Photo courtesy of King County
Larry Phillips will run against fellow council member Dow Constantine for King County Executive.

Phillips promises stability as executive

If last year was defined by a need for change, then this year may be defined by a search for stability.

Times are tough. We need to trust that the doors of public health clinics will stay open and that buses will continue to run. We need stability in the services that save peoples’ lives and improve our communities.

That’s what I will do as King County Executive.

I was born and raised here, ran a business here, represented the 36th District in the state legislature, and currently represent Ballard on the King County Council, where I served as chair and budget chair during some of the most challenging times in county history.

I have advocated strongly for the priorities of King County citizens--mass transit, social services and environmental protection. I have reached out to all corners of King County to pass budgets that earned unanimous support. But I haven’t hesitated to oppose my colleagues – or the Executive – when I felt it was the right thing to do.

In 2008, when I chaired the council’s budget committee and was given a budget that closed public health clinics, slashed funding for STD prevention programs, and took sheriff’s deputies off our streets, I spoke out against these cuts because they hurt the people of King County. I led the council to balance a $93 million deficit and protect these vital services.

With lower revenue threatening bus service throughout King County and potentially delaying delivery of Ballard and West Seattle RapidRide, I led efforts to find efficiencies with an audit of Metro, advocated for federal stimulus funds to buy buses and called on Olympia to provide Metro with a more stable and equitable funding source.

As your County Executive, my focus will continue to be long term, stable delivery of vital services, like transit, public safety and public health. We must also work together to create and retain local jobs, because when you have a family to support finding a job is all that matters.

The county can do more to help create good-paying jobs by investing in bridge repairs, transportation projects, clean energy technology and workforce programs. I fought to increase bus service and expand light rail throughout our region, projects that will support tens of thousands of jobs.

I sponsored legislation to expand green job training programs and am committed to supporting clean technology innovations that create jobs and help our environment.

Growing our economy will require calling on every local official in our 39 cities. I have crisscrossed the 2,100 square miles of King County and reached out to people all across this region. I worked with residents of southeast King County to save the historic King County Fair and helped bring year-round service to the Elliot Bay Water Taxi, starting in 2010.

I know King County’s people, mayors and local officials and will reach out to them and redefine their working relationship with the County Executive. If ever we needed people and local governments to come together and cooperate, it is now.

King County is one of the best places in the world to live, work and play. Our cities are home to incredible diversity.

We are blessed with innovative companies and compassionate nonprofits, and are surrounded by incredible natural beauty. But today, King County is facing real economic, environmental and social challenges.

My commitment is to offer a road to stability you can depend upon.

I will continue to defend our environment. I will devote my full attention to public health, job training, public safety and social services and not abandon the people struggling to get by.

I will balance the budget and refocus the county’s resources on the most efficient and effective initiatives, so we can come out of this recession with a greater sense of purpose.

To date, we have 800 endorsers from all across King County. Their support is a testament to what we can accomplish if we reach out to our neighbors across the county.

Care to join us? www.LarryPhillips.com.

Larry Phillips is running for King County Executive against fellow council member Dow Constantine. The primary is August 18. The general election is November 3.

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