangerous individuals in our communities, not the deportation of those whose only offense may be driving with a broken tail light.”

November 18, 2013
Discussing Race: Tough questions leading to lasting understanding
“Understanding race and the development of racism in our society is an ongoing discussion the King County Council needs to have. I look forward to our next discussion in understanding how racism impacts public policy, in general and more specifically to King County.”

November 18, 2013
Council approves employee donations to Typhoon survivors
“In the aftermath of this megadisaster in the Philippines where over 3,600 have now reported to have died and 2 million people are affected, we hope that the employees of Martin Luther King, Jr. County will be generous in supporting the typhoon relief efforts by donating their time and money.”

November 12, 2013
Services, stability highlight 2014 King County Budget
“Today's vote reaffirms the Council's commitment to providing holistic services to the residents of King County. I applaud the Council's budget leadership for addressing many of the needs in our community through this budget.  However, the economic crisis is not over for so many and our resources are still not enough.  We need a new source of funding to more fully address those needs.”

October 28, 2013
County Council approves “Blueprint” for implementing Department of Public Defense
“The defender agencies have a well-earned reputation for their independence and efforts to protect the rights of the defendants they represent. This legislation represents the culmination of almost 12 months of collaboration with the Council, the Executive, and those who advocate on behalf of indigent defendants.”

October 14, 2013
County Council calls on state Legislature to hold special session to address transportation funding
“King County is one of a number of counties in this state that is preparing—or has made—devastating reductions to public transit and the maintenance of our roads. The County Council is asking for the Legislature to give our government the tools we need to help meet the transportation needs of our region.”

October 14, 2013
King County leaders recognize Disability Awareness Month
“This proclamation is an occasion to remember that if given opportunities, everyone has a talent or ability that can benefit their community.”

September 16, 2013
County Council accepts report outlining King County Sheriff Deputy’s memorial
“It is extremely important for us to honor those courageous King County Sheriff’s Deputies who literally gave their lives in pursuit of public safety throughout our county’s long history. A permanent memorial dedicated to these fallen officers will be an important remembrance of their ultimate sacrifice, and that of their families.”

September 11, 2013
Statement on condition of King County Council Chair Larry Gossett

September 9, 2013
Ensuring transportation access for all: Panel recommends development of low-income transit fare
“I thank the committee for their hard work. The Great Recession has hit those in our community that can least afford it the hardest. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Executive on the creation a low income fare.”

August 26, 2013
Reports shows levy funds increased self-sufficiency for veterans and others in need
“This is a levy that has both changed and saved lives. I hope the voters of King County will take the opportunity to read the report and see how their support has made a difference.”

July 22, 2013
Council accepts plan for integrated health and human service programs
“Thank you to everyone who spent countless hours on taking the first steps in transforming our system of delivering health and human services to our King County residents. While the transformation, especially in light of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, may take time, we acknowledge that in order to meet the current and future needs, King County must still look for stable funding for these services.”

July 22, 2013
County Council honors veterans of the “Forgotten War”
All of the Korean War veterans that we have honored today at the King County Council deserve our sincere gratitude for their sacrifices and service to protecting democracy in that region of the world. The veterans’ presence and stories here is a reminder that peace does not come easily. As we continue to strive for peace on the Korean peninsula, we honor these men for their valiant contributions.”

July 10, 2013
Office of Law Enforcement Oversight presents recommendations stemming from 2012 officer-involved shooting
“I am deeply concerned that it took a tragic shooting such as this to illuminate the deficiencies outlined in the report. However, I am confident that between our Office of Law Enforcement Oversight and the King County Sheriff’s Office, we will continue to make the improvements we had in mind when we began working towards the creation of independent citizen oversight years ago.”

July 1, 2013
County Council sends voters Charter Amendment on the organization of public defense
“Public defense is a vital and state-mandated service. It is important that the voters of King County have the opportunity to make their choice on the future direction of the agency.”

June 27, 2013
Charter amendment on the organization of public defense sent to County Council for final action
“I believe this Charter Amendment not only complies with the court's ruling in the Dolan decision, but it also protects the rights of the most important people - those who do not have the resources to defend themselves.”

June 24, 2013
King County honors first group of HERO Program graduates
“The first graduates of the HERO Program are a reminder of the experience and skills those who have served our country can provide any employer. Their time with us has allowed us to begin to repay our debt to them by helping these heroes translate those skills into the civilian workforce.”

June 14, 2013
Gossett, McDermott introduce legislation restricting detention of immigration detainees
“We must have one set of laws for everyone, regardless of their immigration status, gender, sexual orientation and race. Simply put, we as government leaders in Martin Luther King, Jr. County will no longer honor ICE holds of persons who are accused of minor crimes or who have no charges against them.”

June 11, 2013
Council adopts legislation ensuring equity for all County employees serving in the military
“The families of our county employees called into active duty already face a number of challenges—one of those challenges shouldn’t be the loss of benefits they’ve rightfully earned.” 

June 10, 2013
Councilmembers advocate prevention of elder abuse
“If you are aware of elders being abused, silence is not an option. It is incumbent upon us to look for the signs of elder abuse and to tell the authorities if abuse is suspected.”

June 3, 2013
Voters to decide in November on six-year levy for Medic One services
“Today’s vote marks the culmination of a regional process involving EMS providers, labor leaders, and elected officials. Now it is up to the voters to have the final say in the process.”

May 28, 2013
Surplus Vanpool vans prepare for new careers: Council approves donations to organizations throughout County
“In these days of shrinking community service budgets, the donated vans provide a vital service—assisting in getting people to to a medical appointment or taking kids on a field trip. The vans have become a tremendous asset to organizations and governments throughout the County.”

May 24, 2013
Councilmembers: Inspections and funding for maintenance vital for transportation infrastructure
“This tragedy is a stark reminder of the challenge facing us within the State Legislature. We currently do not have the financing needed to maintain these aging structures. As the Legislature continues working on the State budget, local jurisdictions throughout the State have a critical need for local option funding tools just to maintain and preserve our existing roads and bridges.”

May 20, 2013
County Council adopts interim structure for new Department of Public Defense with four separate divisions
“The Council and Executive are working together on the the reorganization of the delivery of public defense services in King County. Today’s legislation ensures that the clients of public defenders in King County will continue to receive excellent representation.”

May 20, 2013
King County Council Honors Congressman Norm Dicks
“Congressman Dicks’ service to the people of the state of Washington is a reminder that boundaries and jurisdictions should never be a barrier. The residents of his Congressional District may have sent him to Washington, D.C., but Norm felt a responsibility for assisting all the people in our state.”

May 20, 2013
King County proclaims Emergency Medical Services Week
“Prompt response and life-saving action is one of the the hallmarks of our internationally renowned EMS system. This recognition pales in comparison to the thanks they receive from the people who are served by the men and women who are part of the EMS program.”

May 14, 2013
Overflow audience calls for preservation of Metro service
“What we heard tonight was simple—public transit continues to be the transportation lifeblood for many in our community. We need to work with our legislators in Olympia to ensure that this service remains as healthy as possible.”

May 6, 2013
Slowing the revolving door: Report shows mental illness and drug programs reducing jail, psychiatric stays
“This report shows very clearly what can happen when people who need help are offered a space in a treatment facility rather than time in a jail cell. MIDD funding continues saving lives even as it looks towards the future.”

May 6, 2013
County Council approves blueprint for emergency medical service system
“Emergency medical services are a collaborative effort with a single focus: ensuring that if you need medical assistance anywhere in King County, it will come quickly with people equipped to assist you. The strategic plan sets guidelines for the present and delivers a blueprint for the future of this life-saving service.”

