Federal Way High School Boys’ Basketball
In January, I met with my friend, Coach Yattah Reed, who I watched play for the FWHS Basketball Team in the 1990s, and who is now teaching and coaching boys’ basketball at his alma mater. It was great to check out the new FWHS uniforms, which were funded by a local, private foundation. Go Eagles (unless you’re playing my alma mater, Clover Park High School)!
With FWHS Boys’ Basketball Coach Yattah Reed
New Federal Way City Council President
Congratulations to Linda Kochmar on being elected as the Federal Way City Council President! I previously had the privilege of working with Linda in her role as a state representative and when she was the part-time mayor of Federal Way.
With Federal Way City Council President Linda Kochmar
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Washington Federal Bank President and CEO
In February, I had the opportunity to host Washington Federal Bank (WaFd) President and CEO Brent Beardall for our monthly virtual “Good Eggs” community forum. Brent discussed his perspective on the direction of the economy this year, both locally and nationally, as well as the future of the banking industry. He touched on inflation, unemployment, home values, oil prices, and the impacts these things have on small businesses and individuals. You may watch a recorded version of the virtual forum on my Facebook page.
With WaFd President and CEO Brent Beardall
With Brent Beardall and South King County community leaders
Meeting with South King County Leaders
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph
I met with Kent Mayor Dana Ralph to discuss the rising crime rate in South King County and the concern it is causing our local communities. We cannot focus on public safety city by city; there must be a regional approach.
With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph at the Kent City Hall
Federal Way Councilmember Hoang Tran
I met with Federal Way Councilmember Hoang Tran at the local Panera Bread to discuss how he is actively working as a member of the Federal Way City Council to encourage more job producing businesses to relocate in South King County.
With Federal Way Councilmember Hoang Tran
Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
I also had an opportunity to have lunch with Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus across from the Auburn City Hall. We caught up on criminal justice issues and reviewed proposals that are before the Sound Transit board, where we both serve as board members and where Nancy serves as the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.
With Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
PAC-12 Swimming Championships
The PAC-12 Swimming Championships were back at the King County Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center, the home of many past and future Olympians. I met with Markel Leonard, Sports Management & Championships Assistant Director and Cheryl Wong, Assistant Commissioner Sports Management and Championships, at the Women’s Swimming Championships.
With Markel Leonard, Sports Management & Championships Assistant Director and Cheryl Wong, Assistant Commissioner Sports Management & Championships
With Mike Dunwiddie, Regional Aquatic Center Coordinator
South King County Public Health Town Hall
In March, I hosted a virtual South King County Public Health Town Hall with Public Health – Seattle & King County Interim Director Dennis Worsham as the speaker. Director Worsham spoke with South King County community leaders about COVID-19 and the challenges we still face before normal life resumes. He also discussed other health issues such as the opioid crisis, HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis. You can watch the recorded livestream on my Facebook page.
With Public Health – Seattle & King County Interim Director Dennis Worsham
With South King County Community Leaders and Director Worsham
Supporting Local Businesses
During these tough times when COVID-19 has had significant impacts on businesses, it is more important than ever to support our community. I had a chance to visit local Auburn businesses including Zola's Cafe and other retailers, before stopping by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. Support local businesses!
Federal Way Public Schools
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Dani Pfeiffer to review the impact of the pandemic on classrooms over the last two years, as well as hear her perspective on the Governor’s call to lift the mask mandate for schools on March 12th.
With FWPS Superintendent Dani Pfeiffer
Federal Way Link Light Rail
We are beginning to see progress at the future site of the Federal Way Link light rail station. Two years ago, I visited this site with Mayor Jim Ferrell of Federal Way. I recently visited the site again to see how the project is going. Columns and girders are now in place to support the elevated tracks and station platform. We are excited to see what this project will offer not only to our transit riders, but also to the Federal Way Downtown core and the rest of South King County.
With Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell atop the Federal Way Transit Center parking garage, overlooking the future site of the Federal Way light rail station
Regional Leadership Conference
While the Regional Leadership Conference brought together the private and public sectors in formal meetings, I appreciated the informal opportunity to meet with new Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed and catch up with local leaders from Kent, Auburn, Renton and Redmond. The suburban mayors are leading the way!
