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Bettie Williams-Watson Recognized for her Advocacy for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors

D2_WilliamsWatson_webBettie Williams-Watson has been a community activist for over 30 years, but for many in our community she has been a lifeline for those fleeing domestic and sexual violence. For her work as a voice for the survivors of domestic violence, as well as providing critically needed, culturally relevant services for perpetrators, I and the Council honored Ms. Williams-Watson, presenting her with the Martin Luther King, Jr. 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. She has clearly raised consciousness in terms of sexual and domestic violence awareness.

In 1987, Williams-Watson became a Volunteer Coordinator for what was then the New Beginnings Shelter for Abused Women and Children, and eventually worked in a number of other capacities including Shelter Advocate; Community Advocate, and Community Advocacy Program Director. Williams-Watson soon helped create the first support group in the State of Washington for Older Abused Women, and developed groups at Shoreline, Central, and Greenwood Senior Centers.

Over the last three decades, Williams-Watson has become an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, focusing on survivors in the African-American community, including working with three faith communities in developing Multi-Communities, a faith-based program that aids domestic violence survivors. Williams-Watson has also worked with Solid Ground, Northwest Family Life and the Salvation Army. She has also worked with batterers, creating a Domestic Violence Treatment Prevention Program for at-risk male teens in 12 community and/or school-based settings for kids, ages 9-18 and being the co-lead of the only African American Batterers Treatment groups for men, ages 20-50+ in the Rainier Valley. Her current project is Closing the Circle: Ending Silence and Shame in Predominantly African American Faith Communities, which focuses on African American boys as allies in their own healing and well-being, a step toward reducing high levels of gender-based violence.

Ms. Williams-Watson’s work has been recognized locally and nationally. She has received the Ginny Nicarthy Award for Excellence in Advocacy by King County Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence and has been a National R.O.S.E. Award Nominee. She has been recognized by the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as well as the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center for groundbreaking work in addressing domestic and sexual violence through the use of faith communities.

The annual presentation of the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service is the Council’s way of thanking those who have made a particularly strong impact on the county and to encourage others to renew their dedication to serve their community. This is the third year Councilmembers have recognized individuals in their districts who have answered the question asked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are you doing for others?”

Congratulations Franklin High School Mock Trial Team!


Franklin High claims top honor in national mock-trial competition! For the first time in 15 years, Franklin’s varsity team took 1st place at the Washington State Mock Trial Championship, earning a spot at the National High School Mock Trial Championship. Franklin High School’s Mock Trial Team was declared the National Champion in Reno, Nevada on May 13th, the second time (2000) to win this coveted title in the 25 years of the existence of this program. The team competed against 46 teams, and after five rounds of arguing the same court case against competitors from 42 states, Guam, the Mariana Islands and South Korea, took home the win. Franklin High School is located in District Two, and the King County Council honored the team on May 7 for winning the state championship. The Council would like to congratulate the members of the team and their coach, Don Eaton, and retired King County Judge William Downing for overseeing high school mock trials in King County for many years. Congratulations Franklin High School!

Metro Routes 4 and 48 to be Re-Routed off 23rd Avenue Temporarily

23rd_avenue_s_reroutes_420x280Metro Transit routes 4 and 48 will be re-routed between S Jackson Street and Rainier Ave S starting this spring for about one year due to construction for the Seattle Department of Transportation 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements project.

Routes 4 and 48 will be detoured off of 23rd Avenue S to Martin Luther King Jr Way S, between S Jackson St and Rainier Ave S when construction begins in May.

Route 4 is a trolley route and there is no trolley wire on Martin Luther King Jr Way S, so all service south of the stops on E Jefferson St will be provided on 40-foot long diesel bus shuttles starting March 12, 2018. On weekdays, this will require anyone traveling beyond E Jefferson St to transfer between the regular trolley bus and the diesel shuttle bus. On weekends, Route 4 will operate full-length trips with diesel buses.

Look for signs at the bus stops, electronic alerts, and street teams getting the word out to riders. For questions, contact or Kamilah Brown at

Communities of Opportunity

King County and Seattle Foundation selected 27 nonprofit organizations that will help improve health, social and economic outcomes in the region. The total of $2.5 million in competitive grants will help confront startling racial inequities in King County. The community partners will achieve multiple goals, such as empowering small family businesses facing displacement, connecting youth of color with city leaders to prevent violence, and making it possible for more people of color to participate in the green economy.

This is the latest round of investments from Communities of Opportunity – a partnership between King County and Seattle Foundation – which is governed by leaders from community organizations, local governments, and philanthropies.

“We are setting a course for positive change by tapping into community expertise and supporting community priorities,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “This latest round of community investments holds true to our shared vision with King County to further civic engagement, advance community leadership and support community priorities.”

Communities of Opportunity is funded jointly through Seattle Foundation and Best Starts for Kids, a voter-approved initiative to promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families, and communities in King County.

Here are a few examples of the partnerships funded by Communities of Opportunity grants:

  • Casa Latina will work to develop and advocate for a Bill of Rights that better protects domestic workers and removes loopholes in employment laws that often exclude domestic workers.
  • Federal Way Youth Action Team will expand its work to engage youth of color in policy making. This includes engaging city leaders to discuss vital issues with young people, including violence prevention approaches.
  • Friends of Little Saigon received a capacity-building award to engage small family businesses to mitigate changes in the neighborhood and to strengthen Little Saigon in Seattle’s International District as a cultural hub for the larger Vietnamese population.
  • Got Green will address disparities that often keep people of color from participating in the green economy internships and careers. This includes investing in fellowship programs to develop young leaders in the environmental justice movement.
  • Here is a complete list of the systems and policy change grants. The 27 nonprofits that successfully competed for the Communities of Opportunity grants will work with partners, so a total of 50 nonprofits will contribute to the work.

Council Approves a Flat Fare for Metro Riders

The King County Council unanimously approved steps simplifying Metro Transit's complex fare structure to a flat $2.75 adult fare. The new fare plan eliminates a payment system that fluctuated between time and distance and could cost an adult rider between the ages 19-64 anywhere from $2.50 to $3.25 a ride. The new fare eliminates the Peak and Zone Fares for Single Adult Rate and does not affect the roughly 1 in 3 Metro riders who pay ORCA Lift—Metro’s low income fare program— or youth, senior, and disabled fares. The new fare structure will go into effect in July of 2018.

Dreamers Legislation Passes Unanimously

This week, the King County Council passed legislation calling on Congress to swiftly and comprehensively protect the legal status of thousands of Dreamers. The motion, passed 9-0, also directs King County’s federal government relations team to prioritize efforts in Congress to continue DACA protections. It also requests this team commence efforts to build a broad coalition of county officials nationwide. This heartless action from the White House punishes people who were raised, educated and contribute everyday to the only home they know--the United States. Congress must act to protect DREAMERS! A copy of the legislation is now being shared with Washington’s congressional delegation. For more information on the termination of the Dreamers Program and various resources, visit:

Councilmember Gossett featured on Prosecutor's Partners

Celebrating Black History Month: King County's Logo

MLK logo 225pxClick here for information on the 10 year anniversary of the county logo


What’s Happening in District 2

Summer is here and there are some exciting events happening! Here are a number of events happening throughout the district you may enjoy.

University District Farmers Market
Saturdays, year round
9am - 2pm
University Way NE (the "Ave"), between 50th & 52nd streets, Seattle, WA 98105

University Heights 2018 Summer Music Festival
Saturdays; June-September
University Heights

Join University Heights for their 2018 SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL! With new, outdoor performances every Saturday, expect to be transported by the stunning rhythms and melodies. Free to the public, with tasty bites available from the U District Farmers Market. Here are a few I think you will enjoy:

July 7, 12-1pm: Gansango - West African Music and Dance
July 14, 12-1pm: The Harmonica Pocket - Children's Music
August 4, 12-1pm: NW Tap Connection
August 11, 12-1pm: Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project - Carribean

Check out their website for the full summer lineup.

