September Update from Councilmember Megan Dunn

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News from Councilmember Megan Dunn

September 2020

Megan Dunn's eNewsletter

CM Dunn Headshot

Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building 
Phone: 425-388-3494


Paula Rhyne, Legislative Aide

Dear Friend: 

As summer comes to a close and we move into fall, it seems like we have swapped football games and school bus rides for Zoom classrooms and solitary activities. As the working parent of two kids in public school, I share the nervous apprehension about school starting remotely and how to balance my kids’ school needs while still working full-time. I'm encouraged to see that our county’s COVID numbers are trending in the right direction. If we all do our individual part to wear masks in public, socially distance ourselves from others, and wash our hands frequently, the sooner we can transition to more in-person learning and other activities. To date, Snohomish County has lost over 200 individuals to COVID which is more than the last 5 years of flu deaths combined. With flu season coming up, the county and Health District are working hard to prepare for challenging times.  

In this newsletter, I’ll provide an update on events and programs at the County, information about Light Rail, farming and agriculture updates, and other local events. There is also information in this newsletter regarding Boards and Commissions Openings that are available for people who live in District 2 (Tulalip, Everett, and Mukilteo). If you have any questions about the newsletter or any happenings at the County, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at or with my aide, Paula Rhyne, at You can also call our office at 425-388-3494 and leave a message and we will call back asap. Last, if you would like to follow updates on social media, here is the link to my Facebook and Twitter pages. 



Getting Ready for 2021 Budget

As Council gets ready for “Budget Season” starting later this month, I’m working to prepare for an unprecedented deliberation process. We are a facing difficult decisions to address the budget deficit. The County Executive will present his preliminary budget at the end of the month which kicks off the process for our legislative analysts and staff to review the proposed budget and work with Councilmembers to make adjustmentsThe only certainty at this time is that no department will be spared from making budget cuts. Every department and division at the County will be asked to tighten their belts even further and we will work to avoid layoffs and to keep staffing at a level that can best serve our community. Snohomish County revenues are reliant mostly on sales tax and property taxes. While sales tax revenues have been tracking better than expected, thanks in part to added stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, as these safety net measures have dried up or stalled, many families are finding themselves having a difficult time making ends meet. As we move into budget season, I will prioritize working families and the most vulnerable in our community during deliberations as my commitment to affordability, livability, and sustainability 

As your County Councilmember, it’s important to me to listen to the community and take your concerns and suggestions into account as we work to make these difficult decisions. If you have suggestions or would like to provide input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office ( or or to the Council as a whole at to share your thoughts.  

Fair Food Drive Event

While the Evergreen State Fairgrounds have been used as the County's Quarantine and Isolation center for the past few months, which is required for the County to be able to continue to respond to this pandemic, the grounds have otherwise been fairly quiet because of the cancellation of the fair. However, on August 27 the Grounds saw the hustle and bustle of a large-scale drive-thru food drive to help support those in our community who are food insecure. Folks were asked to swing by the fairgrounds to drop off food or donations to benefit Volunteers of America Western Washington and the Snohomish County Food Bank Coalition. In addition to the food drive, people were encouraged to decorate their cars to make it an even more festive event! I particularly liked the car decorated like a giant dog with six foot ears, a nose, and had several four legged passengers! 

I was pleased to be able to lend a hand and support the event by unloading food boxes and collecting donations. It was nice to be back at the fairgrounds (I even picked up a few scones!) and see the local support to help those in need. I’m grateful for all of the staff and volunteers who put the event on and was glad to hear that the event raised 6,309 pounds of food and $4,275 in donations 

If you were unable to make the event or would like to sill donate, you can always donate online to Volunteers of America Western Washington at if you or someone you know is experiencing hunger and food insecurity, here is a list of food banks in our County through the Snohomish County Coronavirus Response & Community Resource Hub.  

Here are some pictures from the event:

Fair Food Drive

Just part of the 6,309lbs of donated food!


Fair Food Drive

Folks lined up to  drop off food


Fair Food Drive

Megan (front left) and Chris Hatch (front right) with VOA accepting a check donation to VOA for $1,600 from Kaylie Baxter (back left) and Emma Fontenot (back right) who helped collect donations and a matching gift.


Fair Food Drive

What a great event!