April 29, 2013
Council sends proposed parks levy to August ballot
“All residents of King County have access to the regional park and trail system. This ordinance will give the people the opportunity to decide how much value they get from the system.”

April 15, 2013
Building on the present, preparing for the future:  Council unanimously adopts 2013  Equity and Social Justice work plan
“Even as we’re starting to see signs of recovery from the Great Recession, the income and opportunities gap continue to grow along economic, racial, geographical, educational, and gender lines. This is why it is extremely important that our government continue to meaningfully incorporate the principles of Equity and Social Justice for every resident of Martin Luther King County.”
April 8, 2013
Recognizing the fallen: Council adopts plan to create King County Sheriff Deputy’s memorial
“It is fitting that we are finally looking at establishing a memorial in the County where these men gave their lives protecting the public.”

April 8, 2013
County Council approves new addition to successful mental health service model
“King County has created a new paradigm in assisting the mentally ill. The establishment of a behavioral health component is a welcome addition to the program.”

April 8, 2013
County Council recognizes State Champion Cleveland Girls Basketball Team

April 8, 2013
County Council recognizes State Champion Rainier Beach Boys Basketball Team

March 18, 2013
County Council appoints Ketu Shah to fill vacancy in King County District Court
“We were fortunate to have three extremely well qualified people to choose from. Ketu Shah is the perfect person to fill the vacancy on the District Court. Shah’s experience and philosophy shows he has the compassion necessary to be an effective District Court Judge.”

March 18, 2013
County Council approves proposed settlement with public defense employees
“The council hopes that through approving this settlement agreement, this case can move one step closer to being resolved. The Council now must take up the arduous task of the reorganization of the delivery of public defense services in King County to comply with the decision delivered by the court in the Dolan case.”

February 11, 2013
King County Council appoints Rod Dembowski to fill vacancy in County Council District 1
“I congratulate Mr. Dembowski for his appointment to the Council. Both his public policy experience and his commitment to his community will make him an excellent representative for the residents of District 1.”

February 11, 2013
Council approves members of Advisory Council for Eastside Rail Corridor
“The panel has a challenging task, ensuring that the decisions on the future of the corridor are made in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. I look forward to seeing their recommendations on the direction we could go in coordinating the possible uses of the ERC.”

February 4, 2013
County Council ready to focus on Executive’s plans to strengthen King County’s “infrastructure”
“Much of what he proposed—especially public transportation and public health—depend on getting the revenue needed to maintain these programs. I’m prepared to work with him on finding the funds to support these efforts.”

January 22, 2013
Council approves members of advisory panel on transit mobility
“The makeup of the committee ensures that a wide range of voices—including those who depend on Metro as their only source of transportation—will help in providing the information we need.”

January 15, 2013
Council set to interview candidates to fill vacancy in Council District 1
“We will have a thorough vetting of the candidates sent to us by Executive Constantine with the focus of filling the appointment with the best of those candidates.”

January 14, 2013
Gossett, Hague and Patterson to lead County Council in 2013
“The fiscal challenges facing not only King County, but also the state and federal governments, continue. My goal will be to have our Council meet those challenges, and the responsibilities of providing mandated services while supporting those in our community in crisis, in a bipartisan and transparent manner.”

January 14, 2013
King County and coalitions promote awareness of human trafficking
“King County is a leader in the effort to eliminate this cruel form of human slavery. Public recognition is the first step toward taking this crime from the shadows of our society and bringing it to light.”

January 14, 2013
Colleagues recognize, say goodbye to Councilmember Bob Ferguson
“It has been an honor to work with Bob Ferguson for the last 9 years. All of the people of the state of Washington will now benefit from the energy and intelligence we have seen during his time on the Council.”

December 10, 2012
Regional cooperation for a regional asset: County Council creates regional panel for Eastside Rail Corridor
“After many years of work by the Council, the Executive, and our regional partners, today’s historic action finally puts the Eastside rail corridor under public ownership. Just as important, the communities within the corridor will have a voice on its future.”

December 10, 2012
County Council acts to protect emergency services in city of Pacific
“As the city’s government decides its future, the residents of Pacific need to know that if there’s an emergency, will there be services available. This legislation gives them the knowledge that there will be assistance for them if it’s needed.”

December 10, 2012
Council adopts state legislative agenda that focuses on increasing revenue options, sustaining safety net
“The adopted agendas are clear directives from both the Council and the Executive on what the County’s priorities are and how we plan to work with our delegations to achieve those priorities.”

December 3, 2012
Strengthening protection of open space, integrating County Strategic Plan: Council adopts update of
County land use policies

“The 2012 updates to the Comprehensive Plan are a reminder the communities that make up King County—urban, suburban and rural—are interconnected. The updates recognize that all of these communities benefit from plans that accommodate growth, maintain infrastructure and support businesses throughout the County.”

December 3, 2012
Taking Action to Address Climate Change: Council adopts County Strategic Climate Action Plan
“The SCAP is recognition that we need to start working now to combat the impacts of climate change. It’s also recognition that climate change is an issue that ignores jurisdictions. A cooperative effort will be the only way to solve this issue.”

November 16, 2012
Dunn and Gossett call on Pierce County Transit Board to join Anti-Human Trafficking campaign
“Working together across County lines is an important way we can fight back against Human Trafficking. A coordinated effort such as this will reach more young people and let them know about this growing issue and that there is help available to them. I look forward to seeing this public awareness campaign begin and it is my hope we can begin to turn the tide in the battle against traffickers.”

November 13, 2012
Meeting current needs, focusing on the future:  County Council adopts 2013 King County Budget
“King County as a whole has continued to implement efficiencies in order to meet our budget and this budget mandates that we continue to do so. I want to thank our employees for continuing to give the highest level of services to the people of King County in light of our budget difficulties.”

November 5, 2012
Council calls for an accountable and integrated health and human services plan
“Unfortunately, due to the economic crisis and its impact on revenues, we are seeing a lot of unmet needs of people who live in King County. We need to evaluate what the need is and how we deliver services so that in the end we can find the means and resources to address the full need of our residents.”

October 29, 2012
Council adopts internship program for military “HEROS” in King County
“Far too many of the men and women who have served their Country in the armed service, have ‘fallen through the cracks. The HEROS program is a step in the right direction in assisting those heroes.”

October 15, 2012
County Council adopts amended SODO arena plan
“While we still have a long way to go, this is is the most significant step the region has made to bring back the NBA since 2008.”
October 15, 2012
Council adopts increase in transit tickets available for homeless and low income populations
“The testimony we have heard was a very clear reminder of just how vital this program is to not only the low-income and homeless population, but to also the growing number of county residents who have had their lives changed because of the current economic downturn. This is a unique situation that called for a unique response.”

October 8, 2012
Ensuring transportation access for all: Council creates advisory panel on transit mobility
“No one should have to decide between having enough money to ride the bus or putting food on the table, but this is starting to become a regular choice for a growing number of people in King County. This committee is the start of exploring how we continue to provide vital transit service that is both accessible and affordable to all transit users.”

October 8, 2012
Council confirms appointment of David Chapman as Director of the Office of Public Defense
“Because defendants are entitled to an attorney regardless of their income or status, public defense plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system I look forward to working with Mr. Chapman to ensure that the underserved populations that depend on public defense receive the assistance they deserve.”

October 1, 2012
County Council thanks Bill Block for directing effort to end homelessness
“The greatest accolade I can give Bill is the work he has done in directing the Committee to End Homelessness has both changed and saved lives. The greatest recognition we can give him is to continue building on the foundation he has created in serving those in society who are too often ignored.”

