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Mayor's Newsletter for September 13, 2019Mayor's Newsletter for September 13, 2019

Continuing to build an inclusive city

On Tuesday Renton hosted the Pacific Northwest Diversity Career Fair, as 47 public sector employers visited with 140 job seekers. It was a great event that not only connected the two groups, but also offered resume assistance and sessions on job placement.

Hosting this job fair is just one of the many ways we have changed the way we conduct business at city hall. As you know, Renton is a majority-minority city, meaning over 50 percent of our population is non-white. As our population has changed we have looked hard at the best ways to provide opportunities to all our residents.

In early 2018 we made significant changes to our hiring policies. Now when you apply for a job with the city, you do it anonymously; no name, home address or any identifiable piece of information is asked during the screening phase. These changes were made to help us hire the most qualified and competent candidates by eliminating the possibility of unintentional or implicit bias.

Our website, launched in early 2018, features a drop-down menu on each page allowing translation into one of 24 languages. More and more city publications are either printed in languages other than English or posted on the website for translation. Every city employee has access to Language Line, a dial-in translation service, and about 20 city employees have volunteered their services as translators.

A few years ago we wanted a way to bring the entire community together and celebrate the different cultures, so the Renton Multicultural Festival was born. Hard to believe we will celebrate the fourth yearly celebration tonight and Saturday. The festival is made possible with support from the city and the Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force.

My continuing pledge to our community is to ensure Renton remains an inclusive city and one that protects the rights of all residents equally. I hope you will join me.

September is “Ready in Renton” month

WE DESIGNATE SEPTEMBER as “Ready in Renton” month as a reminder that even though we live amongst naturally beautiful surroundings, we face several natural hazards that have the ability to severely impact our lives.

All of us share the responsibility of being prepared before a disaster strikes. At home, start by developing a communications and reunification plan among family members. Experts suggest stockpiling enough supplies to last your family from seven to 10 days. If you have pets, use the same rule of thumb for them. In addition to food and water, get a flashlight, radio, batteries and first aid kit.

To get started join the fall session of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that teaches disaster response techniques. The seven-week class starts on Sept. 17 and runs each Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. through Oct. 29.

At City Hall we are continually looking at “what if” scenarios and how we would respond. The new fire station and water reservoir in the Kennydale area are prime examples of identifying a gap in service and implementing corrective action. We are also in the process of updating our Hazard Mitigation Plan in concert with King County. As you can imagine, the plan is complex and covers several eventualities. Residents can give input via a short survey and are also invited to attend an open house on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. 

By taking these and other proactive steps, both the city and our residents can ensure that we will truly be “Ready in Renton.”

King County Council passes sex trafficking legislation

The King County Council has taken a major step in fighting the sex-trafficking trade by passing legislation requiring sex trafficking awareness training for all for-hire drivers as part of their county licensing process. The legislation will apply to all taxi and for-hire drivers and those who drive for ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. 

This new program will teach drivers how to spot potential sex trafficking victims and survivors. Drivers will also have the ability to report instances to authorities and provide information on available support services. All are major steps that will address what has become a very serious public safety issue and one that requires assistance from every source we can identify.

A busy Saturday in Renton

Last Saturday was one of the busiest days I can remember as events and activities were held throughout the day. 

The annual Day of Service in honor of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks saw dozens of residents volunteer their time on about 30 projects around Renton. Afterwards they were treated to a barbeque lunch in Liberty Park cooked and served by city staff and community volunteers.

On Saturday the Renton Senior Activity Center celebrated 40 years of serving our 50+ residents. It was a great opportunity for the community to see everything the facility has to offer and get to know the outstanding staff. If you were unable to attend, they’re open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays). They also host a newcomer’s hour each month. The next one is Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

The Henry Moses Aquatic Center went to the dogs on Saturday and Sunday as it hosted the annual Pooch Plunge. Hundreds of dogs had the run of the facility and enjoyed frolicking in the many pools and slides.

Saturday and Sunday also saw the fourth annual Renton Comic Con at Renton Technical College. From cos players to artists to special guest and a car show, it, too, was another great event.

Feedback

Comments, questions or suggestions, or just want to share all the great things that are happening in the city, please email me.

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