In addition to Chair McDermott’s regional priorities, this budget supports programs and services throughout Council District 8
StoryWorking to ensure a safe, welcoming and equitable county was a top priority for Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, which included investing to further the King County Gun Safety Action Plan, supporting and protecting our Immigrant and Refugee neighbors and friends, and promoting affordable housing in the County’s work to tackle the region’s homelessness crisis.
Gun Safety Action Plan
As a Council, we’ve taken steps to ensure we’re doing our part to protect residents from gun violence within the confines of the state’s preemption law. This work must approach the epidemic of gun violence as a public health crisis, and this budget does just that.
- King County Public Health will receive $180,000 to engage youth and young people affected by gun violence to learn from them how we might help make their lives, communities and schools safer from violence. This money funds the project authorized by the Gun Safety Action Plan in September.
- An innovative partnership between the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, King County Public Health and local law enforcement agencies around the County to track and prevent gun violence using a public health approach will receive $500,000 to continue its work for the next two years.
Immigrants and Refugees
This budget builds upon the work we started in 2017 that ensures Martin Luther King Jr. County remains dedicated to being a safe, welcoming community for all who live, work and visit here:
- $500,000 will be invested in outreach around the 2020 Census to ensure our immigrant and refugee friends, family and neighbors are appropriately counted without being intimidated by the Trump Administration’s discriminatory immigration questions designed to suppress responses. This work will be incredibly important so that all residents are counted. An accurate census count affects everything from Congressional representation to federal funding for housing, transportation and human services.
- The Immigrant and Refugee Fund investment for legal defense and community organizations, first passed by Chair McDermott and developed in partnership with the City of Seattle last year, will continue and grow for the next 6 years, through the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy funds passed by King County voters.
Housing and Homelessness
Thanks to legislation and policy Chair McDermott sponsored earlier this year, the Council was able to distribute an additional $100 million in bonded money to invest in affordable housing throughout the County in the coming months. This includes over $70 million in affordable housing investments, as well as over $15 million for shelters for people experiencing homelessness in five different locations around the County.
District 8 Investments
In addition to Chair McDermott’s regional priorities, this budget supports programs and services throughout Council District 8.
- The King County Water Taxi will continue its high level of service, including over $3.5 million in investments for studying updates to the West Seattle Terminal, developing a Transit Hub and preserving Seacrest Dock. All of this while not raising fares that were previously planned to go increase in 2020 – the first biennium no fare increase has occurred since King County took over operations in 2012.
- The Creekside Village Apartments, a new project on Vashon Island integrating affordable rental housing, wetland preservation and open space, will receive $4 million to work towards filling an incredibly important need for islanders.
- The Broadway Youth Opportunity Center, through Youth Care and Capitol Hill Housing, will receive $6.5 million to deliver housing and services for homeless youth.
- The Seattle Chinatown-International District PDA will receive $2.5 million to work on redeveloping the Pacific Tower North Lot for affordable housing.
- The Evergreen Pool in White Center will receive $106,000 to upgrade and maintain the vital service it provides families throughout the North Highline area.
- The Hope Academy in southern West Seattle, serving Somali students from around the region, will be upgrading their facilities with an investment of $25,000.
- The South Park Information and Resource Center will receive $36,000 to support their community sports program in the coming two years.
- The West Seattle Veterans Service Center will receive $5,000 to support their work supporting Veterans throughout the region.
For more information on Chair McDermott’s budget priorities, contact Grant Lahmann at email@example.com.