Jeanne Kohl-Welles


Kohl-Welles Wins Key Labor Endorsements

Labor Votes For “Sole” Endorsements

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, running for her second term for the Council District 4 position, received two important endorsements last week from organized labor.  Both MLK Labor (formerly King County Labor Council) and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW voted for sole endorsements.

“I’m thrilled to have received this vote of confidence from my labor allies,” said Kohl-Welles.  “ I am looking forward to continuing my partnership with organized labor in the effort to provide living wage jobs, protect the environment and workers’ rights and expand affordable housing and equitable access to affordable public transit, health care and essential services.”

Diane Sosne, President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, had this to say:  “We are proud to stand with Martin Luther King Jr. County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles as she runs for re-election. She has been a staunch and unwavering pro-worker and working families advocate standing shoulder to shoulder with our members on our picket lines calling for quality care. Jeanne has also been a leader in promoting and passing progressive policy and legislation. We look forward to her continued leadership on the council.”

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A week to celebrate mothers!

It’s almost Mother’s Day and I’m thinking of all the young, working parents who are struggling to find affordable, quality child care for their children. 

I understand the challenge. I brought up five children, including one set of twins, much of the time as a single mother, while continuing to work and seek an education. I know the daily challenge of balancing work and children, which is a reason why supporting parents and families remains a key priority for me.

Thanks to a new pilot project at King County, I’m lucky enough to work where little Gracie comes to work every day with her mother. At just 5 months old, Gracie is an adorable addition to the office, and brings a smile to my face every time I stop by to say hi.

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Seattle Transit Blog: Free Fares on Snow Days

This week, King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles introduced legislation to eliminate Metro fares whenever Metro activates the Emergency Snow Network. It’s early in the process and there is no cost estimate at this time (press release here).

This legislation continues the process of chipping away at the fare structure without taking the financial hit of eliminating fares entirely. Much like New Year’s Eve, snow days are an especially good day to eliminate barriers to using the system, and are rare enough to make the cost negligible. Transit is likely to welcome many newcomers that will be clumsy with a fare, and reducing car use helps avoid total system collapse. As Kohl-Welles told The Stranger, it can also be a matter of life and death, as people struggle to get out of the cold.

Read the post here.

Health care is a human right!

Washington State is facing a health care crisis.  This crisis is causing an unsustainable economic burden on individuals, families, employers and all levels of government.  We need elected officials who are committed to making access to affordable health care a priority, which has been one of my major priorities throughout my career.

The Washington State Legislature has made progress this session by focusing on behavioral and reproductive health access and environmental health equity.

As Chair of the King County Board of Health, and of the King County Council’s Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee, I was pleased to co-author an op-ed published in the Washington State Wire in support of Senate Bill (SB) 5822. This important legislation would help set our state on a path toward a system for achieving universal health care coverage.

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Seattle Times: King County to consider offering free Metro bus rides during snow emergencies

The next time Seattle gets hit by a severe winter storm, King County Metro Transit buses would waive their fares, offering free rides and shelter, under new legislation proposed by Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

Kohl-Welles, in an ordinance filed Monday, proposes making all Metro buses free any time the agency activates its emergency snow network, a much-reduced collection of high-ridership routes that operate on streets without steep slopes.

The emergency snow network was developed after the December 2008 storm that crippled the city for weeks, when Seattle treated roads with sand, not salt, and Metro improvised to deal with lingering ice by cutting service in half. It was used for the first time this February, when a set of winter storms brought close to a foot of snow in some parts of the Seattle region.

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