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King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay

Councilmember Zahilay

Connect with Councilmember Girmay Zahilay

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Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy! This is your friendly neighborhood King County Councilmember, Girmay Zahilay. I wanted to check in, let you know what my office has been working on, and invite your input.

By way of introduction, I am your King County Councilmember, not to be confused with your City of Seattle Councilmember. For those of you who are not familiar with King County government, and are not sure how it differs from City government, I made a short King County 101 video explaining the difference between county and city government here.

I represent King County’s District 2, which includes the University District, Laurelhurst, Ravenna, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, the Central District, South Seattle, Allentown, and Skyway. You can find a map of the district here.

My team and I send regular email updates to people who live in our district. If you know anyone who would like to receive these updates, please be sure to send them over to our County Council website to sign up for our e-newsletter!

What We’ve Been Working on This Past Year
My office has worked tirelessly this year to address our region’s most pressing challenges. We championed transformational initiatives like building crisis care centers to help our neighbors experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders get off the street and into care. We organized effective public safety strategies in key neighborhoods like Rainier Beach, Mt. Baker, and the Central District. We balanced and passed a $15.8 billion budget and secured major investments in affordable housing, infrastructure, and community centers.
In 2023, I will continue to prioritize affordable housing and ending homelessness, public safety, and helping our economy recover from the pandemic. We will keep working hard for you and we invite you to partner with us on building the King County we all want to see. Please fill out my District 2 Community Priorities Survey to help me better serve you:  
Here are some highlights on things we’ve been working on in our office:

1. Led the effort to build five Crisis Care Centers around King County, places where people can access life-saving care for mental illness and substance use disorders

2. Introduced the Missing Middle Housing Motion to lower barriers for construction of more multi-family housing which will increase housing supply

3. Co-sponsored the Free Youth Fare ordinance, allowing youth 18 and under to ride transit for free

4. Co-created an Equitable Development Initiative to ensure King County supports development while preventing displacement of communities

5. Championed and passed Extreme Weather Adaptation legislation to ensure King County creates indoor options for people to escape extreme heat, cold, and wildfire smoke

6. Created the Community Safety Ambassadors Program to promote public safety at and around public transit stations so that everyone is and feels safe while riding Metro buses

7. Passed a $16.4 billion biennial budget to fund critical services throughout King County, including major investments in housing, public health, public transit, and community safety 

8. Championed Skyway Affordable Housing by directing a $5 million investment to an affordable home ownership and an affordable rental development in the community

9. Established a $1 million residential road safety program in unincorporated King County to protect our pedestrians and other road users

10. Organized with local food banks to pass the Food Bank Motion, which supports food banks and advances food security in our region

11. Supported the Skyway Park Renovation, a $3.9 million project that provided a new playground, new and enhanced sports fields, improved lighting, and better ADA accessibility for Skyway Park

12. Supported and co-sponsored the Health through Housing initiative, which directs the County to buy existing hotels and motels to bring indoors 1,600 chronically unhoused people and provide them housing and supportive services

13. Protected thousands of tenants by passing a suite of historic Tenant Protections and Just Cause Eviction legislation to increase housing stability and reduce homelessness during the pandemic

14. Supported legislation proposing a year-round Gun Return Program for residents to safely surrender unwanted firearms or ammunition

15. Secured $5 million for youth mental health services, prioritizing school-based services, mental health first aid, and suicide prevention for youth

16. Provided housing to dozens of unhoused Skyway residents by helping to establish the first Tiny House Village outside Seattle

17. Sponsored and passed the Surplus Land for Community ordinance to ensure King County makes available unused buildings and land for housing and other community facilities 

18. Led the funding and creation of a $2 million community-based gun violence prevention program

19. Co-sponsored and passed Abortion Access Emergency Legislation, investing $500,000 in the Northwest Abortion Access Fund and prohibiting King County agencies from cooperating with out-of-state prosecutions of abortion providers or patients. 

20. Championed Ranked Choice Voting and other voting reform efforts

21. Trained hundreds of new leaders through Build the Bench, an initiative I started that prepares the next generation of progressive elected leaders

22. Launched the Youth Achievement Center campaign to build a housing and jobs center for unhoused youth in South Seattle, which led to a $500,000 donation from the Seahawks

23. Worked with the Council to allocate billions of federal relief dollars to protect residents from COVID, provide millions in rental assistance, and expand transit and infrastructure projects around the region

24. Supported small businesses by establishing a $5 million economic development program in unincorporated King County

25. Passed a proviso to bring King County Department of Parks and Natural Resources back into the business of establishing and managing community centers, and to house the future Skyway Community Center

26. Launched a Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program to allocate $1000 per month to extremely low income families for one year, and conducted GBI policy analysis in partnership with the University of Washington

27. Delivered a report on mental health crisis response systems to lay the groundwork for alternative emergency responders, after leading the charge on Charter Amendment 6

28. Helped create Participatory Budgeting for unincorporated King County, leading to the first ever community-voted funds awarded to projects such as Street Beautification in the Skyway Business District, Hewet Skyway Community Garden, “Welcome Home” down payment assistance, and more

29. Donated four County vans to local nonprofits to support food delivery, driving seniors and disabled neighbors, and other vital needs

30. Established the Joint Aircraft Emissions Task Force to advance greenhouse gas reduction strategies and tactics, for which my team was honored with a Climate Justice Award from the Beacon Hill Council

31. Organized decision-makers and resources to promote public safety in key neighborhoods like Mt. Baker, Rainier Beach, and Central District

32. Expanded public transit options for residents of Skyway and other South King County neighborhoods by helping to secure $6 million for Via on-demand van service

33. Promoted digital equity by funding internet services for marginalized communities and initiating a committee report to map King County’s journey toward public broadband

34. Sponsored and passed a motion committing the County to equity in contracting and calling on the Governor to repeal laws that prevent equity

35. Advanced the Skyway Resource Center by investing $2 million to build a new home for the Center at the former US Bank location in Skyway 

36. Organized decision-makers to support refugee resettlement efforts from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, and other countries experiencing crisis

37. Co-sponsored legislation to move King County elections to even years from odd years to dramatically increase voter turnout and engagement

38. Held Budget Town Halls to connect with constituents and local community organizations, and to allow community to directly inform King County’s multibillion dollar budget 

Please always feel free to reach out to me and my team with any questions or comments at And as always, for more frequent and daily updates, you can check out our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages. For the latest news, resources, and opportunities to engage with your King County government, follow me on the social media channels of your choice:

Twitter: @CMGirmayZahilay

Your King County District 2 Team,
Girmay, Rhonda, Graciela, Rosa, Linda, & Fedilla

Contact Councilmember Zahilay

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