With Hamdi Mohamed (left) and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, Renton Councilmember Ed Prince and Redmond Mayor Angela Birney (right)
Auburn High School boys basketball team wins 3A Championship
All basketball roads now go through Auburn. Congratulations to the Auburn High School Trojans for winning their first state boys basketball title against Rainier Beach 58-48 at the 3A Championship! Thanks to Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati, Coach Ryan Hansen and Athletic Director John Price for letting me hold the state trophy. School sports help build and show character.
With Superintendent Dr. Spicciati, Coach Hansen and Athletic Director Price
Auburn Councilmember Yolanda Trout appointed to the King County Children and Youth Advisory Board
I was pleased to sponsor the appointment of Auburn resident and city councilmember Yolanda Trout to the King County Children and Youth Advisory Board. The Children and Youth Advisory Board assists policymakers in considering outcomes, policies, and investments for children, families, youth and young adults, and serves as the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) strategies oversight and advisory body providing recommendations on the distributions of the levy proceeds.
Yolanda’s degree in early childhood education and her experience running a bilingual preschool will provide a valuable perspective on how King County can better serve children and families for whom English is their second language, and I am looking forward to working with her in this capacity.
With Auburn Councilmember Yolanda Trout
Dick’s Drive-in comes to Federal Way
Dick Spady was a man of ideas and ideals. In April, I was proud to be at my second groundbreaking of a Dick’s Drive-In, joining his granddaughter Jasmine and grandson Saul. Whether a first-generation immigrant or Bill Gates, we have all stood in line for a burger at the iconic orange sign. Dick’s is family-based and family-oriented. Welcome to South King County, Spady family! The heritage lives on!
From Ukraine to King County
The media pictures from Ukraine cannot compare with the personal stories of the refugees of this tragedy. Tetiana Ponochovna told me of her journey from Bucha, Ukraine to King County with her husband and three daughters, one day ahead of the Russian tanks. King County cannot send howitzers, but we can help with housing for refugees. Thank you, Hon. Consul General Valeriy V. Goloborodko, for your commitment to peace and all you do for those in need.
At the King County Council Chambers with Councilmembers Reagan Dunn, Rod Dembowski, Girmay Zahilay, Sarah Perry, Joe McDermott, Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Hon. Consul General Valeriy Goloborodko, and Tetiana Ponochovna and her family
Meeting with South King County leaders
Local government works best when we can meet around the table and talk about our region in person. I welcomed catching up with South King Fire & Rescue Commissioner David Berger and Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson. I was lucky to be in Ethiopia in my 20s after serving in the US Army; I got to know Lydia and one of her remarkable sons because of my travels to east Africa in the 1970’s. Lydia’s life story is the story of American emigration as hoped for by our founders. She lights up any room with her energy, interests, and commitment to others.
With SKFR Commissioner David Berger and Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with Horizon Air President Joe Sprague
On April 27th, I had the opportunity to host our monthly “Good Eggs” community forum with Horizon Air President Joe Sprague as the speaker. Joe provided his insights on the state of the airline industry post-COVID, as well as his outlook on summer air travel. He candidly shared the challenges the airline industry continues to face, as well as their efforts to mitigate these issues. You can watch the recorded version of this forum on my Facebook page.
With Horizon Air President Joe Sprague
South King County Scholar Athlete Lunch with Lenny Wilkens
In May, I had a great time hosting my third brunch for South King County scholar athletes with the voice of the Seahawks, Steve Raible, and NBA legend and three-time Hall of Famer, Lenny Wilkens. Congratulations to all our local boys and girls basketball teams, and thanks to Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus! Special appreciation to Pastor Gordon Banks and Ukrainian Consul General, Hon. Valeriy Goloborodko. SKC rules!
