Metropolitan King County Council member Rod Dembowski prides himself in never having missed a vote: 6,300 and counting. Across most of those decisions, the District 1 representative has been a steady voice for progress, ably representing his constituents and leading efforts on the environment, criminal justice reform and mental health.
He has earned another term on the council.
Among his most recent accomplishments, Dembowski pushed for full funding of a new Behavioral Health Institute as part of the $1.74 billion bond for Harborview Medical Center, which voters approved last year. He was also instrumental in funding the successful North Sound Response, Awareness, De-escalation and Referral (RADAR) program, which helps avoid use-of-force incidents between police and people in need of mental-health services.
The incumbent sees the need to improve public safety — believing that better law enforcement requires more resources, not less — and backed the King County courts’ funding request to address the severe backlog spurred by the pandemic. He also recognizes the challenges that the Regional Homelessness Authority faces and said he is committed to its success.
Dembowski says there’s a lot more he would like to do, particularly around the environment. “King County has the best climate action plan for a local government in the country, but we’re not making our goals, we’re not hitting our numbers,” he said.
He would like to see the county accelerate investment and expedite the greening of the transit fleet, fast-track land conservation initiatives and help decarbonize the built environment, including through improving building insulation and using clean energy sources.
His opponent, Sally Caverzan, is a social worker who said her candidacy is less about Dembowski’s job performance than it is about challenging the apathy that would allow the incumbent to go unopposed. Her passion and dedication to improving people’s lives is evident, and she should continue working to do so.
As for voters, they should not hesitate to cast their ballot for Dembowski.