Nourishing Neighborhoods Program

Another way that the County is working hard to combat food insecurity is by establishing the Nourishing Neighborhoods program. This program works with local farmers and food distributors to connect people struggling with food insecurity with local fruit and vegetables from our local farmers who have seen a decrease in sales due to restaurants, schools, and other large-scale food customers closing down or going out of business due to COVID.  

Starting next week, the County will be able to deliver food to 18 sites around the County to provide food to folks who don’t have easy access to a local food bankThese sites were identified based on mapping vulnerable communities and balancing that data with unemployment rates and low-income housing. The analysis also took into account locations of sites that were more than a half of a mile away from other places like a grocery store or food bank where it would be too far for a person to walk and easily carry groceries home.  

Here are some pictures (courtesy of Snohomish County) of recent food distribution events: 

Nourishing Neighborhoods


Nourishing Neighborhoods


Nourishing Neighborhoods

Growing Future Farmers

September harvest season is always such an exciting time of the year, so I have one more mention about food-related events at the County. The WSU Snohomish County Extension program is starting a new educational series called Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching which will be held on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 starting September 22 and going through December 8.  

This series is part of a larger “Cultivating Success” series of courses that help individuals start or expand their own small farm. There will be weekly presentations by local growers, organizations, and agriculture professionals with experience in direct marketing, agronomy, livestock production, and more. For more information on the course including pricing and registration, please visit this website.  

Future Farmers

Top Honors Again for DoIT

As the Chair of the Council’s Operations Committee, one of the departments that I work closely with is our County’s Department of Information Technology, or DoIT for short. We recently got word from Department Director, Viggo Forde, that at this year’s annual NACo (National Associations of Counties) Digital Counties Survey competition, Snohomish County placed third in their class for the whole nation! Snohomish County's DoIT has a strong record in this competition – placing 6th two years ago, followed by a 1st place last year. Such strong showings over the past few years really speaks to the strength of DoIT and the hard work and dedication of the County’s IT team. Here’s some more information about this prestigious award.

Congrats DoIT for this great award! 

Digital Surveys Winner

Childcare Resources and Options

As the mom of two Everett Public School kids, the beginning of this year’s school session has certainly been a lot different and more challenging than any year in the past. While both of my kids are old enough to navigate Zoom and other platforms on their own, I can certainly understand the challenges that other parents are facing with little ones and helping them learn virtually, especially if they don't have access to the time or resources to do so.  

Not all families and kids have access to either a computer and/or internet to virtually participate in their classroom. COVID-19 has shined a bright light on the glaring inequities in our system, and with the school year starting remotely, these inequities in our school system continue to arise. Additionally, working parents, and particularly working parents who are frontline workers, do not have the free time during the day to sit with their children and help them with their classroom sessions. It is all so difficult for all who are involved and I will be working at the County-level to address these concerns.

I think that we all have a renewed appreciation for our classroom teachers, aides, school staff, para-educators, and our educational system as a whole. Thank you school, faculty and staff!

Last week, I hosted a Human Service providers call and we focused on the childcare resources and options to better coordinate efforts in the County. If you are struggling, you’re not alone. Here are some resources that may be helpful during this time: 

  • The County has two programs to help with child care: 
  • YMCA of Snohomish County has launched Virtual Learning Centers with options for elementary and middle school aged students. You can sign up for 1-5 days of care. More information here 
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County have Virtual Learning Labs available for kiddos. More information on their website 
  • Sno-Isle Libraries has a fantastic list of learning resources and at-home family activities. Check it out here! (pun intended!) 
Child Care

Light Rail Virtual Workshop

Snohomish County’s Light Rail Communities project is hosting a virtual workshop to provide information and receive input from the community about plans for developing the areas near future light rail stops. The workshop will be available through September 25 at (please note that Internet Explorer is not a supported browser for this workshop).  

This workshop is specifically focused on the two light rail stations that will be located in unincorporated Snohomish County just off of I-5 at 164th Street (Ash Way Station) and 128th Street (Mariner Station). Here is a link to the project page with more information about the overall process and project. The final decisions will be made by the Sound Transit Board, but here is a great chance to have your input help shape the future of light rail in our county.  

Light Rail Workshop

National Voter Registration Day Webinar

In recognition of National Voter Registration Day, Snohomish County Elections, in partnership with Sno-Isle Libraries, and the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County (LWVSC), is hosting a one hour educational event on Sept 22 to help voters prepare for the November 2020 Election. The Snohomish County Elections Office will be sharing more about what you need to know to vote in this upcoming election as well as resources that are available for voters. Registration for the event is required.  