September 19, 2012
Council Committee advances proposed King County Comprehensive Plan update to full council
Councilmembers Larry Phillips, Jane Hague, Kathy Lambert, and Larry Gossett, representing a mix of urban, rural, and suburban communities, offered a striking amendment that balances urban and rural priorities and public health and environmental protection with economic development.

September 17, 2012
County Council approves action plan for Sheriff’s Office accountability reforms
“We expect our women and men in law enforcement to utilize best practices in a difficult and often dangerous job, to treat all those within King County with professionalism and respect, to exhibit the highest levels of integrity and accountability, and to be transparent to the public. This approach serves the best interests of our law enforcement professionals as well as the public we all serve.”

September 17, 2012
Council approves working “retirement” for County vans
“In these days of shrinking community service budgets, providing transportation to a medical appointment or taking kids on a field trip is a vital service. That is the exciting future for the vans we are providing to these organizations and governments throughout the County.”

August 27, 2012
King County Council recognizes 30 Years of Conservation Futures
“Conservation Future Funds have been used to give neighborhoods throughout King County an asset that is priceless: areas to recreate in and properties that will be untouched by development and available to future generations.”

August 2, 2012
Gossett: Everyone benefits from Waste Management agreement
“The contract ratified by Teamsters Local 117 benefits the company, recycle and yard waste drivers and most importantly, the customers who receive their garbage and recycling services from the employees.”

August 2, 2012
Facility designed to divert people with mental illness and drug dependency into treatment
A unique coalition of government officials, law enforcement agencies, and social service providers announce the opening of an innovative new facility designed to divert people with a mental illness or drug dependency crisis from our local jails and hospital emergency rooms and into King County’s Crisis Solutions Center (CSC).

July 30, 2012
Council adopts amended SODO arena agreement
“The Council, through our Budget Committee, has spent the last two months reviewing every aspect of the MOU and ILA. After the adopted amendments, the majority of the Council believes this effort by Mr. Hansen to return the NBA to Seattle and attract a National Hockey League team is worth pursuing.”

July 16, 2012
County Council recognizes accreditation of fingerprint lab
“AFIS continues to be an effective tool in protecting the public. This recognition is acknowledgment of the hard work done by the entire AFIS section to achieve international accreditation.”

July 9, 2012
Raising awareness, assisting victims: Council unanimously adopts Human Trafficking public awareness campaign
“Human Trafficking is a crime that truly spans the globe, but far too many of its victims are as close as the neighborhoods we live in. This campaign will not only provide information to those who don’t realize how close it is and warn those exploiting young people—but it will also provide a much needed lifeline to those trying to escape.”

June 27, 2012
King County Executive proposes $100,000 to continue 4-H youth programs
“4-H programs are important for the development of rural, urban and suburban youth. The programs are valuable in developing youth leadership in food and land and water sustainability. Addressing the needs of youth, especially in the rural areas, is an important aspect of King County’s equity and social justice plan.”

June 27, 2012
Human Trafficking Public Awareness Campaign Passed out of Committee
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery happening right here in King County. Using Metro buses as part of an educational campaign is an excellent way to increase awareness about this often silent epidemic. It also lets victims know that help is available to them and they are not alone.” 

June 25, 2012
Council acts to expand affordable housing units created by North Lot project
“Today’s agreement will expand downtown housing opportunities for working class residents. Throughout the long history of this project, we have ensured that affordable housing remained a cornerstone of this development and through the partnership of the County, North Lot Development LLC, and InterIm we will increase housing for low income and those in the affordable housing category.”

June 14, 2012
King County puts Veterans Treatment Court into action
“The Veterans Court is an example of the community reaching out to assist these heroes in their time of need, and giving them alternatives other than a prison cell.”

June 11, 2012
Councilmembers advocate prevention of elder abuse
“If you are aware of elders being abused, silence is not an option. It is incumbent upon us to look for the signs of elder abuse and to tell the authorities if abuse is suspected.”

June 4, 2012
Council proclaims June “Gay Pride Month”
“Today’s recognition is a continuing reminder that the LGBTQ community is a vibrant and vital part of the fabric of King County. The recognition is also a reminder that the struggle for equality is ongoing—even in a community as open and progressive as King County.”

May 29, 2012 
County Council creates new opportunity for public comment at Council meetings
“Access to elected officials is the cornerstone of an effective and transparent government. This legislation simplifies the public comment process, setting clear guidelines and timelines for when the public can come tell us their concerns.”

May 21, 2012
Greater community access, engagement part of Council’s equity and justice goals for 2012
“The Council’s adoption of its ESJI work plan gives clear direction on what the Council will be working on and how we will keep track of if we are achieving our goals.”

|May 21, 2012
King County proclaims Emergency Medical Services Week
“Many residents of King County owe their lives to the work done by EMS staff that is proudly part of a system that is known nationally and internationally.”

May 16, 2012
Gossett: Council will review arena proposal to ensure balance between benefits and costs
“The County Executive asked the Council to be ‘diligent,’ ‘prudent,’ and ‘timely” in its consideration of the plan. My focus is that our review be ‘comprehensive.’”

May 7, 2012
Council appoints Johanna Bender to fill vacancy in King County District Court
“Her experience as a domestic violence advocate, her views on racial disproportionality, and her judicial philosophy show she has the compassion necessary to be an effective District Court Judge.”

April 23, 2012
Protecting workers from wage law violations
“This ordinance strengthens King County’s efforts to ensure that this mission is carried out with a focus on those most vulnerable to wage theft because of their inability to fight back.”

April 16, 2012
Council sends proposed levy increase for construction of Children and Family Justice Center to August ballot
“I am pleased the Council took the important first step of putting the replacement of the Alder facility on the August ballot. The voters of King County will have the final word as to whether we proceed with the plan to replace the county’s aging juvenile facility.”

April 2, 2012 
Council honors Amalgamated Transit Union for 100 years of service to King County
The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587, representing more than 4,000 bus drivers and transit operators, was recognized today by the King County Council for 100 years of serving public transportation needs in King County.

March 26, 2012
County Council thanks King County Sheriff Sue Rahr
“From Patrol Deputy to Division Chief to Sheriff, Sue Rahr has left her mark at every level of the Sheriff’s office.”

March 15, 2012
Councilmembers on Rahr resignation: “A legacy of service to the people of King County”
“I know I speak for everyone in King County when I say the County’s loss is the State’s gain, because I am confident that she will bring the same commitment to the public in her new position as the director of the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission.”

March 5, 2012
Council adopts plan identifying interim steps to tackle climate change
“Since the initial plan was adopted seven years ago, it makes sense to refine those goals as the County Executive prepares the County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan.”

March 1, 2012
Bi-partisan coalition calls for August ballot measure for needed replacement of County Youth Services Center
“By building a new Children and Family Justice Center, we can provide the best and safest conditions for our valued employees and Judges. By doing so, we most importantly enable our staff to provide the services needed by the youth and families that come to the Center every day in crisis.”

February 27, 2012
Council supports enactment of Washington Voting Rights Act by state Legislature
“For too many years, the law was used as a weapon to prevent communities of color from being full participants in our democracy. The voting rights act is an opportunity to protect the growing minority communities throughout King County and all of Washington state.”

February 27, 2012
County Council adopts climate change plan that incorporates goals of Countywide Strategic Plan
“We have made a commitment to ensure that the impacts of climate change are not only considered on the environment, but also on the people of King County. Making sure the County’s Climate Change Plan is consistent with the County Strategic Plan is a logical step in that direction.”