(Clockwise) With Federal Way High School boys basketball team, Pastor Gordon Banks, Lenny Wilkens and Hon. Consul General Valeriy Goloborodko, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Steve Raible, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and Councilmember Toni Troutner, and Auburn High School boys basketball team 3A champion
Virtual “Good Eggs” Community Forum with outgoing Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff
On May 25th, I had the opportunity to host outgoing Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff at my virtual “Good Eggs” community forum. Peter provided an update on the Federal Way Link Extension and the state of Sound Transit as he ends his tenure. South King County community leaders engaged with Peter in a dialogue and thanked him for his service throughout his past 6 years at Sound Transit. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With outgoing Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff
Meeting with South King County leader Mike Park
Mike Park has served our region on many levels, from presiding as Federal Way Mayor to parenting two successful daughters with his wife Jin, to establishing a school to educate students of all ages and backgrounds about the Korean Peninsula. We recently caught up at a local Panera Bread to discuss his plans to complete Hanwoori Garden to commemorate the Korean culture and the special relationship between the Republic of Korea and the United States of America.
With former Federal Way Mayor Mike Park
87th Sports Star Banquet
Sports bring people together - it was nice to see this in practice as Jim Whittaker, Lenny Wilkens, Shawn Kemp, and many others gathered at the 87th Sports Star Banquet at the Westin. On May 1, 1963, Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Everest; his nephew “Win” guided me to summit Mt. Rainier on July 14, 1980. Shawn Kemp and Lenny Wilkens aren’t into climbing mountains, but they have summited more than their fair share of obstacles on and off the basketball court.
(Left) With Shawn Kemp and Lenny Wilkens; (Right) With Jim Whittaker
Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service
On June 14th, each King County Councilmember had the opportunity to present the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service to a chosen recipient who has answered Dr. King’s question, “What are you doing for others?”
It was an honor to present the District 7 MLK Medal of Distinguished Service to John Daniels Jr. for his advocacy for, and work within, the Muckleshoot Tribe. With his help, the Muckleshoot Tribe has created an economic, educational, and social services portfolio that includes the hotel & resort, a tribal school and college, child development center, medical center, and community health program. As a member of the Tribal Council, John has worked to build long-term relationships with non-tribal governments and agencies, and to provide services to both tribal members and the surrounding community.
We recognized John Daniels Jr. for his decades of service and dedication to improving the lives of the members of Muckleshoot Tribe and surrounding communities. John accepted the award with his wife Amalia and their four children by his side.
George H. Weyerhaeuser
Rest in peace to the man and the legend, George H. Weyerhaeuser. To know George was to know someone who, in his 95 years, cared deeply about his family, his workers and his values. Look no further than George getting a job at one of his Oregon mills in 1963 for the then recently released prisoner Harmon Waley, who kidnapped him in 1935 when he was only 9 years old.
I was proud to be honored along with George and David Sabey for our collective work in building the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. It would not be the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center without George Weyerhaeuser’s commitment.
Auburn Noon Lions Glasses Donation
Every year, in partnership with King County Metro, I donate over a thousand glasses to local organizations like the Auburn Noon Lions and Federal Way Lions Club, who distribute them to various charities. These unclaimed glasses lost on Metro buses are donated to organizations in South King County to support the needs of community members who cannot afford the cost of new glasses. As someone who has used glasses for a long time, I know how expensive they are. It is such a great opportunity to work with Metro and the Auburn Noon Lions in providing a new purpose to these glasses.
With Auburn Councilmember and Auburn Noon Lions Club President Bob Baggett, Former Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis, and other members of the Auburn Noon Lions Club
Cricket Recognition: Seattle Thunderbolts
On June 21st, I was honored to offer a recognition of the Seattle Thunderbolts as they kicked-off their minor-league cricket season in King County. With a worldwide audience of over 2.5 billion fans, cricket is a sport that has been growing in popularity in King County as our region has diversified with new residents from South Asia, the United Kingdom, and Oceania.
At a time when so many things are challenging, sports bring people together and give us something to celebrate. Our region is blessed to have many sports options—football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey and now, cricket.
At the Council Chambers with King County Executive Dow Constantine, Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Claudia Balducci, Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Joe McDermott, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, Cricket Co-owner Vijay Beniwal, local business leader David Malik, and members of the Seattle Thunderbolts Cricket team
Mission Africa receives retired King County van
It’s that time of the year! The King County Council has once again approved the allocation of retired Metro surplus vans to eligible non-profit organizations and local governments. One of the recipients in District 7 is Mission Africa, a non-profit organization that serves African immigrants and low-income families in South King County communities for the past 16 years.
