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Community Resilience Award

Residents of King County honored with Executive's Award for Community Resilience

For the first time, all residents of King County are the recipients of the Executive’s Award for Community Resilience. The award is given each fall in recognition of outstanding efforts made by organizations to prepare for and respond to emergencies. This year, instead of recognizing one organization, the award honors the efforts that every resident, organization, and community group is doing to support each other during an unprecedented 2020.

Photo of a masked nurse helping patients by phone

"This award is usually intended to recognize the commitment, planning and response a single organization demonstrates in an emergency. But this year there are just too many people doing extraordinary things," said Executive Dow Constantine. "King County residents have shown they are smart, strong and resilient. I am proud of our community and encourage everyone to keep working to stay safe and protect others."  

As the world has experienced numerous challenges this year, King County has also responded to emergencies close to home. After starting the year with snow, severe flooding and then the COVID-19 pandemic, February brought the first confirmed coronavirus death in the U.S. to Kirkland. Ongoing racial injustice has been another pandemic, complicating the effects of the coronavirus even more for people of color, most notably Latinx and Black people. First responders, teachers, daycare workers, utility workers, faith leaders and many more pulled together to put their communities first. Many continue to work long hours while putting themselves in harm's way. Teachers, parents, and students are learning new skills of working and learning remotely. Earlier this month, all of us, especially those who are most vulnerable, were dealing with with wildfire smoke and extremely poor air quality.

"Our frontline workers have really stepped up this year and their sacrifice cannot be overstated," said King County Emergency Management director Brendan McCluskey. "But this year is truly about all of us; every person who is staying home and wearing a face covering, evacuated because of a flood, helped someone threatened by rising water, or stood up for racial justice is a testament to the resilience of King County. I know things continue to be tough, but so are the people of King County."