I greatly appreciate the ability of arts and culture programs to strengthen and enhance our communities. Like many people, some of my most joyous and educational experiences include sharing the arts with family and friends. These kinds of experiences enrich our lives, cause us to consider our common values, and knit us together as a society in the face of so many forces that pull us apart. They also provide economic opportunities for many people, and our county as a whole. For these reasons, I have repeatedly voted to support public funding of arts, culture, heritage and historical preservation.
Many people have written to me with concerns about recently-proposed legislation at the County Council that would change the way 4Culture, our King County arts program, is governed. This proposal has been co-sponsored by six of my colleagues on the County Council. I am not a sponsor of this legislation and I want to explain why.
During her first year as a County Councilmember in 2016, Claudia Balducci noticed that every Friday her inbox would receive a mini-flood of reports being forwarded by the Clerk’s Office. The reports were prepared by County employees in response to a variety of requirements in the County Code. Some of the reports provided valuable information that Councilmembers used to make policy decisions. Others, well, their usefulness was less clear. Continue reading
Metropolitan King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Boardmember Claudia Balducci released the following statement on the announcement by Microsoft to expand and build upon their headquarters in Redmond:
“Our region is prospering due to companies like Microsoft that value what Puget Sound has to offer. Microsoft’s plan to expand their headquarters in Redmond shows the strong relationship the company has with our region and highlights its commitment to improving and building upon the success they have had here.
As a region, we have done our part to promote economic opportunity and prosperity by building out a cohesive transportation network anchored by a regional light rail system. The East Link light rail extension will open near the Microsoft headquarters in 2023, bringing fast and reliable transit service to one of our region’s top employment centers. I am proud of the work we have done to encourage this development and the path it has created for Microsoft to recommit to the Puget Sound area.
This is exactly the kind of outcome we were working for when we first planned light rail expansion to the Eastside. Companies like Microsoft see the benefits of having their employees have access to high capacity transit. The investments we have made are validated by today’s announcement.
I am grateful for the strong commitment Microsoft has demonstrated to our region, and value the benefits of retaining such a committed community partner.”
For more information, please check out the KOMO-AM Radio Clip about this issue.
You may have seen press reports about a new King County proposal to have a public vote on drug safe consumption or safe injection sites – called “CHELs” for “Community Health Engagement Locations.” I support the proposal being placed on the ballot for public vote, so that voters will have a full range of options for consideration, in the face of an unprecedented and tragic epidemic of opioid overdoses. If this proposal appears on the ballot in February, 2018, voters will have an opportunity to fully and finally answer the question whether these CHEL sites should be tested as a possible way to connect drug users to treatment and save lives.
Last week, The Sophia Way, a non-profit organization helping homeless adult women based in Bellevue, received a “retired” King County van from King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. Continue reading
Bellevue: Last Friday, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci donated a “retired” King County van to Dignity for Divas, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support women as they transition from homelessness to a self-sustaining life. Continue reading
Over the last year, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, listening and thinking about the problem of crushingly high housing costs in our region. With the support of my colleagues at the County Council and the County Executive, last year I sponsored a motion creating a regional task force of elected officials from around King County to study the regional parameters of this challenge and come up with regional approaches to address it. We kicked this work off this summer, and it will continue for about the next year. Continue reading
On August 14th, the County Council adopted an ordinance sponsored by Councilmember Balducci that will shorten the time it takes to appoint new District Court judges by about half. Andrew J. Prazuch, the Executive Director of the King County Bar Association, called the streamlining effort “a long overdue housekeeping project that the bar is delighted to see addressed.” Continue reading
King County Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Reagan Dunn announced today that the City of Bellevue will receive $175,000 from the 2017 WaterWorks Grant program as part of King County’s efforts to improve regional water quality. Continue reading
King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci announced this week that the City of Redmond is a recipient of the 2017 WaterWorks Grant program as part of King County’s efforts to improve regional water quality.