Mission Africa Executive Director Ndudi Chuku, Donation Faith Center Director Anthony Chibeuze, and African Working Group Executive Director Wakocco Kamnah shared some fun stories as they take delivery of a retired Metro van, part of the Van Grant Program that I started in the 1990’s.
Mission Africa Executive Director Ndudi Chuku, Donation Faith Center Director Anthony Chibeuze, African Working Group Executive Director Wakocco Kamnah, Pro Se Potential Director of Operations Kechi Amaefule, and African Community Alliance Member Emmanuel Dolo showed me the QR code on the back of their “new” van, which people can easily scan to learn more information about their mission in South King County.
Good Eggs breakfast with newly appointed King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall
After 27 months, my “Good Eggs” breakfast meetings returned in-person, with newly appointed King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall as the guest speaker. South King County community leaders, elected officials, and members of law enforcement had the opportunity to meet and engage in a dialogue with Sheriff Cole-Tindall as she takes on the role of Sheriff.
L to R: With Jeff Stock Jr., Debbie Christian, Jeff Stock Sr., King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang, Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla and Jason Fiorito
New Flagpole in Kent
As we celebrated the birth of our nation in July, it was appropriate that US Congressman Adam Smith presented United States flags, which flew over the US Capitol, to both Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and local business leader David Malik. The Malik family generously sponsored the installation of a new flagpole at the corner of 4th and Willis in Kent. Thank you, David, Dana, and Adam!
With US Congressman Adam Smith, local business leader David Malik and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph
King County Cup at Emerald Downs
Doo Dah!! An integral part of Native American culture, horse racing is part of the fabric of our region, and today, the industry provides thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars through Auburn’s Emerald Downs. On July 10th, I was pleased to present the King County Cup and was joined by King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Presiding Judge Patrick Oishi and Tax Assessor John Arthur Wilson. Thank you, Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler, and Emerald Downs Founder Ron Crockett.
The King County Fair Returns
On July 15th, I was in Enumclaw to celebrate the return of the King County Fair. Whether it’s modern carnival rides, local agriculture, a variety of pets and livestock, or live entertainment for the whole family, the King County Fair has it all!
Thank you, Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro and 4H leader (and WSU alum), SKFR Commissioner Caroline Vadino for sharing time.
Meeting with Federal Way High School Boys Basketball Coach Yattah Reed
With school out, it has been fun to connect with local teachers/coaches, like Yattah Reed of Federal Way High School (FWHS), for coffee. Yattah started off as an Eagle player and returned as a teacher/coach, not to mention the father of good scholar athletes himself! Yattah presented me with a game ball signed by last year’s FWHS team, which will have a special place in my office. Sports bring people together and give us something to cheer about in this upside-down world.
With FWHS Boys Basketball Coach Yattah Reed
New Korean Consul General Honored with King County Council Recognition
On July 19th, I was honored to sponsor the King County Council’s Recognition of the new, and first ever female, Korean Consul General in Seattle, Eun-ji Seo. Through times of peace and times of war, the Republic of Korea and King County have forged strong economic and cultural ties which have enriched our region.
With more than 85,000 Korean Americans in King County alone, Washington’s strategic location on the Pacific Rim has led to a special relationship with the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea is Washington state’s fourth largest trading partner with commercial partnerships on items ranging from aerospace to computers and electronic devices, and machinery to agricultural products.
A former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Consul General Seo’s jurisdiction covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
In Consul General Seo’s closing remarks, she emphasized the symbolic slogan of the Korea-U.S. alliance – Katchi Kapshida; We go together.
“Good Eggs” Breakfast at Emerald Downs with Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier
On July 20th, I had the opportunity to host my first in-person “Good Eggs” breakfast at Emerald Downs in Auburn. Our guest speaker was Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. Executive Dammeier talked about the relationship between Pierce and King counties, as well as Sound Transit. South King County community leaders also had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a dialogue about how Pierce and King counties need to work together to solve problems affecting our whole region.
