Security update: Downtown area around the King County Courthouse   

Seattle Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 on Third Avenue near the King County Courthouse in which two people suffered non-life threatening injuries. The incident, which occurred after regular working hours, did not involve any King County employees. 

Our first priority is your safety and security at work. King County continues to work closely with other local jurisdictions, including the Seattle Police Department, to improve security in the downtown area around the King County Courthouse. Some recent steps:  

  • King County Security, King County Sheriff’s Office and Seattle Police Department have increased their presence in the courthouse vicinity. 
  • Metro Transit moved the southbound bus stop in front of The Morrison, across from the courthouse, one block north.   
  • The City of Seattle added festival lighting in the trees in Jefferson Alley, south of the courthouse and in City Hall Park.   
  • The City’s Navigation Team continues to focus on removing encampments obstructing right of ways.   

 You can take an active role in your safety:  

  • Watch this video for tips to keep you safe.  
  • If you work after regular business hours and feel unsafe about walking to your vehicle or to other transportation, you may call the 24-hour Facilities Management Division Security Emergency Dispatch Center at 206-296-5000 and ask that a security guard accompany you. 
  • To report an emergency, or if in doubt, call 911. 
  • To report a non-emergency incident, call 206-296-5000, email FMD.Security@kingcounty.gov, or use the online form www.kingcounty.gov/IncidentReport 

 For more information, visit the Safety at Work webpage. 

Keeping our workspaces safe  

We are all responsible for the security of our workspaces, so please be aware of others when you are using your King County ID card to access County buildings or closed office spaces.  

Key card access is designed to allow access only to individuals who have been assigned to a designated space. A recent theft of a bicycle from a secured area in the Chinook building highlights this issue.  

Do not prop open secure doors, or allow unknown persons to “tailgate” behind you through a secure door. Tailgating is when an individual attempts to enter a space by following someone into a space who has access. If this happens, please take a customer service focus and politely engage the individual by asking, “Can I help you find anything?” Chances are they are one of your 15,000 County colleagues, or a member of the public looking for assistance. Either way, a friendly greeting can assist in ensuring safe spaces for all. Be extra diligent when entering or exiting an exterior access controlled door.  

Here are some other tips to secure our workspaces: 

  • Keep personal items like purses, bags, wallets, and electronic devices with you, or store them in a desk drawer or other location out of general view, even on secure floors and areas.  
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and make note of anyone or anything that seems out of place. Immediately report all cases of suspected theft to the appropriate authorities. Do not allow unknown persons into private work areas without an escort. 

If you notice something unusual, call Facilities Management Division (FMD) Security. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 first, then call FMD Security when you are able to at 206-296-5000. 

Thank you for doing your part to help keep us all safe and secure. 

Coronavirus response update, February 26

As we continue to respond to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Public Health is committed to providing up-to-date information to King County employees. Below you’ll find links to our most recent blog post, an update on the current risk in King County, travel recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and an anti-stigma social media tool kit recently developed by Public Health.  

What happens if coronavirus spreads here?  

With continuing spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to more countries, it is increasingly likely that we will see a worldwide spread (or pandemic) that will reach the U.S. at some point. Read the latest post on the Public Health Insider for more information on how a coronavirus pandemic would potentially play out and what can we do to protect ourselves and get through it.  

Travel recommendations from the CDC 

In response to the growing global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the CDC is frequently updating Travel Alerts for countries with community transmission. CDC Travel Alerts have recently been added for Japan, South Korea, Italy, Hong Kong and Iran. We anticipate additional countries will be added.  

It’s always a good idea for anyone planning travel to check the CDC’s travel notices on their website, regardless of the destination. 

Anti-stigma social media toolkit now available 

Public Health has developed a social media tool kit, including high resolution images, to help interrupt stigma and reduce bias as it relates to coronavirus. Please help spread the word. 

Five questions with Judge Jim Rogers, Superior Court 

Why did you start in your role with King County? 

I was elected as a Judge in 2004. I ran because I was interested in the job through my prior work as a law clerk. I had tried many cases in civil and criminal arenas and I wanted to stay in the courtroom.

What do you do in your role? 

