Mayor's Update - MLK Day

Mayor's Update - MLK Day 2023
Posted on 01/17/2023
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Monday, January 16, 2023

Number 23

Coer image for the January 13, 2023 edition of the Mayor's Update

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech to civil rights marchers gathered around the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

His words, almost 60 years ago, remain a guiding principle today. As elected officials, leaders, and parents, we are responsible for making the lives of those who come after us better than our own.

At the City of Renton, we’re committed to making the lives of our residents better every day by championing equity and inclusion in everything we do. It’s part of our mission:

“Building an inclusive, informed, and hate-free city with equitable outcomes for all in support of social, economic, and racial justice."

Our goal is simple – to systemically shift how we conduct business and listen to our residents through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. From our hiring practices to contacts to community access, we’re implementing changes and advancing innovative policies to remove barriers to access and ensure everyone is treated with respect.

Over the past 14 years, we have made tremendous strides while evolving and changing our approach.

In 2023:

In 2022:

  • As part of our ADA Transition Plan, our SAND program (Safer Access to Neighborhood Destinations) identifies barriers that affect mobility.

  • We formed an Equity Commission to meet with me and city staff and provide recommendations on removing racial, economic, and social barriers.

  • The city makes Juneteenth (June 19) an official city holiday.

In 2021:

  • The city formed the Equity, Housing, and Human Services Department, uniting divisions and streamlining processes to improve the livability of our most vulnerable populations. As a result, we’re on the leading edge of a reimagined Renton for the next generation.

In 2020:

In 2017:

In 2016:

  • The city established the Renton Multicultural Festival as a community-wide celebration of our diverse cultures and continues to support this inclusive and educational event. The seventh annual festival will be held in September 2023.

In 2014:

  • We rolled out required training of all city employees on implicit bias.

We've benefitted immensely from a city council committed to looking at complex issues from all angles and recommending effective and innovative action. Our seven councilmembers reflect the values and diversity of Renton. Though they come from different backgrounds, they are united in their service and representation to you.

Please join me in celebrating Dr. King's legacy. As we do, we're reminded that our work, like his, is constantly changing and evolving. It is a journey, not a destination. We will continue to be guided by our commitment to keeping Renton an inclusive and welcoming community while providing opportunities to help all our residents thrive.

Previous Mayor's Updates

  • August 4, 2022 - South King County mayors frustrated with rise in crime and violence
  • November 5, 2021 - Renton’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion leads to several impactful initiatives
  • October 1, 2021 - Human Services Funding: City Council increases Human Services budget almost three-fold; approves three projects through HB 1590
  • August 31, 2021 - Solera is the cornerstone of our ongoing redevelopment of the Sunset area

  • June 22, 2021 - Support Housing: Mayor Pavone and county executive announce Renton hotel is part of Health Through Housing initiative

  • December 18, 2020 - City Council passes emergency ordinance for interim zoning controls

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