Tag Archives: Counties

In the Library … Lillian Walker , by John C. Hughes

OLYMPIA…Bremerton civil rights heroine Lillian Walker

The new book is called “Lillian Walker, Washington Civil Rights Pioneer,” written by John C. Hughes, an author and interviewer with The Legacy Project, an oral history program established by the Office of Secretary of State in 2008. The book is published by the Washington State Heritage Center and printed by Gorham Printing.Joyce.

“The YWCA’s goal is to make Mrs. Walker’s inspirational story available to all school and public libraries in the nation as an example of a young person who not only had the courage to stand up for what is right, but also to continue to stay involved in her community to make it better over a 70-year time period,” Jackson said.

Click here http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/oralhistories/lillianwalker/ to read The Legacy Project’s oral history on Lillian Walker based on sit-down interviews, as well as photos and other materials.

Lillian Walker helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP in 1943 and went on to serve as state NAACP secretary. She was conducting sit-ins and filing civil rights lawsuits when Martin Luther King was in junior high school.

Mrs. Walker and her late husband, James, arrived in the Navy Yard city of Bremerton in 1941 together with thousands of other AfricanAmerican wartime workers who thought they had left racism behind in the South and industrialized cities of Midwest and East. But many Kitsap County businesses, including cafes, taverns, drug stores and barber shops, displayed signs saying, “We Cater to White Trade Only.” In a landmark case, the Walkers took a soda fountain owner to court and won.

Mrs. Walker is a charter member of the YWCA of Kitsap County, former chairman of the Kitsap County Regional Library Board, a 69-year member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a founder and former president of Church Women United in Bremerton.

To learn more about The Legacy Project, go to its web site at http://www.sos.wa.gov/heritage/LegacyProject/default.aspx.

Board of Health … the Other Washington

See this video from King 5 News on how we could make eating out safer in King County.


By Sarah Schacht
                                                Seattle, Washington

King County Board of Health: Create clear restaurant inspection ratings & improve access to ratings.

Each year, 1 in 5 Americans gets food poisoning. This completely preventable illness results from poor food handling. Restaurants are a major source of food poisoning, yet King County’s antiquated restaurant inspection ratings website makes it difficult for county residents to easily search and understand if a restaurant has had good or bad inspection ratings. Essentially, these ratings show the progress of a restaurant to maintain high levels of cleanliness and well trained (for food safety) staff.

King County could reduce reported food poisoning hospitalization rates by at least 14% (which is a lot, since most food poisoning cases go unreported or don’t make it to the hospital) by creating a “A, B, C…” ratings system, with “A” being highest, and “F” being grounds for closure. These ratings should be posted publicly near the entrance of all restaurants, bars, cafes, and eateries. In addition, these ratings should be made available through open data, allowing websites like Yelp to post restaurant inspection ratings in their websites and apps. So, when you quickly look for a restaurant in your area, you can see how safe it is along with their menu and customer reviews.

Currently, King County Public Health (the agency that manages restaurant inspection ratings) has a website that hasn’t been upgraded since the early 2000’s, and a convoluted inspection ratings system that confuses consumers. None of these ratings are posted at restaurants. As a result, restaurants that don’t adhere to safety standards keep serving food to unknowing customers, and restaurants who are safe and clean don’t get rewarded for their work with an “A” rating. Consumers should be able to use transparent, readily available restaurant ratings to drive their purchases, rewarding safer restaurants with more business.

King County Public Health has refused to improve their current website or ratings system, creating small patches that don’t meet citizen’s needs. In the meantime, more people unknowingly eat at unsafe restaurants and fall ill.

We can prevent food poisoning in King County and set a higher standard for food safety. Sign the petition and tell King County Board of Health to make King County Public Health update its ratings systems and create more transparency in ratings.

(Photo above by woodleywonderworks on Flickr.)

Gov.Gregoire in the Newsroom

News Archive »

Washington State: What does less government mean? less regulations, less help when you need it and more privatization-Is Mckenna too extreme?



BELLEVUE, Wash. — To launch his campaign for governor, Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna went back to his alma mater, Bellevue’s Sammamish High School.

The location made political sense, with suburban swing districts like Bellevue playing a key role in statewide races.  But McKenna also used the student auditorium as a backdrop for one of his upcoming campaign themes—increasing the share of the state budget spent on public education.

“When Washington state was humiliated by its poor showing in President Obama’s Race to the Top competition, it became clear to all that our state has become an education reform backwater,” McKenna told a crowd of about 250 supporters.

McKenna pledged that over the next four to eight years, he would aim to increase the share of the state budget spent on K-12 education from about 42% to over 50%.  He also pledged to increase the share of the state budget spent on higher education from about 8% to 16%.

“I want to propose a 50-50 deal.  What that would mean is we would get back to where the state would provide at least 50% of the cost of an undergraduate education, and the students and their families would provide the other 50%,” McKenna said.

In a press conference after the campaign kick-off, McKenna was pressed on how he would pay for these increases.  He did not volunteer any specific cuts, but suggested increasing productivity and trimming state government and the cost of health care for state employees.  “We don’t need massive layoffs to accomplish this and it wouldn’t be smart to go that route…What we can do is rely on the fact that every year, 5-7% of state employees retire,” McKenna said.

McKenna said he would not roll back collective bargaining for state employees, but he did back a significant change to the process.  Currently, unions bargain directly with the Governor and the legislature can only approve or reject the agreement.  McKenna says he supports going back to the old system, where the legislature is part of the negotiation.  That way, employee contracts are considered along with the rest of the state budget, McKenna said.

Promising less government

In his first official campaign speech, McKenna sounded familiar Republican themes on jobs and the economy.  He talked about helping small businesses, reducing regulations and having government “get out of the way.”  McKenna spoke of his own first job at a McDonald’s in Bellevue.  “We need a governor who realizes that the most basic job, even flipping burgers, is better than the most elaborate social program,” McKenna said.

Democrats hope to paint McKenna as too extreme.  In a statement, state Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz writes, “Far from the moderate he pretends to be, Rob McKenna has spent his time in public office taking marching orders from the far right-wing of the Republican Party – headlining Tea Party rallies, undercutting working families, and wasting taxpayer dollars on a highly partisan effort to block Washingtonians from accessing high quality, affordable health care.”

Republicans haven’t captured the governor’s mansion in 30 years, but the party is hopeful that McKenna will appeal to independents.  McKenna has cast himself as a moderate, on issues such as abortion.  “I think I’m among the 80% of Americans who believe the woman should be able to make the choice within certain parameters,” McKenna told KING 5 last year.  “I ask people who want to ban abortion in all cases, do they really want to send these women to prison?”

Appeal to independents

McKenna’s approval rating in the latest KING 5 poll is 44%.  SurveyUSA found little variance in his approval rating among registered voters: 47% approval among Republicans, 42% among Democrats and 46% among independents.

Democrats have also attacked McKenna for joining other states in a lawsuit challenging health care reform, specifically the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.  “This is a step forward, we should not go backwards,” said Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee, who plans to jump into the governor’s race, provided Governor Christine Gregoire does not run for a third term.  Gregoire has said she will decide shortly, perhaps within the next two weeks.  “And I’ll make my intentions known fairly shortly after her decision if she makes it,” Inslee said.

A new KING 5 poll finds the health care lawsuit may not be a significant factor in the governor’s race.  SurveyUSA polled registered voters and found 36% were more likely to support McKenna for his position on the health care reform, 40% said it made them less likely to support him.  While 22% said it would make no difference to them, McKenna’s action may have secured support among core Republican voters.  The poll of 502 registered voters has a margin of 4.5%.

Republican Congressman Dave Reichert told KING 5 in April that he was considering jumping into the governor’s race, as well as running for re-election to his 8th district congressional seat, or running for Senate.  Reichert told us today, he spoke with party leaders and is now throwing his support behind McKenna.  Reichert says he’s still considering a run for Senate.

The KING 5 poll also found, that with no specific candidate names attached, 46% of registered voters said they would be inclined to vote fora Democrat in next year’s gubernatorial election, while 45% said a Republican.  That suggests it could be a close race.

One sign of that was a little scuffle at McKenna’s press conference today.  Democrats hired a man to follow McKenna and tape his remarks; Republicans ushered him out of the school.