My current role is as Presiding Judge, which means I work on the case flow (distribution) of the work of the Court, setting policies and overseeing the budget process.  As a trial Judge (yes, I still hear cases and trials), I decide disputes. The criminal bar probably thinks of me as a criminal judge, since I was Chief Criminal Judge, but most of my work in the last five years has been in civil disputes (money, property) and family law cases.

Why did you choose this field as your career? 

As a kid, I was interested in crime, watched too much Perry Mason and read too much Sherlock Holmes. After I graduated with a History degree from the UW and joined the Peace Corps, my father became mildly terrified that I would never get a job and so he persuaded me to go to law school. I became interested in becoming a judge after working for a great one, Fed. District Ct. Judge Robert Bryan, in Tacoma.

What is the biggest challenge of your job? 

Easily the biggest challenge of the job right now is getting all of our cases to trial-remember, my main responsibility as Presiding Judge is making sure cases and matters get heard.  We are simply not able to have all of our civil cases out to trial and in my view, that is unconscionable. We simply don’t always have the capacity and some are being denied their day in court.

Probably the second biggest challenge in the education of our new judges, but frankly, I give all credit for that to Judge Dean Lum and Beth Taylor, and our education committee.

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

I love the trial process. I never get tired of it, even if it takes 2-4 cups of coffee to remain alert in the afternoon.

I also really enjoy the people with whom I work. We have excellent judicial officials and employees. I am very fortunate in where I work and what I do.

King County Affinity Groups provide an opportunity for connection and impact 

In July 2019, King County’s Executive Branch adopted a policy for employees to participate in Employee Resource Groups during their work time. These Employee Resource Groups, also called Affinity Groups, are led by employee volunteers, and are formed around protected categories set by local and federal anti-discrimination law. Some of the categories included are race, gender, and sexual orientation, among others.

“The groups promote equity and social justice, foster employee engagement, strengthen workplace effectiveness, improve leadership abilities, and enhance personal and professional growth within King County,” said Janine Anzalota, Equity and Civil Rights Manger in the Office of Equity and Social Justice.

Pictured: Affinity Group leaders at a partnering team meeting.

Janine provides technical assistance to existing Affinity Groups, and to employees who are interested in starting new groups. She also manage the implementation of the Employee Resource/Affinity Group Policy on behalf of the Office of Equity and Social Justice. She explains that the groups each develop their own goals and actions, with the intent that these reflect and support the efforts of King County’s Equity and Social Justice plans.

“The groups established the longest are all race-based, but we have a new Military/Veterans group and an LGBTQ group that is forming,” she said.

The policy was implemented to ensure that Affinity Groups are accessible to all employees, not just those concentrated in Pioneer Square or the downtown Seattle corridor. The policy requires manager approval for employee participation, and ensures managers work with interested employees on ways to participate in the Affinity Groups while meeting their employment obligations.

Janine shares how meaningful it has been for employees to meet other people like themselves and work towards making an impact in their community. Each group is an opportunity for employees to come together from all over the county in a positive way to support goals and actions focused on equitable outcomes for groups they share an identity with.

“Employees who participate shared they have built genuine relationships with people they would have otherwise never had an opportunity to meet with,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for all the groups to come together and develop shared goals that further advance equity and social justice for the groups.”

The challenge in leading this work is finding employee volunteers interested in overseeing each group. Much of the work revolves around building relationships, but the groups require a leadership structure, charter, and development of workplans that support the County’s Equity and Social Justice Work. Although the policy allows for employees to use up to three work hours per month towards Affinity Group participation and six hours for group representatives, It can be challenging to get employees to volunteer for more work.

“There has been interest from staff across the County on gender-based and or other race-based groups, but we have more people who want to participate than we do volunteers to run the groups and stand up a leadership structure,” Janine explained.

Pictured: Janina Anzalota, left, and members of the Latinx Affinity Group.

For employees who do participate in leading the groups, the structure and ability to address inequities within their community, while also growing their professional development and contributing to their workplace, is empowering. Janine adds how Affinity Groups make a significant impact on improving workplace culture, morale, and overall belonging in the workforce.

“This is particularly important in our conversations about racial equity,” she said. “Native Americans and employees of color are underrepresented in some areas of the County’s workforce, and it is important for those employees to be able to network, support each other, and work together to develop goals and actions that support the communities they are a part of.”