February 22, 2012
County applauds Inslee and Cantwell for preventing auction of radio spectrum used by local public safety systems
"Rapid and uninterrupted communications play a critical role for a number of County services. Congressman Inslee heard from the Council about the need to protect the investment the County has made for a 'band' used by a variety of agencies in the region."

February 6, 2012
Ferguson, Gossett introduce measure supporting Washington Voting Rights Act of 2012
“Voting is essential to active participation in our democracy. The denial of the right to vote in our elections has disproportionately affected immigrants and communities of color. The Washington Voting Rights Act of 2012 is an important step to increasing the voter turnout in these communities across the state.”

February 6, 2012
Council hails Executive’s call for regional partnership for economic revival
“Within King County, there are those that continue to live comfortably, but there are far too many that continue to live with economic uncertainty and various levels of need and poverty. As elected officials, it is the latter we must prioritize if we are to remain true to our commitment to equity and social justice.”

January 30, 2012
Gossett, Hague to continue as County Council Chair, Vice Chair in 2012
“I am honored that my colleagues have given me the responsibility of directing the Council for a second term. King County, along with the state and federal governments, continue to face fiscal challenges. We will meet those challenges, and the responsibilities of providing mandated services while supporting those in our community in crisis, in a bipartisan and transparent manner.”

January 30, 2012
Gossett and Ferguson opposed elimination of Route 42 bus service
“As an advocate for equality and social justice, I hoped my colleagues would support the idea of requiring Metro to engage in extensive community outreach prior to eliminating the 42. However, I will work with Metro and the community over the next several months to identify adequate service alternatives to meet the community’s needs.”

January 17, 2012
Protection of basic services, stable transportation funding and consolidation of special districts top County’s 2012 state Legislative Agenda
“A growing number of County residents are now accessing services and agencies that are facing devastating cuts in Olympia. This will be one of the most difficult legislative sessions ever, so it is vital that King County speak in a clear voice about our priorities regarding human services and transportation.”

January 12, 2012
King County community comes together to celebrate legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
"King County and its employees started celebrating the life and works of Rev. King one year after the County Council began its effort to rename the county in his honor. 25 years later, I'm very proud to say that King County not only carries Rev. King's name, but also his likeness as our official logo. Both the name and the logo are reminders of how far we have come in just one generation - they also serve as a continuing challenge for everyone to persevere in achieving the goals and ideals that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life for." 

January 10, 2012
County Council declares its support for marriage equality
“Many have marched, fought and died for equality. Ensuring that equality is ‘sex neutral’ and that loving and committed adult couples are free to marry is something that I have always supported. This vote, affirming King County’s support for marriage equality, is simply the latest step in this fight.”

December 5, 2011
County Council appoints Gerry Pollet to State House
“The appointment of Gerry Pollet is recognition of his years of commitment to his district and to people of Washington through Heart of America Northwest.”

November 21, 2011
Ferguson, Gossett propose wage protection legislation
“Employers who resort to these tactics are taking money away from working people and their families, and in this current economy, literally every dollar counts. I want to ensure that these businesses never benefit from working with King County.”

November 17, 2011
Executive and Council praise Congressional approval of $37.5 million for future Metro RapidRide serving both North and South King County
"These are routes that will go through major employment centers, which means that more people will be able to get out of their cars and onto a bus."

November 14, 2011 
County Council appoints David Frockt to State Senate
“Even though 2011 was just his second year in the state Legislature, David Frockt is an effective legislator. He will make a strong addition to the State Senate.”

November 9, 2011
County Council approves “humane, efficient” 2012 King County Budget
“King County continues to be indebted to our employees for finding and implementing efficiencies that save us money and providing excellent services even with a reduced workforce. However, as this economic crisis continues, King County will not be sustainable if we do not find new revenues especially in light of the impending federal and state cuts that impact King County's budget directly.”

November 7, 2011
County Council recognizes Golden Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. only visit to Seattle
“Seattle had its issues surrounding segregation in 1961 and Dr. King saw those issues up close, but he also saw a community working together to get better. It’s fitting that this city is now in a County that bears Dr. King’s name.”

October 31, 2011
King County recognizes University of Washington for its 150 years of contributions to the community
“World-renowned for its leadership in the sciences, medicine, forestry and the arts, the UW also should be recognized for the opportunities it has provided for communities of color. I’m proud to have been the first head of the school’s Black Student Union and to be part of the creation of the University’s Office of Minority Affairs.”

October 24, 2011
Council approves funds to maintain and expand 737 production in Washington
“Manufacturing jobs are living-wage jobs that are vital to the economic health of not only King County, but the entire region. An investment in trying to keep and possibly expand the aerospace industry and increase the number of manufacturing jobs available is a smart investment in these tough economic times” 

October 21, 2011
Statement from County Council Chair Larry Gossett on the death of State Senator Scott White
“The skills he showed in his too short of a time in the Legislature are an example of the energy and passion that Senator White brought to everything he did. We are particularly in his debt for his leadership in the State Senate in the adoption of the $20 Congestion Reduction Charge which will help us maintain Metro Transit service for the next two years.”

October 17, 2011
Council proclaims October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
“Let’s remind those we love that early detection is the first step and to take advantage of the information and resources available in our communities.”

September 26, 2011
County Council adopts jail agreement with Seattle
“This is an agreement that maximizes County resources. It’s also an agreement that reminds everyone that the strength of a justice system is the access that defendants have to resources. This keeps those incarcerated in the County jail close to public defenders and other legal services located near the facility.”

September 26, 2011
Council adopts plan to accelerate opportunities for small businesses to work with County
“In this current economic climate, small companies are seeing business opportunities shrink. This legislation provides those companies with the ability to contract with the County in a number of areas and those contracts could be the difference between continuing to stay in business or having to close their doors.”

September 19, 2011
County Council appoints first director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight
“Mr. Gaither is the perfect person to build the foundation for law enforcement oversight in King County. His extensive law enforcement and oversight experience make him uniquely qualified to serve the residents of King County and the deputies in the King County Sherriff’s Office. He understands not only the difficulties involved in being a law enforcement officer but also the damage that can be done in the community when officers abuse their authority. I look forward to working with him in the future.”

September 19, 2011
Councilmember Patterson urges Council support of federal efforts to reduce oil price speculation
“The spike we have seen in gas prices has impacted everyone, but those with the least have borne the brunt of the increase. This effort to reign in oil speculation will put money back in people’s pockets.”

September 12, 2011
County vans sent into “working” retirement by Council
“Our van donation program is the ideal recycling program that benefit a number of unique and valuable programs throughout King County—programs that are needed now more than ever.”

August 15, 2011
Council adopts transit funding plan that includes efficiencies, Congestion Reduction Charge
“I am pleased we worked collaboratively to come up with a package to save bus service for the residents of King County. Thousands of people testified in front of us, wrote in, or called asking us to save buses, not only for themselves but for the transit dependent members of our community. Today’s vote tells them we listened.”

July 25, 2011
Gossett: Amended pretrial diversion legislation better, but still edging toward “two-tier justice system”
“Judges will still have a valuable tool to use when suspects come before them. But I’m still concerned the idea behind the original legislation defies the Council’s commitment to the principles of equity and social justice that are part of the King County Strategic Plan. A two-tier justice system that punishes defendants for being poor is a step back, not a step forward.”

July 25, 2011
Amendments to sale agreement allows major construction project on former Kingdome parking lot to move forward
“We remain committed to providing affordable housing to the working class residents in King County. Through all of the changes in the Purchase and Sale Agreement, providing affordable housing has remained a condition of purchase.”

