A bittersweet Fourth of July, COVID updates, this week’s Committee of the Whole meeting on gun violence prevention, and visits out in the district

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Banner image showing King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

July 1, 2022

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Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

First, I wish everyone a happy Fourth of July weekend. For all of you with a vacation day on Monday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. And I extend my deep appreciation to all essential workers, those working in the service and hospitality industries, our law enforcement, fire and rescue, and health care and hospital workers, our bus drivers, food workers, and all the other individuals who will be working through the holiday taking care of us. You are a constant example of what it takes for a community and a society to work together for our common good. 

But as I personally look to the holiday on Monday and what it stands for, I sadly feel somewhat bitter this year. My rights and the rights of American women and others everywhere are under attack, and the Supreme Court shows no sign of stopping here in its attack on civil rights, our privacy, and our reproductive health care. While we worry and wait to see what will become of other, hard fought progress made in our country, the court wasted no time undermining protection for our environment as well.  (I will go into more detail around this EPA-related decision, my reaction, and the County’s climate work next week.) 

With the civil rights of so many groups now in jeopardy, I share in the fear and angst of so many across the country. I feel solidarity and alliance with my BIPOC and LGBTQI+ neighbors and family as they worry that they are next. I have spent my career fighting to protect and enhance the civil liberty and equal access to rights and justice for women, BIPOC and LGBTQI+ individuals. What the Supreme Court has done to date — and where it seems to be heading — sickens me.   

But our country is defined by our ability to peacefully act out and struggle for what is right, in politics and in protest. I will not stand idly by while a privileged few strip the freedom and dignity from so many. While I may not be as young as when I began my journey for justice, I am nowhere near done fighting. I will see you in the halls of government and in the streets. Our fight is now. 

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 jeanne.kohl-welles@kingcounty.gov.    

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.