MLK Medal of Distinguished Service awarded to Mike Tulee, Juneteenth holiday and Father’s Day celebrations, COVID vaccines for children under five, Council updates, changing County elections to even-number years, and more.

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Banner image showing King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

June 17, 2022

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Dr. Mike Tulee accepting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service earlier this week. More info on this award is included below.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This Sunday is Juneteenth, and on Monday, County offices will be closed in our first official observance of the holiday. Juneteenth originated in 1865 in Galveston, Texas as African American Emancipation Day, signaling the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally made it to Texas, over 2 ½ years after President Lincoln issued the proclamation.

It is a time of reflection, of celebration, and of re-commitment. It’s a moment to pause and recognize the painful truth of slavery in American history, and the way that its legacy continues to influence the world we live in today. I encourage you to make it a time of education, using it as an opportunity to learn. Some resources to start with are available here:

-The Historical Legacy of JuneteenthNational Museum of African American History & Culture

-Juneteenth: The History of a New HolidayThe New York Times

-The meaning of the Juneteenth flag and more you should know about the holidayThe Seattle Times

If you are looking to honor Juneteenth in person, there are lots of events happening around the county over the next few days. There will also be an event co-sponsored by King County and Seattle called “Sitting in the shade of trees we did not seed. Honoring the Past, Living in the Present, Creating our Future.” It will feature live music, DJs, Public Health vaccine station, youth performances, spoken word, food vendors and more. It will take place on Monday, June 20th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Seward Park.

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at  

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.