On a stage in front of Blue Origin’s ‘Blue Moon’ lunar rover, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph delivered her third annual ‘State of the City’ address on Thursday night, March 5, 2020.
Introduced and walked off to the rockin’ opening guitar sting of “Who Says You Can’t Dance to Rock and Roll?,” Ralph (a known rocker) spoke about issues concerning the City of Kent, including public safety, crime, her dissatisfaction with the county’s law enforcement and prosecution of criminals, economic development, public works, new initiatives and much more.
“It truly is an honor to be able to present to all of you tonight because I see you all as partners in this journey,” Ralph said.
Ralph honored city employees, thanked Blue Origin and talked about their impressive new “Tent” building, discussed jobs, housing, police (including new body cameras) and much more, and also touted the city’s economic development.
“In the past year we have added about 2,300 additional jobs to Kent’s economy,” she said. “My goal remains that we will have a good paying job for every resident who wants one.”
She also spoke about how she and city police disagree with how King County is prosecuting criminals.
“At some point in time politicians with good intentions but flawed programs – without consulting the voters – decided that we were no longer going to enforce those laws in King County,” she said, then added this jab at the King County Prosecutor’s Office:
“We’ve spent years fighting to protect our kids from drugs – despite nationwide epidemics we have even had some success but now the government debates things called safe injection sites. I have news for you all – if you are shooting up heroin it isn’t safe – no matter what site you are on. Here in King County, it is now ‘ok’ to walk around with meth, heroin and other drugs if it is under a certain weight and the county prosecutor will not prosecute you. Here in King County, it is ok to steal car after car after car and you will not be prosecuted until deemed appropriate. Here in King County, assault, robbery and theft are tolerated until deemed appropriate to prosecute.”
The Mayor ended on a high note though.
“Serving as your Mayor is my dream job and I want to thank you all for providing me with the opportunity to do so. The faith and trust you put in me to be your voice at City Hall and to represent you across the region means the world to me. Ensuring we bring home results for Kent is always my top priority. We have so much work to do in 2020. But it is going to take all of us working together to get it done.”
Watch her full speech below (running time 54:18):