Seattle Sports Commission Grant
Congratulations to the Seattle Sports Commission for receiving a $50,000 grant from King County for event bidding such as national, NCAA and Pac-12 championships. I enjoyed meeting Seattle Sports Commission President Beth Knox to discuss how the sports commission will utilize the grant to host these events and generate jobs in the hotel and restaurant industry in South King County.
With Beth Knox, Seattle Sports Commission President, at the King County Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center in Federal Way
Partnering with the Auburn Food Bank to Fight Food Insecurity
Although the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have added to the challenges that the Auburn Food Bank is already facing, Executive Director Debbie Christian refuses to give up and carries on with courage and commitment to continue helping her neighbors.
King County has partnered with food banks across the region to fight food insecurity throughout the pandemic and I was pleased to present a $20,000 grant from King County to the Auburn Food Bank.
With Karen Thordarson-Hassen and Debbie Christian at the Auburn Food Bank, who is wearing a transparent face shield
Supporting Mental Health Programs at the Ukrainian Community Center of Washington
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Ukraine Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk, Honorary Consul Valeriy Goloborodko, Bishop Viktor Prokhor and Ukrainian Community Center Deputy Director Iryna Pylypchuk to present a $20,000 grant from King County to assist with mental health programs and services provided at the Ukrainian Community Center of Washington. The unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have overwhelmed many in our community and these programs and services are critical to those struggling during this difficult situation.
With Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy Goloborodko, Bishop Viktor Prokhor, Ukrainian Community Center Deputy Director Iryna Pylypchuk, and Consul General of Ukraine Dmytro Kushneruk
Regional Economic Outlook Discussed at Virtual “Good Eggs”
On January 13th, I was joined by Chief Economist and Executive Director Stephen Lerch from the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council for a virtual Good Eggs meeting. We discussed how COVID-19 has impacted state revenue, our region’s continued recovery, and the economic outlook forecast for the years following this pandemic.
While we still have further to go, the news regarding vaccines gives us hope that we will recover faster and stronger than expected. You may watch the recorded version of the meeting on my Facebook page.
With South King County community leaders
Federal Way Community Center Childcare Program Grant
Congratulations to the Federal Way Community Center for receiving a $20,000 grant from King County to help support its childcare program. I recently met with Recreation Manager Cody Geddes to discuss the importance of this program, which provides a fun and safe environment for children to play while their parents work out at the center.
With Federal Way Community Center Recreation Manager Cody Geddes
Meeting with Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus in "New" Outdoor Office
With the King County Courthouse and Auburn City Hall restricted, it was great to get outside during a sun break and share ideas of county/city cooperation with Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus on the suspension bridge between Isaac Evans and Dykstra Parks.
With Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
Federal Way Transit Projects Update
In January, I met with Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell to check on the future location of the Federal Way Link Light Rail and discuss the updated Federal Way Transit Center that will include not only the light rail station, but also additional bus facilities and more parking to be added via an extension to the existing garage.
At the Federal Way Transit Center, clearing work was completed last fall to prepare the site for construction activities in the coming months. As of this visit, over 170,000 labor hours have been expended on the Federal Way Link Extension project, which is approximately 820 jobs for members of our community. Additionally, Sound Transit launched its “Loyal to the Local” program in early February to provide opportunities to support Federal Way businesses directly impacted by the construction. For more information on the Federal Way Link Extension and to sign up for project updates, visit www.soundtransit.org/fwlink.
With Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell looking over the future site of the Federal Way Link Light Rail Station from the Federal Way Transit Center parking structure
New Vaccination Site Opens in Auburn
On February 1st, we opened the new mass vaccination site in Auburn. Congratulations to Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and King County Executive Dow Constantine for bringing together federal, state, and local governments to open this needed site at the General Services Administration Complex in Auburn. The decision to locate this site in Auburn is data driven. We are in Auburn because when it comes to COVID-19, South King County is the belly of the beast. If we want to conquer this virus we must start here. This site will help us reach the end zone in our fight to defeat this virus. You can view my remarks at this link.*As of March 29th, this location has moved to the Auburn Outlet Collection located at 1101 Outlet Collection Way, Auburn, WA 98001
With Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and King County Executive Dow Constantine at the opening of the General Services Administration Complex vaccination site in Auburn
Judge Moi Masaniai Appointed to King County District Court
I was proud to sponsor his nomination and enjoyed meeting with our newest King County District Court Judge, Federal Way resident Fa’amomoi Masaniai (Moi), at a local Panera Bread. Moi’s life story is one of determination, from walking onto the WSU football team to pursuing his legal education through the state’s Rule 6 program. I was equally happy that his proud father (Chief Pulesa Masaniai) was able to join us. Congratulations, Moi, on being the first Samoan Judge to serve on the bench of a court in Washington state!
With Judge Moi Masaniai and his father, Chief Pulesa Masaniai
Service Industry Gets Long Awaited Relief as We Return Safely to "In-Person" Dining
Over the last several months, I have visited many local South King County "takeout" restaurants and am now enjoying supporting "dine-in" restaurants because of the number of service jobs at stake. On February 9th, I met with longtime friend and Red Robin founder Gerry Kingen of Salty's about the hospitality industry in Seattle. Salty's has been a mainstay in the Redondo Beach area and I'm looking forward to visiting them again for dinner indoors--great servers, great food!
Eating lunch outside on the deck with Gerry Kingen
Virtual "Good Eggs" Community Forum with King County Executive Dow Constantine
On February 24th, South King County community leaders had the opportunity to hear from King County Executive Dow Constantine at a virtual Good Eggs meeting. Dow took questions on a number of issues, from COVID-19 vaccinations to homeless housing and the region’s evolving transit needs. The only way to solve local problems is by coming together. You can watch the recorded version of the meeting on my Facebook page.
With King County Executive Dow Constantine
With South King County community leaders
It’s That Time of Year!
Put the diet on hold and support a great cause. The Girl Scouts movement was started to prepare “girls to meet the world with courage, confidence, and character.” In 1917, cookies slipped into the formula. Buy the cookies, share the cookies!
King County Grant Aims to Help Students Succeed During Virtual Learning
Although business as usual includes masks and social distancing, we are still able to support our school districts. I met with Thomas Jefferson High School Principal Adrienne Chacon to discuss a $20,000 grant that I secured that helps the school be able to loan students virtual learning resources such as iPads, headphones, wi-fi extenders, blue light glasses, webcams and more.
With Thomas Jefferson High School Principal Adrienne Chacon
Funding Secured to Maintain and Improve Bingaman Pond Natural Area
On March 1st, I met with King County Director of Parks Warren Jimenez at Bingaman Pond Natural Area. As new houses and apartments are built in South King County, it is important for people of all ages to have a place of solace and relief. We discussed how the $50,000 I secured in King County funding will be used for maintenance and improvements.
King County Director of Parks Warren Jimenez and me at Bingaman Pond in South King County
PAEC Receives Funding for Operations and Cultural Program Expansion
The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC) has been a place to enjoy and learn about the arts. I recently met with the Chair of the PAEC Foundation, Mary Gates, and PAEC General Manager Brian Hoffman to discuss how $25,000 in King County funding will be used to maintain operations and expand cultural programs. As our region starts to reopen, I am looking forward to small and large shows in 2021 at the PAEC.
With Mary Gates and Brian Hoffman at PAEC in Federal Way
Spring Plan for Local Student Athletes
People may argue whether sports teaches or shows character, but I know that school sports and activities play an important role in developing our future leaders. What our student athletes gain from participating in these programs goes far beyond just wins and losses. Coach Joseph Townsend, who coaches the boy’s baseball and girl’s bowling teams at Thomas Jefferson High School, is someone who mentors and leads by example. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Coach Townsend to discuss the upcoming opportunities for our local student athletes to get back to competition.