(Top) With Auburn Councilmember Chris Stearns, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph; (Bottom) With Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler, Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson, and Pacific Raceways President Jason Fiorito
66th Annual Kiwanis Salmon Bake
The 66th Annual Kiwanis Salmon Bake continues to bring people together like no other event. Linda Persha always leads the way, as does everyone’s favorite Fire Chief Gordie Olson. I had a great time catching up with Frank James, Beverly Warnke and Todd and Cooper Suchan. Great food. Great people. Great cause, benefiting students in Federal Way.
With Gordie Olson, Linda Persha, Frank James, Beverly Warnke, as well as Todd and Cooper Suchan
First natural pitch cricket field ribbon cutting at Tollgate Park
Pitch…Dolly…Golden Duck…Beamer are just some of the new terms I am learning about cricket. On July 23rd, I was pleased to join King County Councilmembers Sarah Perry and Claudia Balducci, as well as Bellevue Councilmember Janice Zahn (a proud Decatur High School graduate) at the ribbon cutting of the first natural pitch cricket field at Tollgate Park. Congratulations to Salman Taj, Vijay Beniwal, David Malik, and the others who are bringing cricket to the Northwest. Go Thunderbolts!
Flag Raising and Dedication in Kent
On July 27th, I had the opportunity to join Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, South King County community leaders, and Korean War veterans at the Flag Raising and Dedication event in Kent. Local business leader David Malik and his family sponsored the installation of a new flagpole at the corner of 4th and Willis. During the dedication, a United States flag, which had flown over the US Capitol and was presented to David and Dana by US Congressman Adam Smith, was raised.
(Clockwise) With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, Kent Councilmember Bill Boyce, David Malik and his family, VFW Post 6785 Commander Walt Tanimoto, Deputy Consul General Junsik Kim, Former Federal Way Mayor Mike Park, Federal Way Korean American Association President Daniel Kim, and Korean War Veteran Young G Yi
FUSION’s Annual Summer Gala
On August 3rd at Dumas Bay, FUSION raised over $300,000 for transitional housing. In 29 years, it has never rained on Peggy LaPorte’s dinner and auction; great seeing Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson, members of the Federal Way Soroptimist, and other volunteers.
It was great joining friends at Boeing Field to celebrate the Blue Angels’ return to the “mothership.” In 1946, Admiral Nimitz laid the foundation for the modern-day team of navy and marine officers who fly the Boeing F/A- 18 Super Hornets. I also appreciated the opportunity to watch the Blue Angels and thundering cleats while at the Seattle Seahawks Training Camp.
Great to talk to All American Jacob Green, who is spending his post football life helping support families battling cancer through Fred Hutch, and Traci Schneider, who has been a leader helping families living with autism.
Amazon Fresh opens in Federal Way
On August 11th, grocery shopping and 21st Century technology came together in Federal Way with the opening of Amazon Fresh. In welcoming Amazon to South King County, I noted the new well-paying jobs and fresh produce for sale at the old Sears store at The Commons. Thank you, Store Manager Kimberly Stallone and Amazon, for donating $20,000 to the Boys and Girls Club!
With Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, Councilmembers Lydia Assefa-Dawson and Jack Walsh, Deputy Mayor Susan Honda, and Amazon Fresh Store Manager Kimberly Stallone
Federal Way Community raises fund for local business owner
The Federal Way community came together to support Jay Barbour, owner of the Mediterranean Gyro Grill restaurant in Federal Way and Tacoma, who was paralyzed after being shot in the spine during a road rage shooting in June. The Federal Way Farmers Market, Pacific Christian Academy and K.C. Deez BBQ hosted a community fundraiser for Jay and his family at the farmers market in August. Read more in the Federal Way Mirror article here.
With representatives from K.C. Deez BBQ and Pacific Christian Academy, and Federal Way Farmers Market Director Rose Ehl
Multi-Service Center receives King County van
As part of this year’s King County Van Transfer Program, I met with Alan Clapper, Case Manager at William J Woods Veteran Building, and Chris Lopez, Multi-Service Center (MSC) Housing Program Supervisor, to officially hand-off the keys to the retired Metro surplus van that was awarded to MSC. This van will assist them with the great work they continue to do for the South King County community.
