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King County chosen to receive national Living Cities transformation grant
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced today that King County has been chosen as one of five sites across the country to receive planning grants from the Living Cities coalition to improve economic opportunities for low-income people and communities.
"The work we do to build equity and create opportunities in King County is greatly enhanced by support from a nationally recognized organization like Living Cities," said Executive Dow Constantine. "When you combine that with support from local groups such as The Seattle Foundation, we're able to have a significant positive impact on communities that are traditionally underserved."
Comprised of a coalition of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, Living Cities supports new and collaborative approaches to improving conditions and opportunities for low-income people and the communities where they live. King County was invited to participate in the second group of communities supported by The Integration Initiative (TII).
Since 2010, Living Cities has awarded $85 million in grants, capital and commercial loans to stimulate systems change in five Round 1 TII U.S. cities.
“The Integration Initiative has helped us understand what it takes to seed economic opportunity and reduce income inequality,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. “We are rethinking many of the assumptions that underlie the community development system.”
King County will receive $100,000 to support planning efforts that address both inequities and economic opportunity in lower income communities.
The planning activities will support implementation of King County’s Health and Human Services Transformation Plan. One of the strategies in that plan is to foster specific communities in making gains that enhance the well-being of their residents and the vibrancy of the neighborhood in the areas of health, housing and economic opportunity. In working to create Communities of Opportunity, King County and The Seattle Foundation have committed to aligning efforts across sectors to maximize resources and improve health, social, racial and economic outcomes for low-income individuals and communities.
“We’re looking forward to this exciting initiative and partnership to increase equity in King County,” said Norman Rice, President and CEO of The Seattle Foundation. “By working together across different sectors and engaging community members, we will drive change in the systems, policies and structures essential to a healthy community for all.”
The partnership involves the King County Executive’s Office, King County Council, the Department of Community and Human Services, Public Health-Seattle and King County, and The Seattle Foundation, along with community development, housing, health care, public health, human services, other philanthropy and other local government organizations.
King County joins the cities of Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Antonio, and San Francisco in receiving Round 2 one-year planning grants. Additional grants and loans may be available after the planning process is complete.