With baseball and bowling Coach Townsend at Thomas Jefferson High School
Future of Transit Virtual Town Hall
On March 29th, I had the opportunity to host a virtual town hall to not only talk about the future of transit, but most importantly, to provide an opportunity for South King County community leaders and residents to engage in a dialogue with our invited speakers, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff and King County Metro General Manager Terry White.
I firmly believe you can't understand a region without understanding its public transportation system. Aside from providing an overview of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the transit system, Peter and Terry shared information on the evolving modes of transportation and addressed questions and concerns that were raised by the community. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With Terry White and Peter Rogoff
With South King County community members
Harborview Medical Center Doctors and COVID-19
On April 1st, I met with Harborview Medical Center Interim CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley to talk about the important role Harborview plays in our region as well as the upcoming capital improvements that were included in the November 2020 bond. Owned by King County and operated by University of Washington Medicine, Harborview is truly a one-of-a-kind trauma center.
With Harborview Interim CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley
I also had the opportunity to meet with Medical Director Dr. J. Richard "Rick" Gross, Chief of Trauma Dr. Eileen Bulger and Chief of Surgery Dr. Ron Maier to talk about the important role Harborview has played as a partner in King County's ongoing response to COVID-19. From testing, treatments, vaccines and ongoing studies, Harborview and King County are committed to preventing the spread of the coronavirus and bringing an end to this pandemic.
With Dr. J. Richard Goss, Dr. Ron Maier, Interim CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley, and Dr. Eileen Bulger
Valley Cities Van Donation
Due to COVID-19, opportunities to meet with the 2020 recipients of surplus King County vans have been limited, but I enjoyed my visit with Valley Cities Marketing and Volunteer Manager Sundeep Malhi. Since I sponsored the original legislation establishing this program in 1995, the King County Van Donation Program has done its best to provide mobility for those in our community who need it most.
With Valley Cities Marketing and Volunteer Manager Sundeep Malhi
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with John Stanton
On April 21st, Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner, John Stanton, joined us for April's virtual Good Eggs. John is committed to the Mariners' goal of unifying communities and enriching lives by sharing the love of baseball.
On any given day, it is encouraging to go into a coffee shop or a grocery store and see first-generation Americans from all parts of the world wearing Griffey Jr. jerseys. Sports bring people together; it gives us something to cheer about, and these days, we need more and more reasons to cheer. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner John Stanton
South King County community leaders at the April virtual "Good Eggs" meeting
FUSION Van Donation
I met with FUSION Executive Director Robin O'Grady to talk about the donated King County van they received. When I introduced the van donation program in 1995, my goal was to repurpose retired vans to provide support to local nonprofits and improve the quality of life for residents in our region. Fast forward to today, I am glad this program continues to benefit and support South King County community organizations like FUSION.
With FUSION Executive Director Robin O'Grady at the FUSION Décor Boutique in Federal Way
Asian American and Pacific Islander Proclamation
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. I met with Federal Way Mayor Emeritus Mike Park to present a proclamation of solidarity with our AAPI neighbors amid the rising hate crimes against their communities. This proclamation was introduced at a King County Council meeting in an effort to collectively condemn violence and harassment.
With Federal Way Mayor Emeritus Mike Park
Federal Way Farmers Market
I joined Farmers Market Founder Rose Ehl as a sponsor of this South King County legacy. Every Saturday through October 30th, please join your neighbors at the Federal Way Commons Mall to share in a conversation and support great local products.
