King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove: New Funding for Community Youth Centers



New funding for youth community centers

Dear neighbour,

One of the recurring themes in my conversations with community members is the need for more spaces where young people can go to play, learn and socialize.

With the social isolation caused by the pandemic, the need for community centers has become even more important so that our young people have a safe place to indulge in hobbies, participate in extracurricular learning and develop supportive relationships.

For some kids, the relationships they develop at their local community center can be life-changing – the basketball coach who believes in them when no one else seems to, the art teacher who understands – and encourages – their passion for drawing, and the math tutor who is so funny they get excited about fractions rather than frustrated with them.

Recognizing the importance of these gathering places in the lives of our youth and in the fabric of our community, King County Council ensured that the Best Start for Kids renewal recently passed by voters includes funding for capital grants for new or improved community or recreation centres. . Over the term of the royalty, up to $50 million will be available for community development, particularly in parts of our county that lack these facilities.

Community engagement leads to increased transit options for Kent East Hill

Transit is not unique and it is essential that we consult with those who rely on our transit to ensure that we provide services when and where they are needed most.

Three years ago, Metro began talking with the community about transit options that would better serve those who were previously underserved.

Listening to Kent residents, it became clear that members of the immigrant and refugee community living in Kent’s East Hill neighborhoods needed transit options that would allow them to work shifts and nights. in Kent Valley fulfillment centers – an entry-level job for many residents. new to our community, but could not access due to lack of public transportation options.

From this awareness, Metro created the Ride Pingo pilot program that will serve communities where 57% of residents are Black, Indigenous and other people of color, 34% are foreign born and 43% speak a language other than English at home. Ride Pingo provides on-demand access to transit hubs and workplaces in the Kent Valley and the Kent East Hill area.

Riders can download the Ride Pingo deed or call 855-233-6043 to request an on-demand shared ride on one of the Ride Pingo 14-passenger vans.

The Ride Pingo app is available in Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

The cost of the journey is the same as the bus and the same methods of payment accepted – ORCA card, cash, Transit Go, etc.

Flood grants protect people and our environment

We have all witnessed the recent floods that have hit other parts of our country and the devastating impact on communities of unprecedented weather events. However, most people are unaware that King County has its own Flood Control District that protects people and property from flooding along our major rivers.

In 2020, the King County Flood Control District recognized two things: that flooding from other sources – such as coastal erosion or the overflow of urban streams – also had a significant impact on our community, and that protecting people from flooding can be achieved by using approaches that protect – and enhance – our environment. Three new grant programs have been created to complement current flood reduction grants – one for coastal erosion, one for urban streams, and one for replacing culverts that also promote fish passage. The district also doubled the amount of funding available for grants, and through these changes opened up the possibility for more cities and organizations to receive support for flooding issues.

The recent round of grants has just been finalized and a number of local projects have received funding:

$450,000 for the McSorley Creek Shoreline and Estuary Restoration Project at Saltwater State Park, which will make the creek more accessible to fish and the beach more accessible to people. This will also help reduce the flooding that affected the Saltwater Café.

$365,000 for the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary Restoration Project which will ultimately increase fish passage and create a pocket estuary at the new creek mouth. When completed, the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary should provide refuge for juvenile Chinook Salmon.

$25,000 to the City of Des Moines to reduce flooding impacts on Redondo Way South during major storms. As part of this project, 50 feet of stream beds in the eastern ravines will be restored.

As Flood Control District Chairman, I am thrilled to see the District using our grant programs to address flooding issues while being a good environmental steward. As these three projects progress, we will not only achieve our public safety goal of protecting residents from flooding, but we will also create a safer and more hospitable environment for our Chinook Salmon and other fish species. .

South King County — A Welcoming Community for All

I am proud to represent South King County, which is home to a diverse community where everyone is welcome and valued for the contribution they make to our community. I joined local leaders and Council colleagues in reinforcing this important message at two recent events.

In Renton, Mayor Pavone and I met at Gene Coulon Park to help promote the municipal initiative “Hate Has No Home Here”. This initiative is part of a national campaign that identifies places free of hateful behavior. Supporting this great effort to promote a welcoming community in Renton was a perfect introduction to this week’s proclamation by the Council declaring September 10-19, 2021 as “Welcoming Week” in King County.

As a proud sponsor of this proclamation, I had the pleasure of reading aloud the words “King County Council is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all, regardless of immigration status, place of residence, ‘origin, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability and income’ because I think these words represent the people of South King County so well. ‘m fortunate to work hand in hand every day with diverse coalitions of community members to make King County – and South King County in particular – a welcoming place where all residents are valued and respected.

My friend, Chitra Hanstad from World Relief Seattle, was on the line to receive the proclamation and spoke eloquently and passionately about her own experience immigrating to America and her work to ensure that same positive experience for the Afghan refugees her organization is currently helping to relocate.

Working together for our students

This week I met with the Renton Schools Foundation and Renton Schools Superintendent Damien Pattenaude to discuss the challenges students have faced over the past eighteen months and to reflect on ways in which the county could support them at the start of a new school year. One of my team members, Shaunice Wilson, joined me in this conversation.

Upthegrove Council Member and D5 Community Engagement Manager Shaunice Wilson.

As the Council continues to operate remotely, now is the perfect time to participate in our work and share your thoughts on the legislation before us.

My team and I are available by email at [email protected]

You can watch Council meetings via live broadcast on the Councils website or on KCTV Channel 22. We take feedback from the general public on the 4and Tuesday of each month.

To learn more about testifying before the Council, visit:


Dave Upthegrove
Member of King County Council
District 5

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