This work has been ongoing for several years, as some of the race-based groups even predate the policy. The Native American Leadership Council is the longest running Affinity Group, and has been meeting for over five years. Other groups include the Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group, the Black/African American Affinity Group, the Latinx Affinity Group, and the Anti-Racist White Action Goup.

Each one is working on a broad range of items, from building their memberships, to partnering with community organizations, to raising awareness on issues impacting their communities. The groups are open to all employees who are interested in participating. While employees who have multiple identities can participate in more than one group, the policy only provides a limited number of hours per month for employees to do so.

Janine shares that getting involved with the Affinity Groups is a chance to spend time making a visible impact with other employees who are passionate about their work, and about their communities.

“The groups all have an amazing group of Equity and Social Justice advocates who are not only leaders in their groups, but leaders in their work across the County,” she said. “These folks genuinely care for each other and want to support King County to continue to be a welcoming workplace that prioritizes Equity and Social Justice as a value and way of being.“

For more information about the policy and each groups, visit the Tools and Resources page on the Office of Equity and Social Justice website, and watch this video, below, about King County Affinity Groups.

Apply to the 2020 Balanced You Worksite Fund

How do YOU want to be healthy and well at work? Today, we are excited to announce the launch of the 2020 Balanced You Worksite Fund to help you and your co-workers bring your own creative ideas and solutions to to creating a work-place that feels healthy and supportive .

During 2019, the Worksite Fund supported 43 projects designed by and for employees across King County. Projects included a certified therapy dog to help employees reduce stress, self-defense classes to help employees feel safer, physical activity equipment and yoga classes to help employees move more, cooking demonstrations that celebrated employees’ cultures and built team, and updates to kitchens and quiet rooms.

When you apply for a 2020 Worksite Fund grant, you have an opportunity to create positive, equitable, and healthy change for you and your co-workers. The Worksite Fund is a competitive process that will award up to $5,000 per project to support a variety of projects to improve health, well-being, and safety.

The Balanced You Worksite Fund is one more way we’re Investing in YOU and helping to make King County a place where you are supported to be-well, learn, innovate and do your best work for our community – to thrive!

Apply today! Download the Balanced You Worksite Fund application materials here. Applications are due by Friday, April 3, at 5 p.m.

Contact the Balanced You team at 206-263-9626 or BalancedYou@kingcounty.gov with questions.

Featured Job: Superintendent – Vehicle Maintenance 

Salary: $116,486.45 – $140,823.49 Annually 

Location: Multiple locations in King County, WA 

Job Type: Multiple job types-career service and/or temp 

Department: MTD – Metro Transit 

Job Number: 2020TB11350 

Division: Vehicle Maintenance 

Closing: 2/27/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

Pet of the Week: Dapper

Crossposted from Tails from RASKC 

Who is this handsome gentleman? Why it’s Dapper, our Pet of the Week! 

This affectionate lovebug would be thrilled to cuddle up with you at home. Dapper is a young pittie mix who is full of energy and loves to play. He tends to calm down more when the people around him are calm. Because he has lots of energy, Dapper does best when he gets lots of exercise and something to keep his mind busy. Read more.  

View all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. 

Reflecting on the history of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. logo 

This month during Black History Month, we are reflecting on why King County adopted the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. logo, and what it means to be the only county in the United States named after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

King County changed its logo in 2007 from a gold crown to an original graphic image of civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Dr. King is an international icon for justice, equality, and peace, and the logo is symbolic of those same values embraced by King County on behalf of the people it serves, as a government that values inclusion, diversity and excellence. 

Read more.

 

New apprenticeship program to create long-term, diverse workforce 

Pictured: Left to right, Michael Domiquel, Tina Taylor and Mason Keselburg are Fleet’s new apprentices.

Crossposted from DES Express 

Three heavy-duty mechanic apprentices joined the Fleet Services team earlier this year, the first in a new apprenticeship program designed to grow the workforce from within. The program is also aimed at diversifying what has traditionally been a white male workforce. 

Mason Keselburg started Jan. 13. Christina “Tina” Taylor and Michael Domiquel both started on Jan. 27. They have all graduated from a trade school, with Keselburg as a recent graduate. Taylor will be Fleet’s first woman mechanic and Domiquel identifies as Asian. 

Read more from DES Express