King County Executive Dow Constantine delivered the annual State of the County address Monday morning.
Speaking during a special session of the Metropolitan King County Council in Auburn, Constantine detailed progress made in transportation, human services and environmental protection:
- In 2016, there were more than 20 million trips on RapidRide. Six RapidRide routes now account for 17 percent of total ridership.
- King County Metro and Sound Transit ridership climbed to its highest levels ever last year, about 150 million rides in King County.
- King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan is lauded as one of the nation’s best
- Best Starts for Kids continues to support programs with a proven track record of success.
Constantine also announced plans for two new centers for youth in crisis based on similar programs in Portland. Called "Safe Spaces," these centers would be operated by community non-profits and would be available to youth who com in on their own, or are brought in my law enforcement, parents, school officials, community mentors or case managers.
Constantine also focused on homelessness, veterans and serving the needs of the area's growing senior population. He cited the success of the Veterans and Human Services Levy, passed by voters in 2011. The levy served more than 150,000 people and tracks progress on 80 performance measure on four key strategies: supporting veterans, ending homelessness, increasing access to behavioral health services and strengthening families at risk.