It’s apparent that housing throughout our county and region has become unaffordable for too many. We need to ensure that people of all backgrounds–students, working families, and seniors to name a few–are able to work and live in King County.
I co-chaired the Regional Affordable Housing Taskforce, which brought together elected leaders from cities across the county. We developed and approved a housing affordability action plan which will lead to more accessible affordable housing throughout our region.
I’m committed to fighting for more affordable housing for people throughout our county, and I’ll continue to look for opportunities to work with stakeholders and partners to achieve real results.
Homelessness and Human Services
There are a variety of challenges that can lead to homelessness, beginning with lack of affordable housing but also including addiction and mental health issues. We are experiencing a true crisis, and must act to help our unsheltered neighbors get the care and safe, stable housing they need.
I’ve worked with the cities of Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond to develop a regional plan to address homelessness. Kirkland should soon open a shelter for women and families, joining Redmond’s already operating youth shelter, and Bellevue is in the process of finalizing plans for a permanent men’s homeless shelter. I’ve worked to make sure the County is an active and supportive partner on these projects and others through capital funding and through support for the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy.
I’ll continue looking for new opportunities to expand the County’s role in providing effective and available human services, so we can reduce and prevent homelessness, providing meaningful help for those in need.
Every kid in King County should have a great education that allows them to expand their horizons and follow their dreams. But today, with the cost of higher education continuing to skyrocket and unequal access to education, it’s clear we’re not there yet.
I believe the County needs to be an active partner, working with the state, cities, and school boards, to make sure kids are getting the education they deserve. I’ve been a longtime supporter of KidsQuest Museum in Bellevue, early learning programs, and STEAM education. By improving outreach and giving kids from every community the tools to learn and explore, we can create long term positive outcomes and opportunities for personal and economic growth.
The next generation of King County leaders are students today. From lowering tuition costs to expanding early learning options, let’s make sure they’re getting the best education we can give them.
We can see the impact of our region’s growth daily through more and more traffic. Expanding options for transit–including light rail, metro service, and other infrastructure improvements–will pave a clear path forward for reduced commute times and carbon emissions.
King County has the best metro service in the country, but I know we can continue innovating a system that’s already excellent. I’ve fought to add more than 25,000 additional hours transit service throughout King County. I was also an early and unwavering advocate for light rail on the Eastside, and as we get closer to the opening of the East Link light rail expansion, I’ll work to make sure it opens on-time and without issue. I’m also currently working to improve ACCESS bus service, so people with disabilities can better take advantage of our public transit systems.
Transit can be a key opportunity creator, it expands access to jobs, schools, and housing. On the County Council, I’ll always look for ways to build a better transit system to connect us all.