Why I support Jeanne Kohl-Welles for King County Council!
By Denis Hayes
The climate crisis is no longer two lines crossing on a graph sometime in the future. The climate crisis has arrived.
Here in King County, architects are now designing buildings for the cooling they know will be needed in ten years, and the greater cooling needed in ten years after that. Snowpack is declining, with implications for our water supply and hydropower.
And, as in the rest of the world, the climate crisis poses a growing threat to human health.
Jeanne Kohl-Welles has a deep understanding of the connection between the climate crisis and the health of this region. Moreover, she has a clear understanding of how to move the instruments of government to tackle the enormous challenges ahead.
I have worked with Jeanne for years, and I know her priorities match mine: advancing sustainability; reducing emissions; increasing access to electric transit, open space, and health care; and keeping toxic chemicals out of Puget Sound.
Jeanne chairs the King County Board of Health and has already made climate change a priority focus for the Board. The County’s social safety net will become more strained and we need a Councilmember who will be proactive in addressing climate as the greatest public health challenge of our era.
Jeanne has proven to be a wonderfully effective legislator, and we need her skills to continue on the County Council. In just one term on the Council, Jeanne increased transit service, sponsored a moratorium on fossil fuel facilities, got funding for affordable Transit-Oriented Development, strengthened the County’s pest management policies to reduce the use of glyphosate, and secured funding to study the impact of wastewater and storm water and industrial waste on our Southern Resident orcas and their main prey, Chinook salmon.
She also is the lead sponsor on the new “Jump Start” legislation, which will increase by 500-fold the number of electric car charging stations and accelerate the timeline for Metro to achieve a zero-emissions all-electric bus, van and car fleet. The legislation is a main part of a package which she is sponsoring with Councilmembers Rod Dembowski and Claudia Balducci that will also update the requirements of the county’s excellent Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) to (a) require creation of a green jobs strategy; (b) use an environmental justice framework; (c) expand efforts to accelerate reduction of community-wide CHG emissions by expanding partnerships with local governments, NGO stakeholders and the community; and (d) develop a new climate action toolkit.
Any candidate can denounce all incumbents and promise the sun, the moon, and the stars. But it’s another thing to demonstrate—time and again, in a variety of offices—the creative energy, intellectual drive, and sheer hard work to get things done.
Better yet, donate today.
Most important, cast your vote for Jeanne Kohl-Welles for the King County Council.
We need her expertise on the County Council.