July 13, 2011
Overflow audience calls for preservation of Metro service
“The diversity of last night's large crowd - people from all across the county and from every race and income level - showed how important transit service is to everyone in our community.”

July 11, 2011
New vision for public transportation in King County with Council adoption of transit strategic plan
“Today’s passage of the Strategic Plan provides transparency to both policy makers and the transit riding public. This new system moves us away from old paradigms in the distribution of transit service and allows us to have a bus system based on productivity while still ensuring social equity.”

July 11, 2011 
Council agrees to a “new model” for unincorporated communities
“The UACs have been strong and important advocates for the residents in the communities they represent in unincorporated King County. This framework is an opportunity to expand outreach to make sure that all of the 285,000 citizens living outside of our cities have a voice in their government.”

June 13, 2011
No increase in sewer rates: Council approves keeping rates at 2011 level
“King County is responsible for a wastewater treatment system that serves a population spread out over three counties. Our challenge is to maintain that system and provide this valuable service in an efficient and cost effective manner. The current rate, and our vote to maintain that rate, meets that challenge.”

June 6, 2011
Celebrating equality and dignity: County Council proclaims June “Gay Pride Month”
“Members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities have contributed immensely to the social, political, and economic fabric of Martin Luther King, Jr. County. It was in that vein in 2008, we took steps to continue the struggle against discrimination towards sexual minorities by amending the King County Charter. However as Dr. King, our county’s namesake stated: `[c]hange does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.’ By designating June Gay Pride Month, we recommit ourselves to ensure that all people have equality.”

May 9, 2011
Report presents effectiveness of mental illness and drug treatment programs
“MIDD funding is a key component of the ‘paradigm shift’ in criminal justice made by the County over the last decade. The programs supported through MIDD are an example of how early intervention is a wise investment for those who are better served by treatment over a jail cell.”

May 2, 2011
Council approves economic investment
“The seed money in this legislation for economic development programs provides a much needed investment in areas such as the Skyway area of our county,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “The Skyway Solutions Plan is a community plan that will greatly benefit both the residents that live there as well as potential businesses that can be attracted to the area.”

April 18, 2011
Celebrating environmental awareness: County Council recognizes Earth Day
“Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on protecting the environment in all settings. Efforts to restore and revamp urban communities damaged through years of pollution are taking place on a local, national and international level. These programs recognize that clean environments cross all boundaries and jurisdictions.”

April 14, 2011 
Executive and Mayor reach long-term agreement for housing of City inmates at the King County Jail
“The agreement makes the best use of our county's resources as well as providing for long-term security for our residents by using alternatives to incarceration. King County and Seattle officials agree that alternatives such as mental health and drug court, relicensing programs and community correction programs are more effective than incarceration. It has been this paradigm shift that has been most effective in keeping our jail population down and using our money for treatment rather than building new jails."

April 4, 2011
Council recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month
“This is an opportunity to shed light on something affecting far too many in our community and that is too often is kept in the dark, with survivors afraid to speak out or seek assistance.”

March 28, 2011
Council recognizes work of County employees
“The motion and proclamation we did today shows our appreciation for the work public employees carry out every day of the year and a recognition of the sacrifices our employees make to ensure services continue to be delivered in this economic crisis.”

March 14, 2011
Council’s priorities build upon countywide strategic plan
“Our strategic plan is a daily reminder of the challenges facing King County right now and the steps we must take to meet those challenges. It is our commitment to the people of King County and we encourage the public to monitor our progress in meeting the goals of the plan.”

March 7, 2010
Funding in place to begin construction of new South Park Bridge
“We have seen the impact the loss of the bridge has had on the people who live and work in the South Park neighborhood. Having the financing for a new bridge in place means the County is closer to restoring the economic vitality and quality of life to this community.”

February 28, 2011
Councilmembers, Executive ready to work together toward “One King County”
“The Executive has introduced a sound agenda that focuses on meeting the challenges we face now even as we prepare for the future. Today’s address was the starting point for how the Council will work with the Executive on making the goal of ‘One King County’ a reality.”

February 14, 2011
County Council recognizes history and contributions of African-Americans
“In a County named for one of the greatest African-Americans of the 20th Century, it is fitting that we celebrate those men and women—the famous and the nameless—who who have played a role in the history of our nation.”

January 31, 2011
Committee of the Whole to meet on Mondays
“We see the shift as a more efficient way of using the Council’s time. Because the items that come before COW tend to be complex interdisciplinary issues, the new schedule gives committee staff more time to prepare their reports and members more time to review and act.”

January 3, 2011
Larry Gossett to lead 2011 County Council
“The Council is responsible for ensuring that the services we are mandated by law to provide are available in these days of shrinking budgets. At the same time, it is King County’s responsibility to provide for those that are in crisis—especially given the state of the economy. My goal will be to work with my colleagues to make sure this is done in an atmosphere of bipartisanship and transparency.”

January 3, 2011
Protection of basic services, funding tools for transit and tax suppression relief at top of County’s Legislative Agenda
“We realize that because of the state deficit, all state funding is on the chopping block. Our goal with this agenda is to work with the Legislature on revenue ideas that don’t depend on additional resources from Olympia.”

December 6, 2010
Council adopts funding plan to support acquisition of Maury Island gravel site
“As the world’s leaders meet now in Cancun, Mexico deliberating policies dealing with the world’s environment and climate change, we in King County have taken an important step in protecting our immediate environment including the waters of Puget Sound, preserving Maury Island and the surrounding ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.”

November 15, 2010
Council adopts 2011 King County Budget that reflects sacrifice, savings, and public safety
“Law enforcement is an important aspect of providing public safety in our communities. However, public safety also includes providing human services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, alternatives to incarceration programs to reduce the numbers of people in the King County jail, and public health clinics to provide essential medical care to the most marginalized in our community. That is the true meaning of public safety.”

November 12, 2010
Budget Committee presents budget striker that makes cuts, restores domestic violence and sexual assault services
“This budget continues the Council's commitment to fund programs that are alternatives to incarceration. It is important, especially in dire economic times, that we continue these programs to stop our criminal justice expenses from becoming 100 percent of our general fund.”

November 8, 2010
Sending transit where it’s needed: Recommendations of Regional Transit Task Force restructures delivery of bus service
“The RTTF recommendations will ensure that transit dependent people throughout King County will be able to continue to depend on Metro to get them to work, school and their appointments.”

November 2, 2010
Town hall meeting on Nov. 9 to focus on report from Regional Transit Task Force
Recommendations will guide major system changes to Metro Transit

October 11, 2010
Making sure equity and social justice are part of the County’s “Blueprint for the Future”
“With today’s incorporation of the equity and social justice principles, we have taken an important step in addressing the role that our government should play in addressing those impacted by race, class, gender, sexual orientation and ability.”

September 27, 2010
Council’s budget leadership acknowledges that 2011 Budget will involve painful choices
“There are no easy answers to this economic crisis and King County’s budget. While we are asking everyone to share the pain, it will be the poor, the disenfranchised, women, children and people of color who will disproportionately carry the burden of dwindling revenues and cuts in services.”

September 16, 2010
Budget Team members: Executive’s announcement confirms budget warning from sheriff
“The Executive’s proposed cuts exemplify the economic crisis that is facing King County government. We will continue to work on finding more efficiencies, but the reality is, there is no way to mitigate the cuts we are going to have to make in our criminal justice agencies.”

September 8, 2010
Reduced risk has not slowed preparations for potential flooding from federal Howard Hanson Dam
“I am pleased to hear that even with a reduced risk of flooding, the outreach efforts to the most vulnerable residents in the flood plain will continue.”