With Rose Ehl at the Federal Way Farmers Market
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum
Thanks to Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler for joining us for our virtual Good Eggs meeting. 2021 is Emerald Downs' 25th Anniversary, and they are looking forward to welcoming fans back to the racetrack for entertainment this spring and summer. Emerald Downs is an economic engine that generates thousands of direct and indirect jobs in South King County. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler
With South King County community leaders
Recognizing Estela Ortega
In May, the King County Council recognized leaders in our communities. For District 7, I was honored to recognize Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. El Centro de la Raza opened up a new location in Federal Way last year to expand their services in South King County. Estela, thank you for your leadership and commitment to our community and your mission to serve all people.
Signature Pointe Levee Project
On May 20th, I met with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph to tour the Signature Pointe Levee Project site along the Green River. This levee currently protects thousands of homes and billions of dollars in infrastructure investments essential to our region's economy. In partnership with the King County Flood Control District, the city of Kent is working on increasing the level of flood protection for homes and establishments along this stretch of the river.
With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph
Soroptimist International of Federal Way
While we traditionally have honored the American Flag on the closest Saturday to June 14th at the Aquatic Center, this year a few of us came together at the Federal Way Farmers Market with the Soroptimists.
With Sen. Claire Wilson, Federal Way Council President Susan Honda, members of the Soroptimist International of Federal Way, and community members
Auburn Farmers Market: Bill Peloza Bench
On June 6th, the Auburn Farmers Market officially opened and Mayor Nancy Backus surprised Joyce Peloza with a public bench named in honor of her husband Bill Peloza. Bill Peloza passed away on April 29th, 2020, but his legacy as Auburn Deputy Mayor lives on in the Farmers Market, Veteran programs, Sons of Italy, Rotary, Auburn Golf Course, etc. His legacy of service to others continues!
With Auburn Mayor Emeritus Pete Lewis, Councilmember Bob Baggett, Mayor Nancy Backus, Deputy Mayor Claude DaCorsi and Joyce Peloza at the opening of Auburn Farmers Market at Les Gove Park
Virtual Good Eggs Forum with Secretary of State Kim Wyman
On June 16th, I hosted Secretary of State Kim Wyman at our virtual Good Eggs meeting. Kim provided an overview of her efforts to ensure both election security and voter access, as well as her priorities as Secretary of State. I am glad Kim was able to join us before departing for Camp Pendleton, California where her daughter is a member of the United States Marines. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With Secretary of State Kim Wyman
With South King County community leaders
Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell
In 2015, a change agent came to the Federal Way School District from Lake Providence, Louisiana, and 23,000 "scholars" were the beneficiaries of then new Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell. As Dr. Campbell transitions into an advisory role in July for the incoming Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, I want to thank her for her service and the over half a billion dollars' worth of new school buildings and curriculum that will address the needs of the next generation.
With outgoing Federal Way School District Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell
Poverty Bay Café Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On June 19th, Poverty Bay Cafe celebrated its grand opening under FUSION's new ownership. Since 1993, FUSION had provided transitional housing for families in need in South King County, and with this donation, Federal Way's "living room" is once again open for business and will serve as a job skills training location for people experiencing homelessness.
Congratulations to FUSION Executive Director Robin O’Grady and Founder Peggy LaPorte for the successful ribbon cutting
Emerald Downs celebrates 25th Anniversary
On June 20th, thousands of horse fans spent Father’s Day at Emerald Downs celebrating its 25th anniversary and Ron Crockett’s dream. Millions of tax dollars and thousands of jobs continue as his legacy.
With Auburn Councilmember Yolanda Trout-Manuel and Ron Crockett at the Emerald Downs
Federal Way High School Eagles defeat Kentwood
While thousands watched the Mariners on June 22nd, a dozen or so of us watched the Federal Way High School Eagles go from 23 - 22 at halftime to 61 - 52 over Kentwood. Great teamwork all around, and a lot of skilled returning players on both sides. Support High School Sports!
Click here for the game highlights courtesy of The News Tribune.
