by Paul Kiefer
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)
The Washington State Supreme Court sided with the families of people killed by police officers in a unanimous decision Thursday, restoring reforms to King County’s inquest process that have stalled since 2018 under pressure from law enforcement agencies.
Continue reading In Victory for Families of People Killed by Police, Court Allows Inquest Reforms
by Chamidae Ford
Dow Constantine, the current King County executive, is running for reelection this year. Constantine is a Seattle native who grew up in West Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He has had a long career in politics, serving as a Washington State representative from the 34th District for two terms, a State senator for one term, and later held a seat on the King County Council for nine years. Constantine has served as the King County executive for 12 years.
The current executive is running against Joe Nguyen, a member of the Washington State Senate who represents the 34th District, the seat once held by Constantine..
This election, Constantine’s main areas of focus are COVID-19 recovery and building strong, equitable communities.
Continue reading Dow Constantine Runs for Reelection as County Executive Pushing COVID Recovery
by M. Anthony Davis
Washington State Senator Joe Nguyen announced Tuesday morning that he is running for King County Executive. Senator Nguyen will attempt to unseat incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine, who has been in office since November 2009.
Continue reading State Senator Joe Nguyen Announces Run for King County Executive
by Carolyn Bick
King County Executive Dow Constantine has added his voice to those calling for King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to resign, following an internal email the sheriff sent to King County Sheriff’s Office employees in late March. Constantine joins community groups and several elected officials.
Continue reading BREAKING: King County Executive Dow Constantine Has ‘Urged’ Sheriff Johanknecht to Retire ‘Immediately’
by Carolyn Bick
At the 43:22 timestamp in a video of a nearly two-hour King County Council meeting regarding the shooting death of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gets up and walks out of the room, before any members of the community speak, and before Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens’s mother starts to read the last poem her son wrote before police shot and killed him in 2017.
“I have to get on to the next thing,” Johanknecht says, looking at the watch on her left wrist.
Continue reading ‘A Failed Leader’: Momentum Builds in Demands for Sheriff Johanknecht’s Resignation
by Carolyn Bick
The King County Jail system will begin surveillance testing of its incarcerated adult population starting as soon as tomorrow, Jan. 13, according to an internal Jan. 12 email shared with the Emerald.
Continue reading BREAKING: King County Jail System to Begin COVID Surveillance Testing on Incarcerated Adults
by Carolyn Bick
King County will be committing $7 million to ramp up vaccination efforts to prevent against COVID-19, with two high-volume vaccination sites slated for South King County in the near future, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced in a public health briefing on Jan. 8.
Continue reading King County Commits $7 Million to Increased Vaccination Efforts, Won’t Change Jail COVID Protocols
by Carolyn Bick
Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a series of new restrictions for the state of Washington, in light of rapidly escalating numbers of new COVID-19 cases. These restrictions will last for a minimum of four weeks. He also announced the state has found an extra $50 million to support struggling state businesses.
In a virtual press conference on the morning of Nov. 15, Inslee said that these new restrictions will begin to take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 16, and last until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 14, after which point the state will reassess the situation. When the Emerald followed up after the press conference with Inslee’s office to ask whether there will be any penalties imposed on individuals who do not follow these new restrictions, the office said that the question of enforcement is a job for local law enforcement.
Continue reading Gov. Inslee Institutes New Restrictions to Curb COVID Spread, Announces $50 Million Fund for Struggling Businesses
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Tuesday, a small group of King County workers picketed outside of the county’s Chinook Building on 5th Avenue, in order to remind King County Executive Dow Constantine that racism is a public health crisis and to protest King County’s inaction on fighting racism and discrimination in King County workplaces.
The event was not the first time that the Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) sponsored a picket — the group staged a picket and rally in front of the county executive’s downtown office earlier this summer to insist Constantine listen to their repeated demands: that he prevent racist threats and harassment at King County worksites, provide restitution for workers who have filed complaints of racism with no satisfactory resolution, and end budget cuts and lay-offs, among other demands.
Continue reading Picket Reiterates Need for Racial Equity in King County Workplaces
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)
Several cities in South King County, including Renton, Tukwila, Auburn, and Kent, are poised to adopt a local 0.1-cent sales tax for affordable housing, using authority the state legislature granted to city and county councils earlier this year. If the taxes pass, they would effectively supplant those cities’ contribution to a countywide sales tax proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine, which would pay for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people in all parts of the county. Renton and Tukwila will consider their local taxes on Monday; the other cities are reportedly deciding whether and when to propose local taxes of their own.
Continue reading Suburban Cities Craft Local Plans that Would Supplant County Executive’s Homeless Housing Tax