RENTON – Today, Renton City Councilmember and candidate for King County Council Kim Khanh Van released the following statement, celebrating passage of hazard pay for King County frontline grocery workers. Van, who is challenging incumbent Republican Councilmember Reagan Dunn, also expressed disappointment in her opponent for being the sole “No” vote against the measure:
“Grocery workers have been on the frontlines of this pandemic for a full year, risking their health and their lives to serve our communities. This common-sense measure will benefit thousands of South King County workers and their families, especially hard-hit communities of color.
“Few employee groups in the country have suffered the kind of risk exposure – without medical grade precautions – as grocery workers. As a former grocery store clerk myself, let me be clear: these are more than essential workers, they’re essential community members. They deserve hazard pay.
“Yet over a year into the pandemic, Councilmember Dunn refused to acknowledge the sacrifice of South King County workers, and stands alone on the side of profitable corporations.
“Councilmember Dunn’s decision adds to his record of failing to respond to public health crises – first the only no vote on declaring racism a public health crisis, and now on hazard pay.
“In a time of crisis, we need leaders to listen to the community and take action. Instead, Councilmember Dunn ignored his constituents and voted to maintain sub-living wages in dangerous conditions for essential grocery workers.”
Van, a candidate for King County Council District 9, has emphasized her deep roots in South King County. A refugee at age six, Van is now an immigration attorney, small business owner, co-PTA president, board member of Renton Technical College Foundation, and Renton City Councilmember.