Seattle May Be Slow, but We Are Catching Up

September 24th, 2016

In 2011 my friend Rep. Cindy Ryu drafted a bill to give cities authority to reduce city street speeds. The bill was based on research coming out of the UK and our own local friends in Portland among others, confirming why a “20 is Plenty” plan reduces injuries and accidents for all modes of traffic and brings […]

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Creating the Seattle Success Story for those who are unsheltered

September 17th, 2016

On September 8 in  my Human Services and Public Health committee we explored the conditions of being homeless in Seattle.  National experts offered their recommendations here: Barb Poppe, Focus Strategies, and the Mayor’s Pathways Home reports. You can watch a Seattle Channel video of the meeting with a majority of my Council colleagues here. We know that nearly 3000 people […]

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Paid Family Leave Symposium at the UW

August 12th, 2016

In 1979 when I had my second child, I worked at a local university. I gave birth to my son early Wednesday morning, and had to be back to the office the following Saturday morning to finish a legal brief. Yes, I had some unpaid time thereafter to stay home with him, but those six weeks passed […]

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The NRA and I Finally Agree

July 21st, 2016

Today at our Public Health Board meeting I learned a fact that may help me build my first bridge with the NRA: State wide in 2014, 1119 people took their own lives.  Nearly half —  551 — of these people shot themselves. Sadly, King County has one of the highest firearm suicide statistics in the […]

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San Francisco Trip Part III: Pit Stops

June 28th, 2016

I must have said this a thousand times: Seattle needs more public restrooms. We have them in some of our parks.  Why not Downtown? Yes, I am well aware that we have “tried this before”.  We should try it again and look south to San Francisco for a successful model. The City of San Francisco […]

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Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day — even a little about Dux4

June 20th, 2016

This day, June 20, 2016 we are recognizing  worldwide Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) Awareness day.  Why, you might ask? Muscular Dystrophy causes the progressive deterioration of the muscles in the arms, back, legs and face, often robbing its victims of their health and independence. Most people who are affected by FSHD are unable to lift their arms […]

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San Francisco Trip Part II: Addiction Treatment and Options to Improve Public Health and Public Safety

June 20th, 2016

After our visit to the San Francisco Navigation Center, our Seattle coalition — including King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, representatives from the Human Services Department, the Neighborhood Safety Alliance, the If Project, and Columbia Legal Services — walked to the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Integrated Buprenorphine Intervention Service Center (IBIS Center) The opioid […]

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Building connections in the East Duwamish Greenbelt

June 17th, 2016

“You make me feel like a human again,” a woman confided to a Union Gospel Mission’s Search & Rescue Team  member after receiving a new blanket, some fresh bottled water and something to eat. Speaking fondly and respectfully of the people that he’d met in Greenbelt, UGM Team member Brian proudly showed off a necklace […]

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San Francisco Trip Part I: The Navigation Center — and now a Navigation Center in Seattle too!

June 9th, 2016

Last month King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles and I went to San Francisco with a number of local friends to learn more about how San Francisco is assisting people who are living on the streets and struggling with behavioral health and drug addiction. A small group of us with representatives from Columbia Legal Services, the […]

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Saving ourselves from Gun Violence: Do Not Stand Idly By

June 3rd, 2016

My anger boiled over on December 14, 2012 when a young man shot 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and later turned the gun on his mother and himself.  I grieved for the families and could only begin to imagine the empty places in their hearts that might never heal. I […]

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