Make Music Federal Way
This past summer, I was proud to support and attend the "Make Music Federal Way" event hosted by the Federal Way Lions at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center. This event provided an opportunity for community members to enjoy live music from Federal Way School of Music youth, Marine Hills Folk Jam, and performances like trumpet solos from Emerald Downs’ Daniel Harrington and marching music by the Washington Diamonds Drill Team and Drumline.
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Dan Satterberg
In July, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg joined us to discuss the increase in crime in King County and the challenges his office is facing as we emerge from the pandemic. I look forward to working with Dan to help our criminal justice system respond to the spike in crime as well as the case backlogs caused by COVID-19. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With South King County community leaders and Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg
Federal Way Farmers Market
Regional farmers markets are great places to find local products and to meet old friends like Theodora, who previously worked in my office.
With Theodora Tom-Yao at the Federal Way Farmers Market
Auburn School District’s Junior ROTC program
I was honored to join Auburn Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati in supporting the Auburn School District’s Junior ROTC program. The program emphasizes academics, leadership, physical fitness, and character development for the students who participate. I’m proud to support Junior ROTC’s efforts to engage the youth in our community.
With Auburn School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati, Col. Jason Shrader (Auburn Mountainview High School) and Cadet Sgt. First Class, Michael Yoder (Auburn High School)
King County may be the home of Bill Boeing, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, but Native Americans were racing horses here long before them, generating thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars every year. I am a longtime supporter of the horse racing business and on Sunday, July 18th, I had the honor of presenting the 5-1/2 furlong King County Stakes Trophy to the winning owners of Cobra Jet at Emerald Downs.
With the winning owners of Cobra Jet at Emerald Downs. Horse racing generates thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars.
Interurban Trail Tour
I recently walked the Interurban Trail with Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier to discuss the investments in refurbishment King County is making in addition to the city’s planned war memorial project. The trail provides a great opportunity for residents throughout South King County to exercise their bodies and minds, and I’m glad the Parks Levy is investing for future generations. Hats off to Mayor Guier for her continued leadership on community projects!
With Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier
Kiwanis Salmon Bake
65 years and still serving. The Kiwanis Club of Federal Way, with the benefit of Café Pacific Catering, raised thousands of dollars at our annual Salmon Bake to support children in South King County. Thanks to Deputy Fire Chief Rick Chaney and Soroptimist Linda Persha, as well as all the amazing volunteers!
With Deputy Fire Chief Rick Chaney and Soroptimist Linda Persha
Plumbing and Pipefitting Center Tour with UA Local 32
Too often, we take for granted the pipes at home and work, but I won’t after touring the plumbing and pipefitting center with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. PJ Moss (a FWHS alum) is the training coordinator for this great apprenticeship program! Congratulations to UA Local 32 on leading the way for the next generation of skilled workers!
With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and Training Coordinator PJ Moss
FUSION event provides support for families in need of transitional housing in South King County
It was great to be back in person at the Dumas Bay Center for the annual FUSION event supporting transitional housing for families in South King County. Formed around a dining table by Peggy LaPorte and friends in 1993, today the organization continues to provide critical services to those in our community who need a hand.
With FUSION Founder Peggy LaPorte
Traditions of Federal Way Tour
In August, I had an opportunity to tour the Traditions of Federal Way, a new affordable housing complex for seniors located across from the Federal Way Transit Center and Performing Arts and Event Center. This 55+ community is a great place and will provide walkability for its residents, with easy access to transit and the Federal Way downtown core.
With Community Director Charlene Thomas, Inland Construction Property Manager Jennifer Belew and Horizon Housing Alliance of WA Executive Director John Pilcher
Multi-Service Center Celebrates 50 Years!
Help...hope…and CHANGE! Since August 15, 1971, the Multi-Service Center (MSC) has served our South King County neighbors in need by providing food, housing support, employment, and other assistance. I was happy to join Cindy Ducich and Jeanne Burbidge at the MSC’s 50-year celebration in August.
