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File #: 2018-0381    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 8/20/2018 In control: Committee of the Whole
On agenda: Final action: 9/24/2018
Enactment date: 10/3/2018 Enactment #: 18798
Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to the establishment of an annual gathering celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and adding a new chapter to K.C.C. Title 2.
Sponsors: Rod Dembowski, Larry Gossett, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Claudia Balducci
Indexes: Martin Luther King
Code sections: 2 -
Attachments: 1. Ordinance 18798.pdf, 2. 2018-0381_SR_MLK_Annual_Celebration.docx, 3. 2018-0381_AMD1_Sponsor_Edits KL comment akEdits Ritzen 09-17-18 FINAL.docx, 4. 2018-0381-ATT1-ProposedOrdinance.pdf, 5. 2018-0381_Revised_SR_MLK_Annual_Celebration.docx
Staff: Kim, Andrew

Title

AN ORDINANCE relating to the establishment of an annual gathering celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and adding a new chapter to K.C.C. Title 2.

Body

STATEMENT OF FACTS:

1.  On February 24, 1986, the council adopted Motion 6461 recognizing the great contributions and many achievements in public service of Nobel Peace Prize laureate the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including his persistent and unfailing efforts leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Motion 6461 changed the namesake of King County from William Rufus DeVane King to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2.  The state Legislature passed Chapter 90, Laws of Washington 2005 (Engrossed Senate Bill 5332, amending RCW 36.04.170) to rename King County in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Governor Christine Gregoire signed this legislation into law in a ceremony held in the King County Courthouse in Seattle on April 19, 2005. The law took effect July 24, 2005.

3.  Since the adoption of Motion 6461 in 1986, the county has celebrated the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on an annual basis and since 2004 the celebration has traditionally taken place at large venues (such as Paramount Theater and Benaroya Hall) in downtown Seattle, usually on the Thursday before the third Monday of the month of January. The celebration has traditionally been open to all county employees and the public.

4.  Each year the celebration gathering has traditionally been planned using a different theme to honor Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2005, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of working towards equity and justice was highlighted through the theme of "The Struggle Continues". More recently in 2015, the celebration event focused on the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act and was attended by over 400 people.

5.  The annual gathering program traditionally included keynote addresses from invited guests and county elected officials, performances by award winning artists and local artists, musical presentations by county employees, presentation of humanitarian awards to community members, recognition of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners, and readings of excerpts from Dr. King's speeches.

6.  The annual gathering has traditionally been coordinated by the department of executive services with assistance from an interbranch team composed of representatives from county branches, departments, agencies and offices of county government.  The office of equity and social justice took over the coordination in 2017.

7.  In 2018, after thirty years of consecutive annual gatherings, the executive replaced the public gathering with a "conversation cafe" where county employees explored issues of race, equity and justice in small groups of peers.

8.  The council recognizes the importance of this annual gathering for all county residents and that the county should lead the effort to celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by memorializing the annual gathering. The council also recognizes that the annual gathering event should continue in a similar format as it has been done prior to 2018, which includes having the gathering be open to the public.

                     BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KING COUNTY:

                     SECTION 1.  Sections 2 and 3 of this ordinance should constitute a new chapter in K.C.C. Title 2.

                     NEW SECTION.  SECTION 2.

                     A.  The county's office of equity and social justice shall invite representatives from all branches, departments, agencies and offices of county government to form an interbranch team to plan the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., annual gathering celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                     B.  The interbranch team shall reach out to community representatives to receive ideas for the planning of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., annual gathering, and receive feedback during the planning of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., annual gathering.

                     C.  The county's office of equity and social justice in collaboration with the interbranch team shall each year convene an annual gathering celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The intent of the gathering shall be to:

                       1.  Provide a countywide gathering for all members of the public to celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.;

                       2.  Recognize the impact that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has on our community and our nation and bring to attention Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of equity, social justice, and non-violence and his, political, and social philosophies; and

                       3.  Inspire county residents to strive in a non-violent manner for the human rights, civil liberties, and economic guarantees rightfully due to all peoples.

                     D.  The gathering shall be held in the second week of the month of January.

                     E.  The gathering shall be open to all county employees that are available to attend. Separately elected officials, department directors, and division managers shall make an effort to accommodate all county employees that request to attend the gathering.

                     F.  The gathering shall be open to the public.

                     G.  The county's office of equity and social justice in collaboration with the interbranch team should widely publicize the gathering. Publicity methods shall include, but not be limited to, the official county newspaper, newspapers of general circulation within each council district, king county civic television, television news outlets, social media platforms, non-English language newspapers and periodicals distributed in the county, and the county’s website.

                     H.  The gathering shall be held in a king county venue that would accommodate all attendees.

                     I.  The gathering shall consider including:

                       1.  Presentation of the King County Medal of Distinguished Service awards;

                       2.  Keynote addresses from invited guests and county elected officials;

                       3.  Performances by award winning artists, local artists, or both;

                       4.  Recognition of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners; and

                       5.  Readings of excerpts from Dr. King's speeches.

                     J.  Costs of the gathering are hereby authorized, subject to availability of funds in the county general fund.

                     K.  The executive shall include a proposed budget that will cover the costs of each annual gathering as part of the executive’s proposed biennial budget to council.

                     NEW SECTION.  SECTION 3.  The executive and the interbranch team, as described in K.C.C. 2.10.220, may convene additional gatherings and events celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and are not limited to the annual gathering set forth in Section 2 of this ordinance. 

                     SECTION 4.  Severability.  If any provision of this ordinance or its application to

any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.