Executive Constantine’s Top 22 Accomplishments in 2022
Reflecting on the past year, I’ve noticed some key themes in the work we do, day by day, week by week, at King County. Often the challenges thrown at us feel like a trip through the tumbling rapids. But, taking a step back at year’s end, we can see the steady, purposeful progress we’ve made toward our goals.
Yes, sometimes we encounter a seemingly immovable boulder, like the state tax system, that must be navigated past. Or an unseen snag lurking beneath the surface that suddenly and unexpectedly threatens the mission. But sticking to our values, hewing to our discipline of continuous improvement, and fixed on our goals, we go around or over those obstacles, and sometimes even clear them clean out to the way, to the journey through.
That brings me to our significant accomplishments in 2022. Some of them are iterative – building on successes like fostering salmon runs back from the brink of extinction, or charting a new plan to deliver a genuine community safety for every person in our region.
And then sometimes there are leaps ahead – a shift in the river’s course – that move our community rapidly forward. This year brought together community leaders, businesses, local leaders, and health care providers to build an ambitious new approach to solving the behavioral health crisis – a crisis that has grown worse and worse through decades of federal and state retrenchment. We will not wait any longer for help to arrive.
King County voters, with an overwhelming 70% “yes” vote, approved Conserve Our Future – my proposal to permanently protect more of our forests, farms, and local green spaces, faster, while we still can.
We also we introduced the Free Youth Transit Pass – a new way for every young person in our community to access our world-class transit system and region.
We delivered the first investments with our Participatory Budget system - projects identified by and decided upon by community members.
We’ve made steady progress, and we’ve seen sudden leaps ahead. We passed our $16 billion budget, put battery-electric buses on the road, and taken steps to ensure that everyone has unfettered access to reproductive health care in King County.
As you take a look at some of these 22 highlights of 2022, I want you to know there is even more progress to come in the new year. We will continue chipping away at the toughest and most critical challenges facing our region, and we will act on those goals that may seem unreachable, knowing that in time, with persistence, with determination, they can become inevitable.
I am grateful for the opportunity with which you’ve entrusted me and my more than 15,000 colleagues here at King County, as we look forward to the enormous possibilities of the year ahead.
King County Executive