Our Women of Courage Awards
Saturday, July 28, 2018
11:30am – 2pm
Northwest African American Museum, 2800 S. Massachusetts Seattle, WA 98144

We invite you to come honor legends of Rev. Harriett Walden and DeCharlene Williams. For years these two courageous women have stood the test of time in their lives and in their community, standing for what they believe in for many decades...and still going strong! We admire their tenacity, courage and ability to lift the awareness of community needs with boldness, honesty and commitment-speaking from their hearts and walking in what they believe and know to be true. Please join us in celebrating their individual legacies! This will be a special tribute to DeCharlene Williams, she recently passed. Tickets are $25 and include lunch catered by That Brown Girl Cooks. Tickets:

Umoja Festival
Friday- Sunday, August 3-5, 2018
11am – 8pm, daily
Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St Seattle, WA 98144

Umoja Fest brings the Soul to Seafair as the oldest and largest celebration of the Black community and African Diaspora culture in the Pacific Northwest. Three stages of live music, delicious fun, food, culture and family fun are the main ingredients for the Umoja Fest Africatown Festival & Parade...the soul of Seafair! Held in Seattle's historic Central District, home to the city’s musical legacy ranging from jazz to hip-hop, the festival features three days of attractions including the Africatown Heritage Parade, Children’s Day & Family Fun Village, three stages of live music, Heal The Hood Basketball Tournament, cuisine sampling the African diaspora, marketplace, the community resource fair, and so much more, you won't want to miss it! For more info visit Free and kid friendly event.

Big Day of Play
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Rainier Playfield and Rainier Community Center, 3700 S. Alaska St. Seattle, WA 98118

Free, kid friendly event, the Big Day of Play is a celebration of the city of Seattle’s diversity, and it encourages neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. Big Day of Play is completely free and includes activities for all ages and abilities. The event will showcase active recreation booths and activities, including basketball, wheelchair rugby, goal ball, adaptive play equipment, rainbow bingo and much more. Community members can also enjoy cultural music and dance presentations throughout the day. Discover your inner athlete while enjoying the sounds, smells and foods from a range of communities. Free transportation is available – more information here. More information can be found at and on the event’s Facebook page at All are welcome.

Skyway 2nd Annual Celebrate Skyway! Parade & Block Party
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Skyway Library, 12601 76th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178

It's time to celebrate Skyway! Join the Skyway community for a parade that begins at the Skyway Library followed by a block party at 11800 Renton Ave S. Seattle, WA 98178. They are expecting a large turnout. Free and kid friendly. This event is sponsored by Skyway Solutions and the entire Skyway-West Hill community. For more information:

Columbia City Cinema Under the Stars: “Coco”
Saturday, August 18, 2018
7pm-10pm, movie begins at sunset
Columbia City Park, 3515 S Alaska St. Seattle, WA 98118 2018

Coco,” the Academy Award-winning 2017 Pixar animated film praised for its presentation of Latino culture, will be screened. Gather at 8pm; the films start at sunset. Bring a picnic, low back chairs and blankets to spread out for a fun cinema experience under the stars. The event is free, but we are selling concessions and will accept donations for the Rainier Valley Food Bank. For more information on local outdoor cinema series:

Skyway Outdoor Cinema
Saturday, August 24, 2018
Skyway Outdoor Cinema, 12610 76th Ave S. Seattle, WA 98178

Come view the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time: Black Panther. The preshow gets started at 8pm behind the Skyway 7-Eleven in the U.S. Bank parking lot (but insiders know to get here by 7pm for a good spot). Don’t forget to bring a comfy chair or blanket (or picnic table, or beanbag) and some cash for the concession stand (there is a U.S. Bank ATM on premises and another in the 7-Eleven, if you prefer). Movie starts at 9pm with a Bluray DVD prize drawing to follow. FOOD: *Trucks will be on sight*, 50¢ popcorn & $1 full-size candy at concessions FUN: *TBA*

This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture, as well as support from King County's CSA Program, King County Parks, and all of our wonderful community donors and business sponsors.

Contact Councilmember Gossett

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