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Executive Constantine’s Top 19 Accomplishments in 2019

Executive Constantine’s Top 19 Accomplishments in 2019

A portrait of King County Executive Dow Constantine

Everywhere you look King County is moving forward. We are growing, we are building, and we are leading.

Tens of thousands move to King County every year. And they bring with them new ideas and perspectives that celebrate the things we all treasure about our home. We continue to be a diverse, welcoming community that stands by our shared values.

Though the growth in King County has brought with it great prosperity for many, there are still too many of our friends and neighbors left out and falling behind. Despite great efforts and achievements, ending the homelessness crisis is still a challenge we collectively bear.

But in our work, by and on the behalf of the people of King County, we are moving forward. This year we built on our progress and our successes. We deepened investments. We opened new facilities and we rethought how to best provide services.

These 19 accomplishments for 2019 highlight just some of the work King County has done. And not only does it show you where we’ve been, but charts the course to show where we’re going as well.

We’ve achieved a lot, but the work continues. That’s why I, and my 15,000 fellow King County employees, are looking forward to serving you in 2020.

Thank you, as always, for the opportunity to serve.



Dow Constantine
King County Executive


Voters renew Parks Levy to invest millions into parks across King County

Voters renewed King County’s Parks levy, investing more than $800 million in King County’s parks, including Eastrail, finishing and connecting other regional trails, and major infrastructure investments in your King County outdoor spaces.


Seattle and King County create new unified regional homelessness authority

Created by legislation passed by the King County Council, Seattle City Council, and the Regional Policy Committee, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority is the new home for developing a coordinated and unified response to the homelessness crisis in King County. The new structure brings together cities, the county, and the voices of those who have experienced homelessness to develop solutions and deliver services across the region.


Opened new Eagle Village shelter with innovative modular housing

The new Eagle Village shelter primarily serves the Native American and Alaska Native homeless communities, who are ten times more likely to experience homelessness. Working with local partners, King County invested $3 million with innovative modular housing at the new Eagle Village shelter.


Explored 100 miles of King County parks and trails in 100 Days

Executive Constantine completed a 100 Miles in 100 Days tour, hiking, biking, and horseback riding through the county’s parks and trails. With more than 200 parks to choose from, everyone in King County can find their favorite park all year long.


‘Snowpocalypse’ demands regional response during winter storm

During the region’s biggest snow storm in nearly a decade, King County Emergency Management coordinated response to keep people safe, clear roads, and make sure people had the latest information. King County added beds in emergency shelters and worked with human services partners across the region during the storm.


Introduced carbon offset program for local forests

King County became the first local government in the United States to offer certified carbon credits, giving companies the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions while protecting King County’s forests. This program allows companies to invest locally and benefit globally and protect our natural defense against climate change.


Opened new and expanded homeless shelters in downtown Seattle

King County expanded the Harborview Hall shelter to operate 24/7, opened a new support hub in Pioneer Square, and opened the new West Wing shelter in an underutilized space in the King County Correctional Facility.


Tripled rate of open space conservation

With more than 65,000 acres of high priority open space to conserve, King County is accelerating our efforts to protect farmland, forests and other public lands for future generations and ensure greenspaces for all. Powered by accelerated Conservation Futures Tax funding and the 2019 Parks Levy, we invested more than 3x last year’s efforts to protect these special places in King County.


Expanded Metro transit service for fifth year in a row

As King County’s population grows, so has our award-winning Metro transit service. For the fifth straight year Metro has expanded routes and frequency, including doubling frequency on five of our most popular routes in south King County.


Invested to protect Kokanee Salmon from extinction

King County and partners are delivering on a commitment Executive Constantine made to help ensure the survival of the Lake Sammamish kokanee, a native salmon important to our region’s history and habitat. Our efforts included emergency flights to hatcheries, opening new culverts for improved fish passage, and restoring habitat.


Invested $20 million in senior services

King County invested $20 million in new funding from the voter-approved Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy to support seniors across the region, including funding 28 senior centers forming 14 senior “hubs” and funding 13 additional senior centers with one-time awards – all focused on healthy aging and building community connections for older adults throughout King County.


Opened new Water Taxi and fast ferry terminal at Pier 50

Innovative transit solutions don’t stop at the water’s edge. The new fully-covered and accessible ferry terminal at Pier 50 on the Seattle waterfront serves King County Water Taxi routes to Vashon Island and West Seattle, and Kitsap Transit Fast Ferries routes to Bremerton and Kingston.


Invested to prevent Hepatitis A with vaccine program

Recognizing the potential costs of treating Hepatitis A, this year King County invested $375,000 in free vaccinations for the homeless community. Hepatitis A outbreaks in other major cities have been both deadly and costly, and this innovative program used risk management funds to vaccinate over 2,000 people experiencing homelessness.


Lights, camera, action! Promoting King County for starring roles in TV and film

In movies and TV shows, the role of King County is too often played by a stand-in, usually British Columbia. Executive Constantine launched his Creative Economy Initiative to promote both the film and music industry in King County, and revising internal and county-wide policies to focus on equity and opportunity in the arts and music community.


Launched new teams to bring drug treatment to unsheltered population

The Seattle Times: “Amid an opioid overdose crisis that’s seen hundreds of deaths in recent years, King County is planning to bring medication-assisted treatment for opioids to homeless encampments and shelters this fall.”


Supported quality child care and expanded after-school programs with Best Starts for Kids

The Best Starts for Kids Levy is the most comprehensive investment in child development in the country. This year we launched teams to help train child care providers, and expanded after-school and summer programs in communities that engaged more than 3,500 young people.


Launched King County Conservation Corps to clean up communities

The King County Conservation Corps works with a local charity to hire crews to clean litter and graffiti while providing a living wage to workers experiencing homelessness and poverty in the greater Seattle area. The KCCC crews are active in White Center and Skyway with expansion plans for Fairwood and East Federal Way.


Secured two-year labor agreement with King County employee unions

King County negotiated total compensation, including wages, health, retirement and other benefits, with a coalition representing nearly half of King County’s 14,000 employees. This combined negotiation, rather than working individually with each collective bargaining unit, has only been completed twice.


Finding homes for 95% of pets

The team at the Regional Animal Services saved a record 95% of pets at their shelters, finding homes for almost all cats, dogs, and other animals that came into care. This improves upon last year’s 93% rate.

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography