King County Selects Community Investment Committee Members to Guide $10 Million Investments in Urban Unincorporated Areas

King County Executive Dow Constantine (center, standing) was joined by the committee of 21 new community members who will help develop a $10 million investment plan for the unincorporated urban county in King’s company.

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A new community-focused budget process is underway, with the selection of 21 committee members who will develop a plan for investing $10 million in unincorporated King County. The committee will design and implement a budget process that will focus on racial equity. The process will build on the strengths of the communities and address the specific priorities these communities have identified.

“Centering communities in this budget process means more voices will be part of the process of investing in the future of unincorporated King County, and that will lead to better processes, better connections between partners and a future radiant for everyone,” says executive Constantin. “I want to thank the committee members for stepping in and helping to lead the way.”

Over the two months, local departments in King County accepted applications from dozens of residents who hoped to serve on the committee. Members represent the five unincorporated urban areas of West King County:

  • Skyway (five members)
  • White Center/North Highline (five members)
  • East Federal Way (five members)
  • Fairwood (three members)
  • East Renton Highlands (three members)

The committee held its first meeting on June 5 and will meet regularly to create the guide to the local services “participatory budgeting” effort. Committee members will also engage the community in the participatory budgeting process.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to take a valuable resource and direct it, by community, to make decisions about what’s best for the people in their community,” said Emijah Smith, committee member. community investment.

Below are the members of the Community Board and the areas they represent:

  • North Highline/White Center: Emijah Smith, Marissa Jauregui, Sahle Habte, Carmen Smith, Kimnag Seng
  • Skyway/West Hill: Ayanna Brown, Yvette Dinish, Curtis Taylor, Jamoni Owens, Rebecca Berry
  • East federal path: Trenise Rogers, Jimmy Brown, Serena Evans-Satoran, Anna Irungu, Zayda Quintana
  • East Renton: Ajala Wilson-Daraja, Yordanos Teferi, Deborah Eberle
  • Fairwood: Noni Ervin, Michelle Faltous, Elizabeth Singer

Participatory budget

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In the case of King County Local Services, this work will allow the community to decide how to spend the following two funds:

  • $10 million for capital projects in these unincorporated urban areas. Funds can be used for anything that needs to be built or replaced, such as buildings, sidewalks, bike paths, landscaping, signs and play structures.
  • $1.3 million for services or programs at Skyway/West Hill and North Highline/White Center. This funding can be used for almost anything, such as after-school programs, job training, building maintenance, food, art supplies, and investments in play structures or sidewalks.

The committee will design and implement a budget process that will focus on racial equity. The process will build on the strengths of the communities and address the specific priorities these communities have identified.

The committee will also help design the broader process of participatory budgeting to ensure that communities have control over how this money is spent and that funded projects will respond to and make the most of real community challenges. The committee will also be strongly engaged in working with local community organizations and raising awareness in their respective communities.

Jill E. Washington