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Colleagues recognize, say goodbye to Councilmember Julia Patterson


Metropolitan King County
Council News

Colleagues recognize, say goodbye to Councilmember Julia Patterson


Members celebrate Patterson’s 12 years at her last Council meeting


The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized the work of Councilmember Julia Patterson at her last meeting as member of the County Council. After a dozen years on the Council, and a public service career that has spanned 23 years, Councilmember Patterson is retiring and getting ready for the “next chapter” of her life.

“It’s been an honor to serve on the King County Council with my colleague and friend Julia Patterson over her twelve years. Her leadership in areas such as law enforcement oversight, healthy food preparation, and her commitment to protect residents from the risk of flooding are but a few of her many contributions,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “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.”

“Julia brought keen insights to public policy and expressed her positions with a warmth that encouraged consensus,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “She will leave a void that will be hard to fill.”

During her time with the County Council, Councilmember Patterson served in every major leadership role, including Chair of the Council and Budget Chair, where she shepherded the County forward with balanced budgets during the austerity of the Great Recession.

“Julia has been a consistent and passionate voice for the challenges of equity and social justice facing her constituents,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “They have been well served by her.”

“I have worked with Julia as a legislator and as a Councilmember for many years, and one only has to spend a few minutes with Julia Patterson to realize how deeply she cares about her constituents,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “I wish her much happiness in all her future endeavors.”

“I’ll miss Julia. We collaborated together on many issues during our service together on the council and in the legislature. She always represented the needs of her constituents,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I will miss her insights and friendship. We enjoyed many good times together. I wish her many more successes ahead both personally and professionally!”

Councilmember Patterson took regional leadership roles in transportation, public health, parks, human services, flooding, and equity and social justice.

During her five years as Chair of the Board of Health, Patterson sponsored legislation that resulted in King County becoming one of the first jurisdictions in the country to ban the use of artificial trans-fats in local restaurants. She prime sponsored and successfully passed a Department of Health regulation requiring menu labeling in the chain restaurants of King County.

Working with then Councilmember Bob Ferguson, Patterson took the lead on legislation to implement independent oversight of the King County Sheriff’s Office. Those reforms lead to the creation of Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, an independent agency responsible for monitoring investigations of misconduct, helping to resolve cases, increasing public trust and transparency, and identifying systemic issues and reforms within the Sheriff’s Office.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside such a dedicated, passionate public servant,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “Julia will be unquestionably missed here at the Council and I wish her all the success in the world in any future endeavor she embarks on. I am honored to be able to call her a friend.”

“Councilmember Julia Patterson has been a tremendous advocate for South King County. She is a consistent champion for the less fortunate in our communities. But above all she is an insightful friend who has encouraged and supported so many others -- me included -- in their own successes. Her effervescent presence will be missed on the King County Council,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott.

“Julia’s unwavering commitment and advocacy for equity, social justice, and health and human services has greatly inspired me,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “She has left an indelible mark on the County Council as a champion for those less fortunate. It has been an absolute honor to work with Julia.”


WHEREAS, King County Councilmember Julia Patterson is retiring after 12 years on the County Council, and during this time, she has served in every major leadership role, including as Council Chair; and

WHEREAS, as Budget Chair during the Great Recession, she balanced general fund budgets with a combined shortfall of over $59 million, while providing support for programs for underserved communities and those in need; and

WHEREAS, during her five years as Chair of the Board of Health, Councilmember Patterson sponsored legislation that made King County one of the first jurisdictions in the country to ban the use of artificial trans-fats in local restaurants, and she sponsored a Department of Health regulation requiring menu labeling in chain restaurants in the county; and

WHEREAS, as Chair of the King County Flood Control District, Patterson convened regional and state leaders to develop a successful strategy to fund repairs to the compromised Howard Hanson Dam that had put hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of dollars at risk through flooding; and

WHEREAS, Patterson chaired the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation Policy Board for six years, currently serving as Vice-Chair of Sound Transit’s Board of Directors, and was instrumental in bringing light rail to Sea-Tac Airport and beyond; and

WHEREAS, for south King County, one of her most notable achievements is the successful development of the “Lakes to Sound Trail,” a 16.9-mile pedestrian and cycling trail; and

WHEREAS, Patterson’s 23-year career public service began in 1989 when she became a founding member of the City Council of the new city of SeaTac, which she had helped to incorporate, leading her later to the State Legislature, where she represented the 33rd District in the State House and the State Senate for close to a decade; and

WHEREAS, Patterson will be remembered at the King County Council for her office’s “award winning” decorations, music, and dancing during the annual holiday parties, including Patterson’s colorful impersonation of Lady Gaga;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize King County Councilmember


for her outstanding service to the residents of King County and wish her and her husband Pat well in the next chapter of her life.

DATED this sixteenth day of December, 2013.

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