September 7, 2010
Council approves sending County vans into “working” retirement
“Our van donation program is the ideal recycling program that benefits youth and senior programs throughout King County. Without the donations, many programs would have to scale back valuable services that enhance the well being of our constituents.”

July 26, 2010
Council adopts “blueprint” for a more responsive and unified County Government
“This strategic plan recognizes that every County resident benefits by protecting those living on the margins and working to create better lives for themselves and their families. I’m proud that even in the face of serious budget challenges, the Strategic Plan understands the vital role the County must continue to have in the delivery of human services.”

July 14, 2010
Comprehensive reforms in labor policy include changes in wages and benefits
“Our dire economic times have brought greater collaboration between organized labor, the Council and the Executive. Together, we share a common interest to serve the public, to deliver King County services and to ensure that our workforce has good, supportive working conditions – all within a fiscally responsible budget. These labor policies reflect this vision.”

June 21, 2010
Council approves funding for County share of South Park Bridge replacement
“King County residents, especially those that live and work in the South Park neighborhood, rely on the bridge for their economic vitality and their quality of life. The legislation passed today moves us one step closer to securing the necessary funding to rebuild the South Park Bridge.”

May 25, 2010
Reprioritization of property taxes won’t be on August ballot
“We worked closely with the Executive and the criminal justice separately elected officials since the beginning of the year to craft a proposal to preserve the criminal justice system in King County. I am extremely disappointed we were unable to secure enough votes to put a measure on the ballot asking the voters of King County to support our criminal justice system.”

May 10, 2010
King County Council passes motion supporting federal health care reform
“Federal Health Care Reform will allow the thousands of uninsured King County residents to receive the basic health care that many of us take for granted.”

April 19, 2010
“21st Century Governance” Council adopts priorities for 2010
“It is important that in Martin Luther King, Jr. County, that we ensure that a good quality of life extends to those that are disenfranchised, poor and marginalized. Therefore, the Council must develop policies to show our commitment to equity and social justice in everything that King County does.”

April 19, 2010
Four decades of environmental awareness: County Council marks 40th anniversary of Earth Day
“Earth Day celebrations are a great way to teach our children about the importance of being a good citizen of the earth.  hope residents of King County will take advantage of living in an area blessed with an abundance of natural resources and join a community project with their kids.”

March 8, 2010
Councilmembers encouraged by “Blueprint for Reform” presented by County Executive
“It is vitally important that all levels of King County government are accountable to all residents, especially those have been historically disenfranchised from our society and those that are severely impacted by the economic recession facing us today. I'm encouraged that this plan does not forget those members of society who need government the most.”

March 1, 2010
Council adopts enhanced oversight for County’s high-risk capital projects
“This ordinance will give the Council an important tool to work with project managers and the Executive’s office to ensure that high risk capital projects are managed in the most efficient manner.”

March 1, 2010
Council confirms appointments to Regional Transit Task Force
“The membership of the Task Force represents the many communities that are transit users in King County, including low income, minority and transit dependent riders.”

February 22, 2010
Council says “Thank You” to Metro’s 2,700 transit operators
“The job done by these drivers is worthy of praise. I join my colleagues and bus riders throughout the region in showing our appreciation to these county employees.”

February 10, 2010
Gossett expects Metro to brief Council committee on steps to protect transit users
“Protecting the more than 100 million passengers who ride Metro every year and wait for the bus in Metro facilities is our top priority.”

February 1, 2010
Council adopts guidelines that will direct Regional Transit Task Force
“The panel’s recommendations will have a role in the future of public transit in this region. So they will have to balance the needs of inner city and suburban transit users while recognizing the budget challenges facing this region.”

January 11, 2010
Councilmembers extend deadline on closure of King County animal shelters
“It is important to work with all our partners in this effort to find a comprehensive animal services plan for the region and I am supportive of the Executive in his attempt to do this.”

January 11, 2010
Council approves creation of child care center in County facility
“When we voted to build the Chinook Building, we decided that we were going to make space for a childcare facility. Through the partnership of King County, city of Seattle, Northwest Center and the developers, Wright Runstad and Associates, we will make this childcare facility a reality in the very near future.”

January 4, 2010
Council appoints Jan Drago to fill vacancy in Council District 8
“I look forward to working with Jan Drago on the many complex issues facing King County. I am sure that Jan will serve her constituents well over the next 11 months.”

January 4, 2010
King County Council calls on state lawmakers to act on revenue options for counties
“Given the difficult economic crisis facing all levels of government, King County hopes that the Washington state Legislature will protect the county’s public health and mental health funding sources.”

December 14, 2009
County Council adopts Juvenile Court facilities plan
“A new juvenile court facility will allow us to consolidate important services to our youth and their families. In the long run, we will save money and build a facility that will provide a safe and healthy physical environment for our employees and those that use the Youth Services Center.”

December 14, 2009
Council restores funding for County 4-H programs
“The public support for 4-H and Washington State University Extension was so tremendous that the Council wanted to fund this program even in light of our economic difficulties.”

December 14, 2009
Council approves next step in acquisition of BNSF Eastside Rail Corridor
“The goal of ensuring that there will be no private development on this vital corridor is in sight. And we are closer to developing another part of the county's trail system that will allow residents to continue the outdoor activities so vital to our quality of life.”

December 7, 2009
Council Committee interviews 4 candidates recommended for Constantine vacancy in District 8
“We have four outstanding candidates who presented their vision of the future of District 8 and King County. I appreciate their willingness to step forward and meet the challenges they'll face when the join the Council.”

November 23, 2009
King County Council unanimously adopts 2010 Budget that keeps basic services on the streets, cuts costs, and increases efficiencies
“Given the deep economic crisis and the $56 million deficit facing King County, the Council had to make some very difficult decisions in this 2010 budget. The result was a very basic budget that allows the County to continue providing mandated services and the programs that assist the most vulnerable.”

November 23, 2009
County Council approves three-year extension of jail contracts
“The fact that we have space within our facilities is proof that the ‘paradigm shift’ the County started a decade ago is working. Alternatives to incarceration are giving people who need treatment more than a jail cell the help they need. This contract will allow the cities and the County to ensure that there are cells available for those inmates who must be in a secured facility.”

November 19, 2009
Criminal justice and bus service preserved in preliminary budget from County Council Budget Leadership Team
“We left no stone unturned to come up with a responsible and humane budget. Through reprioritizing, we’ve ensured that King County will be able to carry out our mandated services in 2010 while continuing services for those most impacted by the worst recession in a generation.”

November 18, 2009
Domestic violence, sexual assault and legal aid programs saved in preliminary 2010 King County Budget
“Compelling stories from the survivors of abuse and the agencies that help them escape started at our first public hearing in Bellevue and continued throughout our budget deliberations. These are programs that literally save lives—we could not let them end.”

November 16, 2009
King County Council sets process for filling seat to be vacated by Councilmember Constantine
“I am pleased with the composition of the advisory board. I am confident they will forward the County Council a qualified pool of applicants for the next representative of District 8.”

November 16, 2009
King County Council adopts tax-neutral financing that maintains Metro bus service despite steep decline in revenues
“Metro Transit is the only transportation option available for many residents of my district. It was vital that the regional public transit system continue to step up instead of cut back. Our plan ensures that riders will not see a drop in service next year.”

November 9, 2009
King County Council protects public safety and health by ensuring all residents have access to services
regardless of immigration status

“I want to thank the coalition of community groups and the Executive’s Office for bringing this issue to the Council’s attention. With this legislation, we have taken one more step forward in immigration reform.”