With Chris Lopez and Alan Clapper
Federal Way Lions Car Show
Model A’s to “muscle” cars were on display at the Lion’s Club 2022 Car Show at The Commons. Miss Washington stood with me as I presented Jim Ross with the Top Cop Award. It was also great seeing Patrick Osby, who has served our area on the King County Civil Rights Commission.
With Jim Ross, Miss Washington, and Patrick Osby
Jaden McDaniels Gives Back
In 2019, I gave this graduating Federal Way High School Eagle a backpack for his freshman year at the UW, and this past weekend, Jaden McDaniels came home and distributed much-needed backpacks to students in the Federal Way School District. Jaden has gained weight and maturity in the NBA, and his family, Coach Yattah Reed (pictured with us) and his friends should be as proud of his skills on the court as of his service to others off the court.
With Jaden McDaniels in 2019 (Left), and Coach Yattah Reed, Pete von Reichbauer, and Jaden McDaniels in August 2022 (Right)
Stopping an Airport in Enumclaw
I have co-sponsored legislative that asks the Washington State Department of Transportation to remove the Enumclaw area from consideration as the site of a future airport in King County. King County is already home to three airports in the South Sound region and the addition of a fourth would place an undue aviation burden on our community.
Enumclaw is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I want to keep it that way!
Enjoying the King County Fair with Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro
King County recognizes the Seattle Thunderbolts for winning the 2022 Minor League Cricket Championship
On September 13th, I joined King County Councilmembers Sarah Perry and Claudia Balducci in recognizing the Seattle Thunderbolts for their outstanding performance that led them to winning their first Minor League Cricket Championship. Congratulations, Thunderbolts, for bringing our region another professional sports championship!
With Vijay Beniwal at Marymoor Park for a Cricket match
With King County Councilmembers Sarah Perry, Dave Upthegrove, Claudia Balducci, Joe McDermott, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the Seattle Thunderbolts, and their families
Fall Trip to Washington, D.C.
Members of the King County Council went to Washington D.C. for the first time in over two years to meet with our congressional delegation, White House staff, and cabinet staff. We were fortunate to be able to speak in person with Senator Cantwell, as well as Representatives Smith, DelBene, and Schrier. Among the issues I raised were my opposition to the proposal to site an airport in Enumclaw, as well as the status of the Federal Way Triangle Project. The meetings were productive, and I appreciate the time they took between votes to listen to our concerns.
(Left) With US Congressman Adam Smith, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Councilmembers Sarah Perry, Rod Dembowski, Joe McDermott and Girmay Zahilay; (Right) With US Congresswoman Kim Schrier and King County Councilmember Sarah Perry
“Good Eggs” Breakfast Meeting with new Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm
On September 28th, I hosted another in-person “Good Eggs” Breakfast meeting in Federal Way with new Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm as the guest speaker. Julie joined us just three days into her job at Sound Transit not only to meet South King County leaders and community members, but to get to know the local stakeholders and listen to their perspectives on the importance of transit in their communities.
With Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm, and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph
Pacific Islander Community Association of WA (PICA-WA) receives a van
Pacific Islander Community Association of WA (PICA-WA) is one of this year’s recipients of the annual allocation of retired King County Metro Vanpool vans in District 7. It was great to meet with Operations Director Bronwyn Talaga and Community Services Director Amelia Bai and learn about their great work in our community.
With Amelia Bai and Bronwyn Talaga at PICA-WA’s office in Federal Way
“Good Eggs” Breakfast Meeting with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
When I first joined the King County Council, I started a monthly breakfast for private and public leaders from across South King County to help us work better together. On October 26th, our guest speaker, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, answered questions about the opioid crisis as well as the surge in local neighborhood crimes, and the impact of chess on his decision-making process.
With Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Auburn Councilmember Larry Brown, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph
With Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson and Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Dick’s Drive-In Breaks Ground in Federal Way
Following the announcement of their newest branch in South King County in April, Dick’s Drive-in hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on November 2nd in Federal Way for the incoming restaurant at 1928 S Commons. The new location, which is set to open in June 2023, will be the ninth restaurant for the American fast-food company.
