Leading with racial justice in King County 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider 

On June 11, 2020, King County Executive, Dow Constantine, and Public Health Director, Patty Hayes, declared racism is a public health crisis. They heard the call-to-action from the community and have resolved to hold all of King County to a higher standard. 

King County is committed to providing the resources needed to equitably address the damaging effects of racism and will do the necessary work, long-term, to create and affect tangible change.   

Read more. 

Pet of the Week: Addy 

Meet 2 ½ year-old, Labrador Retriever Addy!  She is a playful, loving puppy that truly can’t give or get too much affection.  Her favorite inside activities include belly rubs and sleeping with a paw against you.  Her favorite backyard activities include endless ball throwing, mastering the Kong toy and running.  Addy is extremely smart and needs to be in a home that will provide stimulation and training.  She will do well with an active family or an owner who is on the move and plans to incorporate her into activities.  She is friendly with other dogs as she was raised with an older dog and she cherishes making human connections.  She won’t just be your pet but a member of your family. 

Read more and view all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. Have you or someone you know adopted a pet from RASKC? Let us know. We’d love to tell your story. 

Featured Job: SMS Implementation Manager (Project Program Manager III) 

Salary: $93,250.56 – $112,732.88 Annually 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Special Duty Assignment or Term Limited Temp (TLT) 

Department: MTD – Metro Transit 

Job Number: 2020MC12091 

Division: General Manager 

Closing: 9/20/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

King County TV wins 12 government programming awards 

natoa gpaKing County TV (KCTV) recently earned eight National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Government Programming Awards and won four Awards of Honor. These awards are similar to the Emmy Awards for government TV programming. The station earned 12 awards total, including one for Video Journalism and top honors for its profile of Family Treatment Court.

  • In Category 24 – Public Health, KCTV won an Award of Distinction for “Should I get a flu shot? | Ask Public Health.” View the three-part series herehere, and here.
  • In Category 27 – Profile of a City/County Dept. or Employee, KCTV won an Award of Excellence for “A family lost and found in King County Treatment Court.” View the video here.
  • In Category 30 – Profile of a Person, Business or Organization, KCTV won an Award of Distinction for “Looking for hand sanitizer? Duvall Distillery has you covered!” View the video here.
  • In Category 32 – Public Safety, KCTV won an Award of Honor for “Being prepared means getting engaged | DISASTER-READY DANNY.” View the video here.
  • In Category 41 – Community Awareness, KCTV won two awards: an Award of Honor for “Meet King County’s emerging leaders.” View the video here. And also an Award of Distinction for “King County Apprenticeship Program.” View the video here.
  • In Category 42 – Partnership Production, KCTV won an Award of Excellence for “Northwest Railway Museum – Snoqualmie.” View the video here.
  • In Category 44 – Best Use of Video on Social Media, KCTV won an Award of Distinction for “County Beat.” View the video here.
  • In Category 47 – Public Information Series, KCTV won an Award of Honor for “Being prepared means getting engaged | DISASTER-READY DANNY.“ View the video here.
  • In Category 57 – Public Service Announcement Campaign, KCTV won an Award of Distinction for “Census 2020 Campaign.” View the four-part series hereherehere, and here.
  • In Category 59 – Editing, KCTV won an Award of Honor for “King County Apprenticeship Program.” View the video here.
  • In Category 61 – Video Journalism, KCTV won an Award of Distinction for “Looking for hand sanitizer? Duvall Distillery has you covered!” View the video here; for “Meet King County’s emerging leaders.” View the video here; and for “King County Apprenticeship Program.” View the video here.

For more information about KCTV, visit them on the King County website. Below are still images from the videos, and a shot of the KCTV control room.

A conversation on suicide awareness and prevention, September 22 

As we continue to navigate the pandemic and these unprecedented times, paying special attention to your mental health and the mental health of those you love is crucial. In honor of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, King County employees are invited to join Balanced You for a virtual conversation featuring speakers from the Black / African community, LGBTQ community, Native American community, and others on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 1-2:30 p.m. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing suicide and improving mental health. During this 90-minute panel discussion, attendees will learn strategies from experts representing different communities, including how to normalize conversations around mental health, how to identify early warning signs of suicidal ideation, and what resources are available to support the mental health of employees and their loved ones. Visit this Balanced You blog post for more information, including the registration link. 