With Cindy Ducich and Jeanne Burbidge at the MSC 50th Anniversary Celebration Open House
Seattle Mariners Unveil Statue of Edgar Martinez
Congratulations to Seattle legend Edgar Martinez! This summer, the Seattle Mariners hosted Martinez, his family, former teammates and most of the club’s employees for the unveiling along Edgar Martinez Drive, which is named after the Hall of Famer. Only the third statue dedication in club history, Edgar’s statue can be found on the first base side of T-Mobile Park.
Left photo: With Edgar Martinez. Right photo: Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr.
Pacific Innovation Center and Motorsports Park Breaks Ground
Since 1960, Pacific Raceways has been the premier racing site in the Northwest. In August, I joined 3 of the 4 generations of Fioritos at the groundbreaking of their new Innovation Center. The five initial buildings total 200,000 square feet and will be used as a garage/shop, business, innovation center and retail space. This project is an example of how King County and the cities of Auburn and Kent are bringing more living wage jobs to our communities.
With King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Jason Fiorito, Barbara Fiorito, and Dan Fiorito at the Pacific Raceways Innovation Center Groundbreaking Ceremony
Wouldn’t be a day at Pacific Raceways without a few laps around the go-kart track!
Visit to Seattle Thunderbolts Cricket Match
Wicket…Pitch…Fielders…Bowling. These are just some of the terms I learned while trying to figure out the bat at my first cricket match at Marymoor. From India to South Africa, fans came together with families (and as a “family”) to watch the Thunderbolts v. LA Social Lashings. While cricket is currently more popular in other countries around the world, it has become one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. due to a renewed interest and substantial investment in the game over the last few years. Thanks to Vijay Beniwal for hosting me!
Learning some of the fundamentals of cricket with Seattle Thunderbolts Co-Owner and Co-General Manager Vijay Beniwal
16th Annual Lions Club Scholarship Car Show
Whether it’s fighting diabetes or hunger, the Federal Way Lions Club raises money to help neighbors in need through various programs in our community. I had the pleasure of attending the 16th Annual Lions Club Scholarship Car Show at the Commons. The club’s largest fundraising event of the year raises money for scholarships for Federal Way students. Great weather, great turnout, great cause!
With members of the Federal Way Lions Club
Hanwoori Garden Kickoff and Groundbreaking Ceremony
I had the pleasure of taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony held by the Federal Way Korean Association at the site of the future Hanwoori Garden. The City of Federal Way donated land at the entrance of the Panther Lake Trail for the garden to be built. The Hanwoori Garden will be the first traditional Korean garden of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and will be built with a mix of traditional and modern designs to celebrate the rich Korean heritage in our community. The project is expected to be completed by 2023-2024.
Breaking ground at the future site of the Hanwoori Garden in Federal Way
Ukraine National Day Recognition
The King County Council, joined by Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy V. Goloborodko, recognized August 24, 2021 as the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine National Day, celebrating Ukraine’s independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. In recognizing Ukrainian independence, the Council made note of the many Ukrainian Americans living in King County who have enriched our region through their contributions in business, academia, government, and the arts. These contributions have helped to strengthen our community.
There are over 70,000 residents of Ukrainian descent living in the Pacific Northwest and as of 2017, Ukrainian Americans ranked 8th among foreign-born populations in King County. In 2019, 71 percent of the immigrants in Washington state were from Ukraine. Each year, the Ukrainian American community shares its rich history, culture and traditions at the Northwest Ukrainian International Festival in King County, which is the largest Ukrainian cultural event on the West Coast.
With Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy V. Goloborodko
“Good Eggs” Breakfast with UW President Ana Mari Cauce
I was joined by University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce for my September virtual “Good Eggs” meeting. President Cauce provided us with updates about the UW, including the challenge and excitement that comes with welcoming not one, but two classes of students, who have never taken in-person college classes. Returning to live instruction enables the university to serve its students more equitably and gives them the opportunity to create their own unique “Husky Experience.” She also spoke of how the UW provides limitless opportunities, across their three campuses, for thousands of students from South King County as well as the efforts they have taken to make college more affordable for all. You can find a recorded version of the meeting on my Facebook page.