What: Your Vote Matters: Getting Prepared in 2020 

When: September 22, 2020 at 3pm (1 hour) 

Where: Zoom webinar. Sign up available here

To register to vote, please click here

National Voter Registration Webinar

Electrify SeaTac Seminar

On August 25, I attended the Electrify SeaTac seminar put on by ACES Northwest NetworkThe webinar explored the potential of electric flight at SeaTac and explored opportunities to reduce our region’s carbon footprint. The team provided an update on the 30 minute electric powered flight over Moses Lake. Clean fuels and a smaller carbon footprint for traveling is an emerging issue and electric planes are a topic I had talked about on the campaign trail, but was met with disbelief at this possibility. I'm glad to see that it's getting more traction. 

The webinar also explored opportunities to leveraged utility investments to reduce carbon and provide electric mobility options for local communities and low income workers and families. According these experts, innovations in vehicle electrification and infrastructure will have positive long lasting impacts on the future of carbon reduction and economic recovery. 

Electrify SeaTac Seminar

Boards and Commissions Updates and Openings

In my role at the County, I serve on 12 external boards and commissions to represent the County on both state and regional issues. Just last week, I was proud to be voted by my peers to represent Snohomish County on the new SWISS collaboration as a member of the Framework Agreement Ad-Hoc Committee. SWISS is a new regional partnership proposal for Snohomish, Whatcom, Island, San Juan and Skagit (SWISS) countiesThe SWISS regional partnership exists to identify and advance shared priorities that will improve the quality of life of the people who live in the region. We will find areas of common ground and work on them together. As a member of the Framework Committee, I’ll be working to develop an organizational document that will outline the vision, purpose, structure, decision making, and functional roles of the group. I look forward to working with this group as a representative of our great county. A list of the other external boards and committees that I serve on can be found on my District 2 website 

District 2 has a need for established and emerging leaders to represent our area on County boards and commissions. Here are two openings for District 2 residents, and also an opportunity to join a new foundation forming: 

  • Parks Advisory BoardThe Parks Advisory Board assists the Department of Parks and Recreation in reviewing policies and procedures for our County parks system. The Board meets monthly at 3pm on the second Tuesday of each month. There are eleven people total on this active board and nominees will go through a short application process with the County. If you would like to join this Board and be part of shaping our County’s park system, please email me or Russ Bosanko at
  • Law & Justice Regional CouncilIn an effort to increase transparency and community oversight at the County, Councilmember Jared Mead recently introduced legislation that would allow for one community member from each council district, plus one community at-large position, to be added to the county’s Law & Justice Regional Council. This Council has been dormant for a number of years, but has recently been reactivated because of the clear need for our justice system to be reformed. This Council is comprised of members from the County’s justice system including the Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, court system, and corrections. This legislation will put community members at the table as well during policy discussions. It is important to me to appoint someone to this position who is uniquely qualified to participate in these difficult discussions. Not everyone has the same experiences with our justice system and it’s imperative that people who have been marginalized by the justice system have a chance to share their experiences and have their voices heard, understood, and incorporated into future policy decisions. If you or someone you know would like to serve as the District 2 representative, please email me at I am prioritizing people who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), formerly incarcerated, or other historically marginalized groups.  
  • New Foundation FormingSound Foundation for Public Health will be a new foundation whose purpose will be to provide support funding for priorities identified in community health assessments, community health improvement plans, and/or emerging public health issues in Snohomish County. Selected board members will be involved with the final creation and formation of the foundation. A primary focus of the foundation will be to fund Snohomish Health District programs in alignment with the purpose, either through philanthropic fundraising or targeted grant writing. The foundation will also look for opportunities to support other organizations doing complementary work in the community in the future. Those interested can apply online at, or by contacting Heather Thomas at 425.339.8688 or to request an application packet. All materials must be submitted and received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 24. Finalists may be invited to participate in a short interview in early-October.   


Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter. It’s important to me to keep you updated on my work at the County and updates from my district. If you are in need of any assistance or if there is any county information that I can help to provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at, or with my aide at You can call our office as well at 425-388-3494 to leave a message and we’ll return your call.  

Stay Well, 


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