Message from Executive Constantine: Amid terror, hope and courage

Dear fellow King County employee,

The mass shooting in Orlando – the deadliest in modern U.S. history – is shocking. An outrage. But yet somehow, sadly, not unexpected.

Years of hateful rhetoric in our nation’s politics and press has predictably led angry, fearful, frustrated individuals to misdirect the blame for their own disappointing lives toward the “other” – people of another race, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation. The addition of easy access to military-grade weapons, as we have seen over and over, can quickly turn these warped beliefs into unspeakable tragedy.

Yet there is also hope and courage. As we witnessed Sunday at the candlelight vigils in Seattle and across the country, we stand united, defiant in the face of hatred and violence.

The work we as a county government do along with our community partners seeks to ensure that this is a safe, healthy and welcoming place for all – Latino and Muslim; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – those singled out by this shooter; and those vilified even by certain major national political figures. We embrace diversity. We celebrate cultural pluralism. It is not homogeneity but mutual respect and unity that make and will keep this one of the most prosperous, dynamic and vibrant metropolitan regions in the nation.

I invite you to join me at noon Friday, June 17 in the Chinook Building lobby where we will pause to honor the victims of the attack in Orlando.

And I invite you to participate in this year’s Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26 in downtown Seattle. It is an opportunity for King County employees to demonstrate our support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Let’s send a clear, strong message that we stand with our LGBT brothers and sisters in this troubling time. Contact me for details.

This is a difficult period in our nation’s history, but it is a challenge we will face together. We are strong. We are resilient. And we are dedicated to the fundamental American ideal that all are created equal.





Dow Constantine
King County Executive

View this video to see Executive Constantine speaking to KING-TV about the Orlando shooting.

Dow on Shooting King 5