With Jasmine Donovan, president and CEO of Dick’s and granddaughter of founder Dick Spady
Mockup of the Dick's Drive-in Federal Way branch
Veterans Day 2022
Federal Way High School's Pre-Apprenticeship Program
When I graduated from Clover Park High School, graduates had few pathways to success, so I was happy to find money in the King County budget to kickstart a pre-apprenticeship program at Federal Way High School. On November 14th, I joined Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, Rep. Jesse Johnson, FWPS Board Director Hiroshi Eto, Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, and others at the dedication of the program’s new outdoor courtyard.
To learn more about the program, visit https://www.fwps.org/PreApprenticeship.
With Rep. Jesse Johnson, FWPS Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer and FWPS Board Director Hiroshi Eto, and FWHS student apprentices Braxton, Madison and Alexa
A Tour of the Auburn Avenue Theater
Badly damaged by a fire in 2021, the city of Auburn is moving ahead with plans to renovate and refurbish the Auburn Avenue Theater. As part of the King County budget, I was pleased to be able to secure $100,000 in funds to help with the project. A vibrant entertainment center is an important part of a thriving downtown, and I enjoyed touring the rehabilitation project and seeing the progress that has been made.
With city of Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber in December
A Tour of the Auburn Valley Humane Society
On December 5th, I visited the Auburn Valley Humane Society with Sharon LaVigne to learn about their current work bringing 2-legged and 4-legged friends together, as well as tour their successful adoption center. Sharon’s work has led to over 12,500 animals finding new homes! While I was there, King County Animal Control Officer Silvia Perez showed me how she transfers animals to the Society for care. I also had the chance to “confer” with Legolas the Husky!
With Auburn Valley Humane Society Director of Philanthropy Sharon LaVigne and Animal Control Officer Silvia Perez
A Tour of Pacific City Park and Gymnasium
I toured the city of Pacific's new outdoor fitness equipment and gymnasium. In addition to their modern playground, basketball court, stage and picnic area, their outdoor equipment has everything you need to start your new year’s resolution, if you can stand the cold!
With Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier and Community Services Manager Kevin Caviezel
Kiwanis Club of Federal Way
I was pleased to attend and speak to members of the Kiwanis Club of Federal Way at their December lunch meeting at Puerta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant. At a time of uncertainty, the Kiwanis Club is dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Over the years, I have been proud to support the work of the Kiwanis Club by providing grants for their annual fundraisers. As a former President of the Kiwanis Club and a current member, the Kiwanis club is a vital part of keeping our community strong and I appreciate their tireless work year after year.
With John Schneider, Linda Persha and members of the Kiwanis Club of Federal Way on December 7th
2022 Holiday Leadership Reception
After a two-year hiatus, I was pleased to return to KOAM-TV for my annual South King County Holiday Leadership reception. Our speaker, Seo Eunji, the Consul General for the Republic of Korea in the PNW, spoke about the importance of our economic and cultural ties. It was a great chance to look back at 2022 and reflect, as well as enjoy great company, great music, and great food, including Ivar’s clam chowder! Thanks to all who joined us! #FelizNavidad #MerryChristmas #HappyHolidays
With King County Assessor John Wilson, King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, Korean Consul General to the PNW Seo Eunji, and Auburn Deputy Mayor James Jeyaraj
“Good Eggs” Breakfast Meeting with WSDOT Secretary Roger Millar
On December 14th, Washington State Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar came up from Olympia to join us at our December “Good Eggs” Meeting in Auburn. Roger engaged our audience in a give-and-take discussion about the challenges facing our transportation system as our region grows. Roger presented his proposals to improve safety, including modernizing our roads and bridges.
With Federal Way Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, and Maple Valley Mayor Sean Kelly
Amazon Housing Equity Fund Initiative
I had the opportunity to meet with Amazon Housing Equity Fund Director Catherine Buell to discuss Amazon’s latest investment in affordable homes in the Puget Sound region, particularly in Federal Way. Since the Fund’s creation, Amazon has committed over $500 million in loans and predevelopment grants to create or preserve over 5,000 affordable homes in the Puget Sound region. 334 of these homes are in a new development at Redondo Heights in Federal Way, made possible with a $20 million low-rate loan to support construction in partnership with Shelter Resources.
With Amazon Housing Equity Fund Director Catherine Buell