November 9, 2009
GOAL!!! King County Council backs Seattle’s bid to host World Cup
“From the youth leagues in Wallingford and Fremont to adult leagues on Capitol Hill to pick-up games at NewHolly, the ‘World’s game’ has become ‘America’s game’ in my district. I applaud the effort to bring this premier athletic event to our region because this is a sport that brings nations and cultures together in friendly competition and cultural exchange.”

October 26, 2009
Council adopts agreements to relocate County inmates in case of emergency
“We have a responsibility to protect the people serving their time in the MRJC, as well as those who work there and the public. These agreements ensure that if we do have to relocate inmates, they will be placed in secure facilities outside of the flood zone.”

October 19, 2009
Council authorizes emergency funding for relocation of County services and protection of County facilities in flood-threatened Green River Valley
“It is imperative that the County take the necessary actions to protect our employees and the facilities in which they work in the Green River Valley. Today’s actions help us prepare to take the steps we need to ensure continued operation of vital county services.”

October 12, 2009
“Mega-shelters” being scouted to house up to 5,000 potential evacuees from the Green River Valley in the event of flooding from the federal Howard Hanson Dam
“We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of Katrina. This is why one of our top priorities must be communicating evacuation procedures to the low-income and transit dependent residents of the Green River Valley. I am pleased to see the county working with our regional partners and the Red Cross to get the message out about the danger associated with flooding in the valley, the evacuation routes, and the shelters that will be provided to those in need.”

October 5, 2009
Council told that interim repairs to federal Howard Hanson Dam expected to be done by November 1
“Col. Wright said that he was impressed with King County’s preparations for potential flooding. The partnerships on the federal, state and local level are the first defense in preparing for what we hope will not occur within the Valley.”

September 28, 2009
Council budget leadership commits to cutting costs while protecting vital services in 2010 County Budget
“Today we face new financial realities, and our job is clear. We must cut costs while protecting those services the public deems most vital. Nearly every program and agency throughout King County is facing a financial crisis.”

September 16, 2009
Council already in support of more transparent funding of King County utilities, as recommended by new state audit
The document released today on King County utilities recommends some efficiencies that we will pursue with the Executive branch. Other findings do not appear to acknowledge savings already identified by the County or fully grasp the realities of running a landfill.

September 16, 2009
Council briefed on cooperation, evacuation, recovery and mitigation in Green River flood zone
“As we prepare for the real possibility that communities will need to be evacuated, it is vital that the agencies responsible for responding all be on the same page.”

September 9, 2009 
Council briefed on relocation of Elections operations and public notification in Green River flood zone 
“The disenfranchisement of a single voter is unacceptable for any reason, especially when we know the risk of a flood in the valley is high. This is why I am pleased King County is taking the proactive step of moving the Elections facility out of the Green River Valley before the November election.”

September 2, 2009
Plans for flood barriers around Justice Center and continuation of essential services in Green River Valley detailed for Council committee
“The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina taught us how devastating the damage – both human and economic – can be without proper planning.”

August 26, 2009
New risk of flooding from Howard Hanson Dam could threaten County facilities and require emergency relocations
“The valley is home to the region’s food distribution center and is the manufacturing hub of the Pacific Northwest. Given our current economic crisis we can ill afford to lose the $46 million a day in economic activity that is generated in the valley. It’s vital we take all the needed steps to prevent this from happening.”

July 27, 2009
County Council funds family planning clinics through 2009
“With the help of federal and state funding, we are rescuing another imperiled program from the budget ‘lifeboat.' The need for these services is clear: in 2007, these family planning clinics served 17,200 clients.”

July 21, 2009
Statement from Councilmembers Julia Patterson and Larry Gossett on rejection of proposed property tax levy
“Today’s vote means that, during our budget process this fall, we will need to take devastating cuts to criminal justice, health and human services. Those cuts will result in sickness, crime and the inability to keep the community healthy and safe.”

July 13, 2009
County Council and Executive-branch agencies to reduce staff and freeze hiring to keep budget “lifeboat” afloat
“We were able to work with our colleagues to create a solution that preserves the out-year reserves necessary to help with the county’s projected 2010 budget shortfall. This plan allows us to continue providing vital services to the neediest members of our community.”

June 15, 2009
County Council holds the line on 2010 sewer rate
“In today’s tough economic times, it’s commendable that the Wastewater Treatment Division has managed to keep its operating costs virtually the same as last year and is on target with its long-range capital spending projections. This translates into stable fees for county ratepayers.”

June 15, 2009
Council reauthorizes popular countywide Video Voters Guide for primary and general election
“Any effort that increases the information available to voters should be encouraged. The Video Voters Guide allows you to find out about a candidate at your leisure—and at your convenience.”

May 26, 2009
Council approves new life for retired vans
“These vehicles have become invaluable to the groups that receive them because they provide options. They are a lifeline to the senior that needs to go to the doctor or the youth group that wants to take their kids on a trip.”

May 18, 2009
Council appoints Kurt Triplett as King County Executive
“As Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, I look forward to working with Kurt Triplett in this time of transition and economic uncertainty. He will draw on his 17 years of experience and leadership in County government to inform the difficult choices before the Executive’s office in the next six months.”

May 18, 2009
Efficiency in government, public safety, health and human services, and physical environment
top Council’s 2010 budget priorities

“The economic challenges facing King County call upon us to find ways to maintain the safety net for our most needy and vulnerable populations, and to provide mandated services in a period of shrinking revenues. The priorities we adopted today reflect the idea that in protecting the safety, health, and quality of life of King County citizens, we must look beyond our standard way of preparing the budget.”

May 18, 2009
County Council integrates Metro bus service around new Link light rail system
“After hearing the concerns of the community, I worked with Metro and my colleagues to find a solution to the proposed elimination of route 42. While the new route does not address all of the issues raised, I hope it will allow members of the community to retain some of the transportation services they have come to depend on.”

May 4, 2009
Council moves swiftly to fund protection of Raging River open space
“Working on a state and county level with regional stakeholders, we’ve adopted a plan that ensures this property will remain available for limited logging and recreational uses, but is closed to development.”

April 27, 2009
Heightened local monitoring is underway for swift detection of swine flu, King County Council is told
“There are no reports of cases in our region, but today’s briefing is a reminder of the safeguards we already have in place to protect the public if there is a major influenza outbreak.”

April 27, 2009
Constantine, Gossett praise Legislature’s efforts to provide counties with funding tools
“I appreciate the Legislature’s hard work to help King County and other Washington counties maintain programs during these tough economic times.”

April 13, 2009
Council committees to hold joint public meeting on upcoming bus service changes
“Metro is proposing changes in bus service as a result of rail service in southeast Seattle. I want to make sure that transit users are aware of the impact those changes may have on their commute and have an opportunity to give us their input before we make any final decisions.”

April 6, 2009
King County Council implements greater transparency in County budget numbers
“In a period where every government jurisdiction is facing huge budget deficits, it is important for the general public to see how and where King County spends taxpayer dollars. With this legislation, the average citizen can now see the priorities of the County.”

March 30, 2009
Council approves investment in White Center
“The next step in the transformation of the Park Lake neighborhood into Greenbridge is construction of the plaza that will be financed by this loan. This complex will spur economic growth in both Greenbridge and the communities within southwest King County.”

March 17, 2009
County Budget Director forecasting a 40 to 50 million dollar general fund shortfall for 2010
“King County—and counties throughout Washington—are facing hard choices. Declining revenues are forcing us to decide which of the programs that protect the lives, health and safety of county residents will be reduced or eliminated. The state Legislature is still working on a proposal that would provide counties with the revenue options that will allow us to fund these programs. Without those options, the only choice we may have is to stop providing the services.”