Schools preparing for a measured return to in-person learning 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider 

King County’s K-12 schools are back in session. For most students, the 2020-2021 school year is starting remotely and Zoom is the new classroom. Even though the majority of the county’s school districts are teaching students remotely, they are also hard at work behind the scenes to be ready to provide in-person learning once COVID-19 transmission rates are lower.  At Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), we are supporting schools and communities across the county as they prepare for in-school learning. Two crucial ways we are providing support are by updating key metrics on the spread of COVID-19 and developing a school COVID-19 response toolkit. 

Read more.

September marks National Recovery Month: How to support friends and family in recovery 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider 

September marks National Recovery Month, a time to acknowledge the gains made by those in recovery who have faced challenges from mental health or substance use disorders. Many of us have faced these challenges ourselves or know a close friend or family member who has. This year poses even more challenges, from COVID-19 to wildfire smoke, that can make us feel even more isolated. 

For Public Health – Seattle & King County, it is a time to acknowledge the dedication of service providers and community members who make recovery possible for our King County community. Locally in King County, every year, more than 60,000 individuals begin their recovery path. That means 5,000 community members each month are connecting to services to help them on a journey to recovery and overcoming stigma associated with behavioral health issues. 

Read more.

My proposals for anti-racism and criminal legal system transformation in upcoming budget

Dear fellow King County employee,

Today I announced a package of proposals that transforms the criminal legal system and funds ongoing work to confront racism as a public health crisis.

There is increasing acknowledgement of the brutal reality of racism and bias throughout our society, and the imperative to be deliberate and steadfast in our commitment to anti-racism. That is why I joined with Public Health Director Patty Hayes in June to declare that racism is a public health crisis, and that all of King County government is committed to implementing a racially equitable response to this crisis, centering on community.

The investments I announced today will form part of my 2021-2022 Proposed Budget that I will transmit to the County Council on Sept. 22. They include:

  • Divest $4.6 million of marijuana tax revenue and shift these funds from law enforcement to community-based programs.
  • Invest $6.2 million in “Restorative Community Pathways,” a partnership between community organizations and the Department of Public Defense, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Community and Human Services. In lieu of filing charges, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will refer up to 800 young people by 2022-2023 to receive comprehensive, community-based services. Restorative Community Pathways includes appropriate services and support for harmed parties, and restitution so that youths who cannot pay fines and other financial obligations do not end up in a cycle of probation violations and incarceration.
  • Invest $750,000 to co-create and implement alternatives to policing in urban incorporated King County. The Executive Office will partner with community members and work with the King County Sheriff’s Office to co-create and implement a new community-driven safety model in urban unincorporated areas such as White Center, Skyway, and East Renton.
  • Divest $1.9 million in detention by continuing limits on jail population. During COVID, King County has reduced the daily adult population in the jail to 1,300, down from approximately 1,900 pre-COVID, and the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and others will seek to maintain and further reductions. This will allow closure of one floor (out of 12) at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle.
  • Invest $600,000 to respond to regional gun violence. Public Health Seattle-King County’s Zero Youth Detention program will continue the regional gun violence prevention initiative in 2021-2022. This program is focused on areas of the County experiencing increases in gun violence, particularly among young people of color.
  • Invest $2.7 million in a community justice model to divert first-time non-violent felony filings from the judicial system, offering services to break the cycle of chronic offenses. The Executive’s Office will work with the Department of Community and Human Services, and community organizations to implement King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg’s proposal to divert approximately 1,000 non-violent “first felony” filings from the judicial system each year. Instead of facing traditional prosecution, these individuals – who are facing their first felony charge and are disproportionately young men of color – will be offered a community-based alternative that emphasizes restorative justice and restoration for harmed parties. Violent crimes and crimes against people are not eligible.
  • Reimagine fare enforcement on Metro. Metro Transit will partner with King County Sheriff’s Office, cities, employees, and community members to co-create new alternatives to traditional fare enforcement, which has had a disproportionate negative impact on riders of color.
  • Invest in community engagement. The 2021-2022 Proposed Budget makes investments to change the County’s approach to working with community to support co-creation and the long-term success of community-based organizations. This includes creating a participatory budgeting effort to determine how to invest $10 million in new capital projects in the urban unincorporated areas of Skyway, White Center, Fairwood, East Federal Way, and East Renton.

