From the Hip: Caroline Whalen, Director of Executive Services

Employee engagement is job #1 When Dow Constantine and Fred Jarrett asked me to serve as director of the Department of Executive Services (DES) seven years ago, I frankly was overwhelmed. How could I move out of operations and project management to lead the diverse set of agencies that make up DES? I told them, “I’m the person you put in a black suit and throw out of the helicopter with a specific mission, not the person in the planning room overseeing the operation.”  But, they had confidence in me to make… Read More

Listening to employees to build a learning organization

Access to learning and advancement opportunities was a major theme in the 2016 Employee Survey so King County Executive Dow Constantine invited some employees to his latest Listening Session to hear about the challenges and successes employees face in growing their knowledge and careers at King County. “I want employees to be able to learn new skills so we can not only get better at what we do and serve our customers better, but you can also take advantage of opportunities to advance,” Executive Constantine told the group. “I want to hear… Read More

State of the County: Executive Constantine announces focus on healthy aging, new reception centers for youth

In his eighth State of the County address, Executive Dow Constantine introduced the theme: you belong here. Noting that 40 percent of the region’s population increase since 2010 has been from people not born in the country, Executive Constantine said the region’s diversity was one of its greatest assets. “All these people came here to seek a better life but they are making all of our lives better,” said Executive Constantine, speaking at the Auburn Community and Event Center. Read more here and view the video below.  

2017 State of the County address

Dear fellow King County employee, In our work together, we are continuing to reinvent how King County does business. We call it Best Run Government, a mindset that embraces innovation, continuous improvement and teamwork to take on challenges, big and small, in our communities. Along the way we’ve been winning national recognition and the support of our residents for our ideas. That support led to the success of Sound Transit 3, which will allow us to build on the successes of our transit system – including Metro’s RapidRide network and ORCA LIFT… Read More

Executive Constantine on new travel ban: In King County, we are taking a much different path

The new Executive Order on immigration announced today may have different words, but the spirit is the same: to exclude people based on their religion and country of origin. Such a policy betrays the fundamental principle that has guided our nation since its inception and been central to our success: that we welcome people who come here fleeing tyranny, fleeing oppression, seeking a better life. At King County, we are taking a much different path. We are a welcoming community, and I thank Council Chair McDermott and the rest of the King… Read More

From the Hip: Martha Cohen, Manager, Office of Interpreter Services

A voice for all King County ranks nationally as a top county in numbers for refugee and immigrant resettlement. Indeed, 98198 is one of the most ethnically diverse zip codes in the U.S. It can be said that what New York City was to cultural diversity in 1905, Seattle/King County is today. Since 1992, this office has provided interpreters in 161 different languages including ASL for all Superior Court departments: civil and criminal cases, deaf jurors and court related programs at the KCCH (Seattle), MRJC (Kent) and Youth Services Center (12th and… Read More

Celebrating Black History Month in King County

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed February to be Black History Month in King County. “The contributions to science, technology, business, arts, and cultural innovation by African Americans have been essential to the progress of our nation,” Executive Constantine said in his Proclamation. “We will continue to honor these accomplishments every month and every day in Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., County.” You can read the Executive’s proclamation here (on SharePoint).

Social Media Spotlight: Dow Constantine Twitter

Follow the official Twitter account of King County Executive Dow Constantine for Executive news and updates. This account is monitored by the Exec and his staff. Follow the KC Exec on Twitter today! Click here to view all King County social media pages.

Walk in the Shoes with Doug Dobkins, Department of Permitting and Environmental Review

A few months back, I spent some time in Snoqualmie with staff at the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER). DPER ensures that folks are building in ways that are safe for people and for the environment. They are the keepers of a land use code that was developed with input from thousands of stakeholders in our region. With millions calling King County home, and scores more arriving each day, it is important to ensure that we are smart about our growth. So I was excited to visit DPER,… Read More

Sustaining the beacon of hope

Dear fellow King County employee, On Friday, the new President signed an Executive Order that blocks citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, and indefinitely bans all Syrian refugees. The President’s Order sparked shock, fear and confusion in King County and across the world. It directly impacts people we work alongside, our friends and neighbors in the community, and families and loved ones here and around the world. It shuts the door on people fleeing violence and oppression at a time that… Read More