From Advertiser Dave Upthegrove, King County Councilmember, District 5:
8 in 2018
The New Year is a chance to reflect on the past year, and look forward to the year ahead. I wanted to share some of my favorite moments of 2018:
Last January, King County Metro rolled out the new Route 635. The shuttle links downtown Des Moines and the marina district with the Angle Lake Light Rail Station. I was excited to be a part of the event, which celebrated the Community Connections partnership between Hopelink, the City of Des Moines and Metro.
MLK Award to Doug Baldwin
In April, the King County Council honored nine county residents who have demonstrated leadership and service in their communities with the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. I presented the District 5 medal to Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin.
Doug exemplifies community leadership. He has been instrumental in the vision of the Family First Community Center in the Cascade/Benson Hill community in Renton, a public/private partnership between the city, county, school district and other community partners. He’s also formed the “Building Bridges” task force, a collaboration with community leaders and attorneys to encourage the review of law enforcement training models.
Doug has shown himself to be a remarkable advocate and community organizer, and South King County is fortunate to have him actively engaged in the community.
Every year, King County Metro ‘retires’ vanpool vans, and we distribute them to non-profits throughout the county. This year, I delivered vans to four organizations in our district, Centro Rendu, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, Kona Kai, and Partner in Employment.
It’s always wonderful to go visit the groups, meet the wonderful staff, and learn about how they are going to use these vans to serve our community.
Last summer, I spent many hours out in the community attending farmer’s markets and summer festivals. It was great to meet neighbors and new friends, and share a little about the services that King County provides.
Senior Center Funding
Through the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy, senior centers across the county received one-time funds to help them make facilities accessible, and attract more community members. These centers serve as an important community connection for our seniors, and I’m proud that in our district the Renton Senior Activity Center, the City of SeaTac Senior Program, the City of Tukwila Older Adults Program and the Des Moines/Normandy Park Senior Activity Center will benefit from a combined $273,000 in county funding.
You may have noticed that your ballots this year did not require any postage. In partnership with our King County Elections Director, the County Council passed prepaid postage in 2018. It is an exciting step forward, and one that removes barriers for participation in our democracy. The November election had the highest turnout in 50 years!
Arts and civic engagement go hand in hand – this year I asked high school students in South King County to answer the question, “What does community mean to you?” with their art. Participating high schools received funds for their arts programs, and I had the opportunity to talk about civics engagement and democracy with students in Renton and Kent.
BSK funding in District 5
This year, the Best Starts for Kids initiative invested $40 million in services to South King County. Our district received $16 million in grants to organizations located in our communities. These organizations provide essential services to kids and families that will help them thrive and succeed.
Paradise Plots (Grand Opening)
Paradise Plots, a partnership between World Relief Seattle, Hillside Church and the King Conservation District, is a special place which celebrated its grand opening this year. Through this amazing collaboration, members of the community are able to grow food native to their culture. It fulfills a mission of conservation, community, and partnership that is important to all involved. I’ve worked to secure county funding to get this project off the ground, and it’s amazing to see how the community has come together to grow this partnership into a South King County treasure.
Upcoming Events in District 5
Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and most county and city offices will be closed. For information on January events, visit my website and see all that South King County has to offer.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any comments or concerns, I always appreciate hearing from you.
King County Councilmember