Why King County Executive?Why I’m Running
We all know that the decisions we make as we recover from the pandemic will shape the livelihoods of millions for years to come. The old way of doing business was failing us even before the pandemic hit – and we cannot afford to go back to the status quo.
After 12 years, and several broken promises, we need a change in leadership. We must provide a vision for the future that is inclusive and doesn’t merely talk about equity and prosperity for communities left behind, but actually produces results.
When faced with a housing crisis- we can’t give away $135 million dollars to billionaire sports team owners. When faced with a criminal justice crisis- we can’t continue spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new jails and militarization of law enforcement. When faced with a climate crisis- we can’t keep setting goals, with no real measures of accountability or plans to actually meet them. The leadership at King County is failing us and isn’t working.
We are living the consequences of leadership that is reactive, not proactive. We are living the consequences of those holding power not reflecting the communities they serve.
Before holding elected office, I’ve had a long career in the private sector, managing multi-million dollar portfolios and advising on strategy for executives in world-leading technology companies. I know what it takes to lead large teams, manage resources, and I’m ready to get to work.
I’ve seen in the legislature that it’s easier to not do something than it is to do something, and that’s why I believe we need people in executive leadership positions that are there to fight for people. Leaders that advocate for policies that make a difference for those on the margins.
That’s why I’m running. I want to take action on issues that continue to prevent our region from being a truly welcoming place for all. I want to tackle inequality and homelessness, I want to use the resources we have available at the County to address criminal justice reform and make sure that we are living up to the promise of Martin Luther King Jr, the namesake of our County.
After 12 years of the status quo, we need a change, and I am running to provide a better vision for what our County can be.
What is the role of a County Executive?
The County Executive’s office is responsible for implementing critical social service programs and has the ability to address our most pressing issues. Climate change, criminal justice, transit, public health, housing and affordability – all issues that are deeply and inequitably impacting our communities. These are also all issues where the County Executive can lead on, and have a huge impact. These problems can be solved with real leadership.
The Executive office directly oversees how we operate and provides funding for:
- King County Metro and Sound Transit
- Our adult and juvenile jail, law enforcement, and court systems (currently 73% of our general fund’s budget)
- Public Health
- Regional homelessness strategy
- Sustainability practices and conservation of our regions natural resources
We have worked in the State legislature to secure huge wins, but many of our most pressing issues rely on local implementation to be solved, and are directly overseen by the Executive. Without new leadership there, we will continue to fall short of real progress for those being left behind. Another study isn’t going to solve homelessness – we know what the issues are, and it’s time to actually get to work. What we need now is leaders with the political will, and the urgency, to drive us forward.
In King County, we’ve been treading water for too long.
- 6 years after declaring homelessness an emergency, the problem has only gotten worse.
- In the 12 years the incumbent has been in office, income inequality has risen dramatically in King County.
- We now spend 10x more to detain our communities than we do on human and community services. It hasn’t always been this way, and it doesn’t have to continue like this.
Also importantly – the large areas of King County that are unincorporated continue to fall behind. Being unincorporated means that they don’t have a local city council or other body that funds or oversees local human services. The County is the closest point of government contact for these areas such as Skyway, White Center, Woodinville, and Vashon Island. Because of a lack of attention to these areas by the current administration, many families are deeply lacking in services and opportunities. I’ve talked directly with so many of these people and they are desperate for change.
I know we can transform the way we work in this county because we did it in the legislature, but it takes action, and leadership that is dedicated to the people.