As a membership organization, we invite all our members running for elected office each year to submit a statement to their fellow members. GSBA is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates, and this statement should not be construed as an endorsement by GSBA, its Board, or its staff.
Dow Constantine, running for King County Executive
When COVID-19 arrived here – the first place in the country – I took swift, decisive action. We led with science and reason, saving thousands of lives. The New York Times reported that had America followed our lead, “the nation could have avoided more than 300,000 coronavirus deaths.”
Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, I’m bringing that same clarity and resolve to the toughest challenges – homelessness, racial bias, public safety, climate action, and uniting our region for an economic recovery where everyone can thrive.
In the pandemic’s wake is a new opportunity to rethink our economy, invest in our communities, and spur the kind of growth that empowers us all. I’m leading a bold economic recovery plan – investing millions into new jobs, community and small business support, and urgent action to deliver on this promise of a better future and a full, equitable recovery.
Critical to this effort is supporting those who have long been left out. I was honored to receive GSBA’s Voice for Economic Justice award in 2016. I will tell you that my commitment to economic fairness, equity, and opportunity for all remains steadfast, and has been integral to the design and implementation of our recovery efforts.
I recently announced and issued a Pro-Equity Contracting Executive Order with the distinct purpose of supporting minority- and women-owned businesses in King County. We are working to break down long standing barriers that have historically prevented and excluded underrepresented business owners from building and expanding their businesses.
Beyond these efforts, we are taking bold, urgent action on the crisis of homelessness. Under my leadership, we are moving thousands of chronically homeless people off the streets this year, into housing with the services to restore lives. And, through Best Starts for Kids, we’ve kept 10,000 children and families safely housed. I led the process to create the much needed Regional Homelessness Authority, and through our collaborative approach, we are seeing the regional buy-in needed to ensure progress.
Above all else, we must continue striving to create welcoming communities for every neighbor, especially our LGBTQ+ community. My record on this is clear: I organized to pass Referendum 74 for marriage equality; worked with legislative leaders to enshrine state protections for the LGBTQ community; achieved global milestones in the fight against HIV/AIDS; and made King County the largest county in the nation to track the number of contracts awarded to LGBTQ entrepreneurs, designating LGBTQ-owned small businesses as minority-owned businesses, and created an LGBTQ category in our small business directory.
Across my tenure as Executive, GSBA and King County have been strong partners, working together to deliver on our shared values. As I seek re-election, it is with a commitment to continuing those efforts. The time is now to build a more inclusive, welcoming and prosperous economy, community, and future for us all – let’s get to work.
You can learn more about my campaign or get involved at DowConstantine.com. Thank you for your support.