February 17, 2009 
Additional loss of $35 million in sales tax revenues next year threatens Metro bus service
“At a time of record ridership, we are facing the reality that we may have to cut transit service unless a new source of revenues is identified.”

February 2, 2009
Sale of Summit Pit clears way for open space, trails, housing and new roads facility
“This is a purchase that not only benefits the county’s financing of our new facility, it’s a benefit in our efforts to keep sprawl in check. Summit Place’s purchase of TDRs and easements means that growth will continue in communities that have the infrastructure to support it.”

January 27, 2009
Council told of first drop in County jail population in five years
“These totals show that the ‘paradigm shift’ that we began at the start of this century have had a real impact on lives. For many, it was the first time that people were given the assistance to deal with their addiction or mental illness and to begin their journey towards recovery. These numbers show that we must continue these programs even despite our budget problems if we are to have true public safety in King County.”

December. 8, 2008
Rural businesses receive a boost: County Council provides flexibility for home-based retail sales
“Small home-based businesses are the backbone of the economy in King County’s rural and unincorporated communities. This legislation simplifies some of the regulations that have restricted the operation of these businesses and should encourage rural entrepreneurs to expand their companies or open new ones.”

November 25, 2008
Councilmember Gossett: Adopted County Budget ensures human service safety net in place for 2009
“The safety net provided by human service organizations are critical to our county, especially when we are facing extremely difficult economic times.”

November 24, 2008
Councilmember Gossett: Time to find stable funding for Equity and Social Justice programs
“I believe we must find a dedicated funding source to support the most highly utilized health and human services programs serving the poor and disadvantaged in our community. Even with this significant reduction in general revenue funds for next year we must find ways to prioritize services for those most vulnerable: seniors, the poor, children, and other marginalized and disenfranchised populations.”

November 24, 2008
Highest priorities of public safety, health and quality of life protected by the King County Council in 2009 adopted budget
“I am pleased we are able to maintain our commitment to equity and social justice by funding critical programs that reduce the number of low-level offenders in the King County jail. If we dismantle these programs, our county will not only face skyrocketing criminal justice costs but also increased social problems.”

November 7, 2008
Citizen panel praised for recommendations that paid off with a smooth day at the polls
“I want to applaud the Elections Division for their work on implementing the important recommendations of the CEOC. Their efforts ensured the smooth operation of this election.”

October 6, 2008
More flexibility for farmers and incentives for urban density adopted in update of County land use policies
“This plan takes a holistic approach to growth in King County. These amendments focus growth in ways that help urban and suburban communities become healthier, while expanding opportunities for owners to utilize and protect rural and agricultural lands.”

October 6, 2008 
Overlooked groups now part of Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Action Plan
“We understand that we must take responsibility for the ills within our community, but to address those ills, it is necessary to address the root causes. I look forward to working with the MIDD Oversight Committee and other mental health providers to develop new strategies that will provide culturally relevant mental health and substance abuse services targeted to youth and young adults of color who have experienced violence.”

July 28, 2008
One more proposed King County Charter amendment placed on November ballot
“This is the last of the six charter amendments that will be on the 2008 ballot. The next step will be up to the voters of King County.”

July 14, 2008
Council places five proposed amendments to King County Charter on November ballot
“I believe it is important to place before voters the extension of legal protections in our county charter to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity, disability or sexual orientation – discrimination that is already prohibited in our county code.”

July 14, 2008
Gossett honored as one of the UW’s “Wondrous One Hundred”
“I am honored to be named one of UW’s wondrous One Hundred, especially as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sit-in at the UW that precipitated major changes for students of color.”

July 7, 2008
Council calls for extension of regional jail contract and joint strategy with cities on future jail needs
“It is very important that we strengthen our regional partnerships in order to have a comprehensive, first-class criminal justice system. This means working with the cities within the County to ensure public safety, provide alternatives to incarceration for those who need treatment to stay out of the system, and operate a uniform, humane, equitable and fiscally responsible criminal justice system.”

July 7, 2008
Appeals court opinion on critical areas may place the burden of review on property owners
“Today's opinion from Division One of the state Court of Appeals invalidating part of the county's Clearing and Grading Ordinance raises legal issues which need to be resolved by the state Supreme Court, potentially through the appeals process. It does not relieve King County of any of its obligations under the state Growth Management Act (GMA) to protect the environment, economy and quality of life.”

June 9, 2008
County candidates could declare party preference under new alternative to I-26
“By knowing a candidate’s party preference, the people of King County will be able to judge better the values and principles for which that candidate stands.”

June 9, 2008
Reaching for the tap instead of the bottle: County Council restricts purchases of bottled water
“As one of the nation’s leaders in environmental protection, this ordinance is one more example showing King County’s commitment to conserve our resources.”

June 4, 2008
Council expresses condolences on the passing of former King County Councilmember Ruby Chow
“Ruby Chow has left a remarkable legacy to the people of King County that is carried on by her children who serve as public servants and community volunteers,”

June 2, 2008
Twelve amendments to County Charter put before King County Council for ballot consideration
“The proposed recommendations are a reflection of concerns raised by citizens at public hearings over the last year. The Council must now consider which of these recommendations we want to send to all of the voters of King County. The Charter Review Commission gave us solid information to work with as we make our decision.”

May 5, 2008
Council preserves options for rail and trail in historic agreement with Port to bring Eastside Rail Corridor into public ownership
“It is a great achievement that the Port and King County government has been able to save the Eastside rail corridor and put in under public ownership and use it for generations to come for rail, hiking, jogging and biking use.”

May 5, 2008
County Council calls for rebid of federal tanker contract
“Especially in this period of economic difficulty in the U.S., it is the role of our government to protect and develop more jobs for our workers and not to facilitate jobs leaving the U.S.”

April 28, 2008
Council backs affordable workforce housing in Renton, Kent and Burien
“The challenge of keeping working wage housing in King County means crafting creative solutions. The Credit Enhancement Program allows us to partner with developers who are already building units to ensure that low-income residents are not forced out of our largest cities.”

March 24, 2008
More bus service on major routes throughout the county thanks to new transit partnerships
“Increasing transit options was one of the goals of Transit Now. These partnerships fulfill that goal.”

March 10, 2008
Sammamish park transfer meets growing need for Eastside playfields
“There is a growing need for athletic fields in east King County. The County is also committed to ensuring passive open space. Our vote guarantees that the majority of Soaring Eagle Park will be available for quiet activities but also ensures space for athletic pursuits.”

March 3, 2008
Community hearings set on major update to King County land use policies
“We are reaching out to the 360,000 residents of our rural and unincorporated areas to make it easier for your voices to be heard. Instead of having to drive downtown, you can come to an evening public hearing in your community, or submit your testimony online.”

Feb. 11, 2008
Maleng’s advocacy inspires building name
“The name of the new facility recognizes Maleng’s untiring support for the staff who work inside that building and the help they provide to the individuals and families who come through their doors.”

Jan. 22, 2008
Council adopts funding to pilot improvements in children’s health
“Healthy children grow up to be healthy adults. Children who lack health care face a future of health disparities that will impact the rest of their lives."

Jan. 7, 2008
Human services, public health highlight King County’s 2008 State Legislative Agenda
“There are a number of challenges facing King County, but the biggest cost driver on our general fund budget continues to be criminal justice. The County has made great strides in the ‘paradigm shift’ from incarceration to intervention. State funding for programs that help keep young people out of the criminal justice system is essential.”

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