Executive Constantine announces John Diaz appointed Director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention

Dear fellow King County employee, I am pleased to announce the appointment of John Diaz to serve as the new director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, effective Wednesday, August 21. His appointment is subject to Council confirmation. John has served as Interim DAJD Director since April of this year, and during that time I have been impressed by his leadership, strategic thinking, and genuine interest in the work of DAJD employees, and the stability he has brought to the department. Prior to joining King County, John was the Seattle… Read More

Using People Roundings to build a better workplace 

By Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer Two years ago, Executive Constantine launched our Investing in YOU strategy to build a supportive and respectful workplace culture at King County where every employee can be at their best and do their best work for our community. One way that I track our progress on this strategy is through a process called People Roundings. Rounding is what doctors and nurses have traditionally done to check on patients in hospitals. We use People Roundings to check in with leaders and staff in departments on our People Measures, the key metrics we… Read More

Standing up to fear, hate, and violence

This weekend our nation once again witnessed the senseless loss of life in two mass shootings, this time in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These cities join the heartbreakingly long list of places whose residents have endured unthinkable violence, whose families have suffered unbearable losses; our nation’s leaders stand idly by while the epidemic of gun violence affects more and more communities. This is a difficult period in our nation’s history, one where words of fear and hate are being used to divide us. There are consequences to hateful rhetoric. Creating… Read More

From the Hip: Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer 

Why our True North and Values are important   When King County employees talk about why they chose to work here, the answers tend to be pretty similar: “I want to help my community.” “I want to make a difference in people’s lives.” “I want to do the work I really care about.” It’s no surprise that these responses are closely aligned with our True North – Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive – because it’s a vision that succinctly captures the work that we do and why we do… Read More

Get Ready for Wildfire Smoke Season

Dear employee, Summer has finally arrived and with it comes the risk that we will once again experience unhealthy levels of air quality due to wildfire smoke. Washington state has declared a state of drought and there have already been a record number of small wildfires across western Washington this year. As a result of climate change, we should be prepared for more frequent and larger wildfires during Pacific Northwest summers. Before the smoke arrives, take steps to protect your health from smoke at home and work. When air quality is at unhealthy… Read More

Executive visits Dick Thurnau Memorial Park as part of Parks tour 

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently visited Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center as part of his 100 miles in 100 days through King County Parks where he met with employees and checked out a new playground.  “Parks Specialist Christian Loko took me to the new playground our staff installed with funds generated by the King County Parks Levy,” Executive Constantine said. “We ended at the White Center Bicycle Playground, which provides kids a safe place to learn how to ride bicycle. It is the first playground of its kind in the nation.”  The parks… Read More

True North and values to guide our work

You may have heard me talk about what I call our True North: Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. The True North is our “why,” what ties our work together, and what drives us do our best each and every day. Today I am launching our eight Executive Branch values that we will use to guide our actions and decision-making, and help us achieve our True North. They are the next step in our work of building a workplace culture of respect, innovation, and performance excellence. The eight values represent what is important to us as an organization – what we believe in, what we stand… Read More

King County named a “Best-in-State Employer” for 2019

Last month, King County was named to Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Best-In-State Employers 2019.” King County was ranked number 16 on the list of best employers in Washington after a survey of more than 80,000 people nationwide. This recognition shows that we are making progress on our Investing in YOU strategy and our efforts to build a workplace culture of respect, innovation, and performance excellence. It also reinforces what we heard in our latest employee engagement survey, in which 79% of employees said they would recommend King County as a great place… Read More

Executive Constantine announces new funding to prevent spread of hepatitis A 

As urban areas across the United States grapple with hepatitis A outbreaks affecting people experiencing homelessness, Executive Constantine announced he is allocating $375,000 in new funding to expand free hepatitis A vaccinations to help prevent outbreaks in King County.  In April, a King County man living without permanent housing was diagnosed with the disease, heightening concerns about the possibility of a local outbreak. Hepatitis A is highly contagious and can cause severe liver disease.  Since 2017, Public Health – Seattle & King County has held dozens of free vaccine clinics for people… Read More

Exec bikes Cedar River Trail, meets with employees 

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently rode 10 miles on Cedar River Trail, a 17.4-mile paved multi-use trail that runs along Cedar River from Landsburg to Lake Washington, as part of his 100 miles in 100 days through King County Parks.  On the way back, he stopped at Cavanaugh Pond where King County staff updated him on a major floodplain project that will protect property and improve salmon habitat.  “We are very fortunate in this region to have those kinds of resources like a regional trail network, and those who came before us had… Read More