“George Floyd’s life mattered and Black Lives Matter. Guilty verdicts are steps toward justice, but we cannot expect real change without sustained accountability and commitment to meaningful reform. We must continue our work, not just by acknowledging the existence of systemic racism and bias, but by fighting every day to forever eradicate this impediment to health, justice, and equal opportunity for all.” – Renton City Councilmember and candidate for County Council Kim-Khanh Van
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.
Van has raised over $75,000 and earned key endorsements, just one month after announcing campaign for County Council
Renton – Today, as communities across America recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a time of historic division, Kim-Khanh Van, a Renton City Councilmember, community organizer, attorney, and mother of two running for King County Council released the following statement:
“On this important holiday, celebrated in honor of the namesake of our county and our nation’s defining voice for equality and justice, we have an important opportunity to reflect on our values in this challenging moment and define the critical and urgent priorities of the future.
“In light of the attack on our Capitol and efforts to discount and overturn the votes of millions of Black and minority voters, we know that what we say – and when we say it – matters. Elected leaders owe it to our communities not to just speak out in times of crisis when the pot boils over, but to reject racism and inequality in all forms from the start by being bold, consistent critics of injustice.
“Commitment to action and representation must be steadfast, these principles cannot be an afterthought, nor a secondary responsibility. We deserve representatives who understand the need to truly invest in equity – in our COVID response and vaccine distribution, support for our veterans and seniors, in helping small and minority owned businesses. Today, I will join in protest with my community in collective demand for a better tomorrow.”
Van, a member of Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Organizing Coalition, will spend the day in her role as peacekeeper, protesting racism and injustice and joining fellow community members and elected leaders at the 39th Annual Seattle MLK Day Rally and March protest at Garfield High School in Seattle. This year’s theme “Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble” reflects on the legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis, including his and Dr. King Jr.’s fight for justice and efforts to create a beloved community.
If elected, Van would be the first woman of color to serve on the County Council since Ruby Chow retired from county government in the mid-1980’s, and the first to serve since the 1992 establishment of the current Metropolitical King County Council.
Officially announcing her campaign in December, Van has over $75,000 in contributions and pledges as she seeks to unseat Republican County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. Van’s impressive fundraising numbers, including outraising Dunn during this period and having a higher cash on hand, demonstrate the enthusiasm surrounding her campaign.
Van is endorsed by numerous community leaders and advocates for racial justice, including civil rights champion and former longtime King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Indigenous community leader Matt Remle, Reverend Dr. Linda Smith of the Renton-King County Alliance for Justice, and Vasudha Sharma, a member of the Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force in Renton.
“Kim-Khanh Van is a natural leader. As a Renton City Councilmember she has helped community members fashion solutions to a wide range of issues including housing, schools, employment, social services and immigrant and refugee advocacy,” said Gossett. “Her quick grasp of neighborhood needs and her ability to bring people together has been a superb gift. She will be a great advocate for every King County neighbor.”
Since entering the race, Van has earned additional endorsements from State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti, State Senator Karen Keiser, and State Representatives Debra Entenman and Nicole Macri.
See Van’s full list of endorsers and learn more at ElectKimKhanhVan.com.