Continuing Our Support For Our Most Vulnerable Residents

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Over 1 Million Vaccinations Given to King County Residents

Dear Neighbor,

As the federal government begins to deliver a larger supply of vaccines, we are starting to see more and more King County residents becoming eligible for their first shots.  Over a million doses of the vaccine have been administered to King County residents with just over 21% of King County residents now fully vaccinated.  This is great news and a testament to the hard work of our Public Health team!


Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that all Washingtonians 16 and up will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 15.

The current list of those eligible for vaccines includes: All people 60 and older; people 16+ with two or more underlying health conditions; restaurant, food service, manufacturing and construction workers in congregate settings; and people who live, work or volunteer in settings like prisons, group homes and places where people experiencing homelessness live or receive services.

While this is exciting news, our Public Health experts remind us that this is not the time to get complacent and let down our guard.  New variants of the virus have been found in our County so we must all continue to practice our social distancing, wear our masks and wash our hands – regardless of whether or not we are vaccinated.

If we all do our part now, we will all get through this sooner and we will avoid another surge of cases.

Continuing Our Support of Our Most Vulnerable Residents

Although the vaccination numbers are great news, we are still in the midst of a pandemic where many in our community are suffering.  The Council recently provided an additional $45 million to our Rental Assistance and Eviction Prevention Program and we will be adding at least another $100 million in our next round of COVID funding – fondly known as COVID 7 since it represents the seventh allocation of funding to address the public health crisis.

Over the next month, we will be examining the Executive’s $600 million COVID 7 proposal and identifying our own priorities.  I am excited to see programs and approaches that I have long advocated for included in the Executive’s proposal including support for community-based organizations to purchase culturally-appropriate food, new construction apprenticeships and job training programs and support for small businesses and chambers of commerce

I’m also pleased that the Executive has recommended including additional funding for the Office of Equity and Social Justice to expand their translation and communication work so that everyone in our community – regardless of the language they speak – has access to the information they need.   I secured funding for this in our very first round of COVID funding and with that commitment helped ensure that our public health messages can be understood in over 30 languages.

Sadly, many in our community have chosen to target our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) neighbors with increased messages of hate and even violence over the last year, so I am pleased that the COVID 7 proposal adds support for the Coalition Against Hate and Bias – a coalition I ensured had additional funding at the end of 2020 and now will be able to continue their important work.

Laying the Foundation for a Better King County

While we continue to work to address current challenges, we must also move forward on building back better.

With funding from the American Rescue Plan, we can make substantial investments in our economic recovery and do so in a way that addresses historic and systemic inequities.   The Executive’s proposal includes funding for economic opportunities for our Black, Indigenous and People of Color residents, funds for supportive housing and a jobs program for residents of County shelters, and additional funding for small businesses so that they can welcome back their customers.

To ensure our youth have a pathway and a role in our economic future, the proposal includes funding for behavioral health and construction apprenticeship programs.  I am particularly excited about the construction training programs as this will expand programming originally secured in our biennial budget.

Finally, we must support women with children who have been forced to make difficult choices during this pandemic.  Not only have women lost jobs as businesses shut down, many women have left paid work to care for children who were out of school.    Nationwide, the exodus from work caused by the pandemic has seen the share of women in the workforce down to levels not seen since 1988. We must invest in child care so that women can help drive our economic recovery. We will not only provide additional funding for childcare for essential workers, but we will also support both families and providers in the Best Start for Kids levy renewal.

As we deliberate on COVID 7, the path forward out of this crisis and toward a better future, your thoughts, concerns and suggestions continue to influence my decisions.


King County Flood Control District - Grants Available 

When I became Chair of the King County Flood Control District in January 2020, I committed to reorient its work to become a better environmental partner and ensure all parts of the County receive benefits from the District’s work.

Part of this effort included providing new ongoing funding to address urban streams, barriers to fish passage and coastal erosion throughout all parts of the County.

Starting this year, $12 million will be available for grants addressing:

  • Urban streams and flooding - $3 million
  • Culvert replacement - $3 million
  • Coastal erosion and flooding - $3 million
  • Flood reduction grants - $3 million

Over 10 years, this commitment will provide over $100 million to our tribes and municipal partners to help us in the important work of protecting the public and improving the environment for future generations.

I am pleased to announce that these grants are now available.

The Flood Control District is specifically interested in reaching homeowner associations, non-profit organizations, schools, special purpose districts, tribes, cities, towns, and agencies in King County.

There is no cap on the individual award amount. Past grants have ranged from $11,000 to $400,000. Matching funds are encouraged but not required.

Expenditure of the funds must be completed no later than 36 months after signing the grant agreement. More information about criteria, eligibility and application assistance can be found at

Interested parties should contact Kim Harper at 206-477-6079 or

Bringing Community Voice to the Work of the Council

Town Hall _ April 2021


There is great work happening in South King County to support our youth and I am excited to share those efforts in an upcoming Town Hall where I will be joined by my colleague Councilmember Girmay Zahilay and representatives from the Congolese Integration Network,  Glover Empower Mentoring and the Institute for Community Leadership.

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


My team and I are available via email at


You can watch Council meetings via livestream on the Councils website or on KCTV channel 22. We take general public comment on the 4th Tuesday of every month.

To learn more about testifying before Council go to:



Dave Upthegrove

King County Councilmember
District 5