I look forward to sharing more information on these and other proposals in my 2021-2022 Proposed Budget Address next week and in the coming weeks. I also look forward to working with you to implement them. They move us closer to our We are racially just value, and our vision of a strong, racially equitable, and just county that lives up to the principles of its namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.





Dow Constantine
King County Executive

Additional employees needed to volunteer at temporary redeployment at smoke shelter

Due to ongoing smoky conditions in our region, King County and the City of Seattle are extending the operation of the temporary wildfire smoke shelter in Seattle for persons experiencing homelessness through 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and there is an urgent need for employees to fill positions.

If you are interested and approved to support this work please follow the steps at the bottom of this email. Please note, if your supervisor is not cc’d on your email, we will not be able to place you in a volunteer position.

There is an immediate need to fill these roles through temporary redeployment at a shelter site in SoDo as we respond to wildfire smoke in our region. Both medical and non-medical volunteers are sought for the temporary emergency smoke shelter through 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. The site is located at 1045 6th Ave South, Seattle.

Employees will continue to be paid at their current rate of pay, and employees will not receive a reduction in pay for the emergency redeployment.

Medical volunteers (RNs, ARNPs, MAs, PAs, MDs, EMTs (including non-agency affiliated), and paramedics): One medical professional is needed per shift to provide support at the shelter, including assisting the clients to feel safe and comfortable, preventing health conditions from worsening, supporting client intake and rooming, providing general administrative and operational support (including monitoring the site, providing food/water, and notifying medical staff if there is an emergency), monitoring the activities of clients to ensure the safety of clients, volunteers and staff, helping clients resolve any issues as they may arise, and assisting with, and triaging, any emergent medical needs. The shelter will be open 24 hours each day, but medical volunteers are only needed between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. for morning and swing shifts. Experience working with individuals living homeless is preferred. All PPE will be provided, and volunteers will be trained in specific responsibilities on site.

Non-Medical volunteers: Five to six non-medical volunteers are needed each shift including morning, swing, and overnight to provide shelter support. Expected tasks include intake and registration, orientation to the shelter space, attendance and recordkeeping, serving meals, and shelter monitoring. Volunteers will be trained in specific responsibilities on site.

Available Dates and Shifts:

Wednesday, Sept. 16

  • Overnight 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. (medical staff only)

Thursday, Sept. 17

  • Morning 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Swing 2 – 10 p.m.
  • Overnight 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 18

  • Morning 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Swing 2 – 10 p.m.
  • Overnight 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 19

  • Morning 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.

If you are a King County employee who can fill one these roles, and have capacity to help, please follow these instructions:

  1. Receive permission from your supervisor to apply for this redeployment, and
  2. Once approved, email EmergencyStaffing@kingcounty.gov and CC your supervisor.
  3. Indicate which date and shift you are volunteering to fill, and in which role.
  4. For questions or for more information, contact EmergencyStaffing@kingcounty.gov.

Executive Constantine to highlight anti-racism and criminal legal system transformation in upcoming 2021-2022 King County budget

Today at 1:30 p.m., King County Executive Dow Constantine and other County leaders will outline key investments and reinventions in the criminal legal system, as well as funding priorities for anti-racism–pro-equity work that will be included in the 2021-2022 Proposed Budget to be transmitted to the King County Council.

  • WHEN: Today, Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Livestreamed on Executive Constantine’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ExecutiveConstantine/