New funding for community youth centers
One of the recurring themes in my conversations with community members is the need for more spaces where young people can go to play, learn and socialize.
With the social isolation caused by the pandemic, the need for community centers has grown even greater so that our young people have a safe place to engage in recreation, participate in after-school learning, and develop meaningful relationships. support.
For some children, the relationships they develop at their local community center can be the life-transforming ones – the basketball coach who believes in them when no one else seems to, the art teacher who believes in them. understands – and encourages – their passion for drawing, and the math teacher who is so funny that they get turned on by fractions rather than frustrated by them.
Recognizing the importance of these gathering places in the lives of our young people and in the fabric of our community, King County Council ensured that the renewal of Best Start for Kids recently passed by voters included funding. capital grants for new or improved community or recreation centers. . Over the life of the royalty, up to $ 50 million will be available for community development, particularly in parts of our county that do not have these facilities.
Community engagement leads to increased transit options for Kent East Hill
Transit is not one size fits all and it is essential that we consult with those who depend on our transit to ensure that we are providing service when and where it is needed most.
Three years ago, Metro began engaging with the community on transit options that would better serve those who were previously underserved.
Listening to the residents of Kent, it became clear that members of the immigrant and refugee communities living in the Kent East Hill neighborhoods needed public transportation options that would allow them to work nights and work shifts. overnight in Kent Valley distribution centers – entry-level employment for many residents new to our community, but unable to access due to lack of transit options.
Based on this awareness, Metro created the Ride Pingo pilot program that will serve communities where 57% of residents are Black, Indigenous and other people of color, 34% were foreign-born, and 43% speak a language other than English. English at home. Ride Pingo provides on-demand access to transit centers and workplaces in the Kent Valley and Kent East Hill area.
Passengers can download the Ride Pingo Act or call 855-233-6043 to request an on-demand shared ride on one of the 14-passenger Ride Pingo vans.
The Ride Pingo app is available in Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
The cost of the trip is the same as that of the bus and the same payment methods as accepted – ORCA card, cash, Transit Go, etc.
Flood subsidies protect people and our environment
We have all witnessed recent flooding in other parts of our country and the devastating impact on communities resulting from unprecedented weather events. However, most people don’t know that King County has its own flood control district that protects people and property from flooding along our major rivers.
In 2020, the King County Flood Control District recognized two things: that flooding from other sources – such as coastal erosion or overflowing urban streams – is also having a significant impact on our community, and that protecting people from flooding could be achieved using approaches that protected – and improved – our environment. Three new grant programs were created to complement the current flood reduction grants – one for coastal erosion, one for urban waterways, and one for the replacement of culverts that also support fish passage. The district also doubled the amount of funding available for grants and, with these changes, opened up opportunities for more cities and organizations to receive support for flood issues.
The recent round of grants has just been finalized and a number of local projects have received funding:
$ 450,000 for the McSorley Creek Shore and Estuary Restoration Project at Saltwater State Park, which will make the creek more accessible to fish and the beach more accessible to people. It will also help reduce the flooding that affected the Saltwater Café.
$ 365,000 for the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary Restoration Project which will ultimately increase fish passage and create a pocket estuary at the new mouth of the creek. When complete, the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary is expected to provide refuge for juvenile chinook salmon.
$ 25,000 for the City of Des Moines to reduce the impact of flooding on Redondo Way South during major storms. As part of this project, 50 feet of stream bed in the ravine areas to the east will be restored.
As the District Flood Control Chairman, I am delighted to see the district using our grant programs to solve flood problems while being a good steward of the environment. As these three projects progress, we will not only achieve our public safety goal of protecting residents from flooding, but we will also create a safer and more hospitable environment for our chinook salmon and other fish species.
South King County – A Welcoming Community for All
I am proud to represent South King County which is home to a diverse community where everyone is welcome and appreciated for the contribution they make to our community. I joined both local leaders and fellow Council members in reinforcing this important message at two recent events.
In Renton, Mayor Pavone and I met at Gene Coulon Park to help promote the city’s “Hate Has No Home Here” initiative. This initiative is part of a national campaign that identifies locations free from hateful behavior. Supporting this great effort to promote a welcoming community in Renton was a perfect lead for this week’s proclamation by Council declaring September 10-19, 2021 “Welcome Week” in King County.
As a proud sponsor of this proclamation, I had the pleasure of reading aloud the words “King County Council is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all, regardless of immigration status, location of origin, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender identity. , sexual orientation, age, ability and income ”because I believe those words represent the residents of South King County so well. I am fortunate to work hand in hand every day with various coalitions of community members to make King County – and in particular South King County – a welcoming place where all residents are valued and respected.
My friend, Chitra Hanstad from World Relief Seattle, was online to receive the proclamation and spoke eloquently and passionately about her own experience of immigrating to America and her work to ensure that same positive experience for the Afghan refugees that her organization is currently helping to relocate.
Working together for our students
This week I met with the Renton Schools Foundation and Renton Schools Superintendent Damien Pattenaude to discuss the challenges students have faced over the past eighteen months and reflect on ways in which the county could support them as they start a new school year. One of my team members, Shaunice Wilson, who joined me in this conversation, is my Community Engagement Manager and is also a proud Renton School Alumni!
As the Council continues to operate remotely, now is the time to participate in our work and share your thoughts on the legislation before us.
My team and I are available by email at [email protected].
You can watch Council meetings by live broadcast on the Councils website or on KCTV 22 channel. We are collecting comments from the general public on the 4e Tuesday of each month.
To learn more about testifying before the Council, please visit: https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/committees/full_council.aspx
King County Council Member
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