With University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce
20th Anniversary of 9/11
A weekend of remembering: from Federal Way’s dedication of their Veteran’s Flag Pavilion to South King County Fire and Rescue’s recognition of the fallen firefighter heroes of 9/11 to Milton’s outpouring of respect for active and retired military personnel. Never forget!
With Milton Chief of Police Tony Hernandez
Speaking with Pastor Gordon Banks who delivered the prayer at the Federal Way Veteran’s Flag Pavilion dedication
Support for the Khalsa Gurmat Center After Vandalism and Burglary
I met with Khalsa Gurmat Center teacher Hardeep S. Rekhi to talk about the recent vandalism and burglary at their Sikh temple in Federal Way. It was disheartening to see the desecration that occurred as well as the damage to their property and loss of electronic items. An attack on one house of worship - whether it’s a temple, synagogue, mosque or church - is an attack on all houses of worship.
With Khalsa Gurmat Center teacher Hardeep S. Rekhi
Orion Industries Tour
I toured Orion Industries in Auburn with Mayor Nancy Backus, the Auburn City Council, and Orion President & CEO Jerry Chase. I visited Orion to check in on the progress they've made, and to support them as a regional leader in job creation for people facing barriers to employment. Orion leverages their aerospace manufacturing business to create paths to employment through building self-esteem, mentoring, training, education, and community services. Their mission changes lives, families, and the communities they're based in.
Touring Orion Industries with President & CEO Jerry Chase and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
Outside of Orion Industries headquarters with Auburn City Councilmember Chris Stearns, Councilmember Bob Baggett, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, and Orion Industries President & CEO Jerry Chase
Tour of Boeing 737 MAX 9
If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going! As a South King County resident, I was pleased to tour the new Boeing 737 MAX 9, which is designed to reduce the noise footprint of the aircraft through changes to the engine nacelles. I am proud to support an important local company that provides so much to our region through their work in the community and the thousands of jobs provided to our local economy.
Checking out the cockpit of a new Boeing 737 MAX 9
Taste of Federal Way
I was happy to join Federal Way School District Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer and other judges at the Taste of Federal Way at The Commons. Congratulations to Rose Ehl and Karla Kolibab on hosting nearly 1000 guests. Great charity, great food and great weather!
With FWSD Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer at the Taste of Federal Way
Mayor of Rivne, Ukraine Visits Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
In September, Ukrainian Mayor Oleksandr Tretyak of Rivne and Regional Ukrainian Council Chairman Serhii Yuriiovych brought a delegation to King County. As this delegation represents the home of swimming Olympian Mykhailo Romanchuk, I hosted pizza at the pool from the 10-meter diving platform so they could visit the training site for many of our Olympians. Thanks to Mike Dunwiddie and Deanna Bogomaz of the King County Aquatic Center for their help.
Standing atop the 10-meter diving platform with Honorary Consul Valeriy Goloborodko, Mayor Oleksandr Tretyak, Deanna Bogomaz, and Regional Ukrainian Council Chairman Serhii Yuriiovych
Local victim advocate Lew Cox seeks to help families dealing with traumatic death
Our region has many heroes, one of whom is Des Moines Police chaplain Lew Cox, who I first met when I was 12 years old. Lew and his wife are deeply involved in victim advocacy, and this is what led him and Highline College professor Bob Baugher to write a book entitled Coping with Traumatic Death: Homicide. The book is about dealing with the trauma of the murder of a loved one.
With Lew Cox at the Federal Way Veteran’s Flag Pavilion dedication
The Kiwanis Club of the Valley
It was my pleasure to present a grant for The Kiwanis Club of the Valley to President Kelly Jensen (who is also a teacher at Auburn High School) and Auburn City Council Member Yolanda Trout-Manuel. This grant will directly benefit the young people served by The Kiwanis Club of the Valley.
