Dear Fellow King County Employee,
In the wake of the most divisive presidential election of any of our lifetimes, I know that many of us are feeling anxious and uncertain about the future of our nation and our world. I cannot allay those concerns, but I can share with you my hopes for King County and our region and state.
In this moment of change and transition, we must reaffirm our values and principles.
We will keep our commitment – that all people here will have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
We will keep our commitment – to combat climate change and the degradation of the natural environment we cherish.
We will keep our commitment – to continuously improve everything we do, fully engaging and supporting our employees.
We cannot make ourselves immune from what happens nationally. But we can continue to build our region as a competitor on the world stage of the 21st century – a peer to the other innovative, forward-looking, prosperous metropolitan regions of the world.
We will continue to strive for equity for all our residents through education, health care and transit. We will continue to protect our farms and forests. And we will continue our mission to make sure every child gets off to a good start, succeeds in school, and has access to full and genuine opportunity.
And we can and will continue to set an example of what a creative, forward-looking government can be. We will continue to offer a welcoming hand to all who would help create prosperous, equitable communities, and to all those from around the world and the nation who seek refuge and the opportunity to build a secure future for themselves and their families.
The tenor of this campaign has been toxic. It was fragmented and marginalized people. But King County is a place that values women, that values racial minorities and the disabled, that values immigrants and refugees, and people of every religion, or of no religion. Wherever you began your life, you are welcome here in our county.
To be sure, there is opportunity, tremendous temptation, to further separate our Cascadia region’s fortunes from those of our nation. But we will make certain our Northwest values continue to shape this next chapter of our nation’s history. We will not retreat into the past, but instead embrace the future with confidence in our convictions and our values. We can and must be a shining example – an alternative for other communities to emulate – an oasis of optimism and creativity, and a protector of the basic American ideals of democracy, civil and human rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality.
Then, come what may, we will be a stronger global competitor, a leader in our nation, and a beacon to people around the world seeking pluralism and prosperity.
Your work is what will make that possible. I look forward to the future we will build.
King County Executive