With Councilmember Yolanda Trout-Manuel and Kiwanis Club President Kelly Jensen
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Harborview CEO Kleweno-Walley
What is the #1 Trauma Center in the Northwest? Harborview Medical Center. The 90-year-old center is owned by King County and operated by the University of Washington. In October, I was joined by Harborview CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley and President of the Board of Trustees, Steffanie Fain, for my monthly “Good Eggs” community meeting. Under Sommer’s leadership, Harborview continues to lead our country in medical care and research. Click here if you would like to watch a recorded version of the event.
With Harborview Medical Center CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley and President of the Board of Trustees, Steffanie Fain
MSC Helps Luncheon
Help…Hope…Change marked the South King County Multi-Service Center's 50th anniversary lunch with this year’s keynote speaker, Omari Amili, sharing his remarkable and inspirational personal journey. MSC’s mission is to build a future without poverty by creating pathways to help, hope, and dignity for our neighbors. With the many challenges around us, remember that we have members in our community who can use our help. To learn how you can help during these times, please click here.
With 2021 Multi-Service Center Helps Luncheon speaker Omari Amili
Pastor Gordon Banks Awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service
I would like to congratulate Pastor Gordon Banks on being named the recipient of the 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. Every year, each King County Councilmember honors a community leader answering Dr. King’s call “What are you doing for others?” Pastor Banks has responded to Dr. King’s question with a commitment to uplift others, spread love throughout the region through his actions, and by helping people push past adversity towards a better life. Since becoming the pastor of Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn, he has dedicated the organization to humanitarian aid in the community and abroad. Pastor Gordon Banks’ exemplary dedication to the service of others embodies Dr. King’s call to action.
Presenting Pastor Gordon Banks with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award at Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn
Ukraine Holodomor Recognition
I had the opportunity to recognize the Holodomor Memorial Day with Ukrainian community leaders in King County and San Francisco. Each year Ukrainian Americans in King County and around the world commemorate victims of the genocide on the fourth Saturday of November. This recognition honors Americans with Ukrainian heritage living in King County who have enriched our county through their leadership and contributions in agriculture, business, academia, government, and the arts.
At the Ukraine Holodomor Recognition with Ukrainian Federal Credit Union Director Oksana Pierce, Father Andriy Matlak of Holy Trinity Parish - Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Honorary Consul Valeriy Goloborodko, Pastor Oleksandr Bogomaz of Voice of Hope Church, Vice Consul General of Ukraine in San Francisco Yaroslava Podgorna, and Consul General of Ukraine in San Francisco Mykola Podgornyi
Welcome aboard Councilmember-elect Sarah Perry
As one of my favorite nuns used to say, the only constant in this world is change, and in December, I met my newest council colleague, Sarah Perry, who will represent much of eastern King County. We enjoyed lunch at Mama Stortini’s where I gave her a copy of soccer coach and player Alan Hinton’s bio: Triumph and Tragedy. The same title could be applied today at the courthouse!
With King County Council District 3 member-elect Sarah Perry
Meeting with King County Councilmembers
As a result of COVID, we have not had “in courthouse meetings,” so I welcomed the opportunity to sit down in person with Councilmember Kohl-Welles, Councilmember Zahilay, and Councilmember Dembowski to discuss the end of the councilmanic session.
With King County Councilmembers Kohl-Welles, Zahilay and Dembowski
On December 14th, one of my colleagues was sworn in by King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers on Zoom from a gas station, another took his oath from his home, and I was sworn in from a suburban Starbucks! While I would have preferred being at the King County Courthouse (Council is still held remotely for COVID) or at Caffe D’Arte (no drive-up window), I chose to IMPROVISE for this special council meeting.