Business leaders gather to hear a Legislative briefing update from Sen. Claire Wilson and Rep. Jesse Johnson during a Greater Federal Way Chamber meeting on July 15. Zoom screenshot

Business leaders gather to hear a Legislative briefing update from Sen. Claire Wilson and Rep. Jesse Johnson during a Greater Federal Way Chamber meeting on July 15. Zoom screenshot

Legislators target local community building projects

Money will go toward affordable housing, youth services and more in Federal Way area.

The 30th District Legislators recently provided an update on legislative projects from the 2021 session.

“The goal is to leverage as much money and as much power and support for this district,” said Sen. Claire Wilson on July 15.

In the realm of equity and community development, the upcoming projects include a $500,000 investment for pre-apprenticeship pathways for Federal Way students. The program begins in the fall and will provide about 50 students with hands-on experience into trade careers and dual credit through Green River College.

The pre-apprenticeship program provides an operation to position students for tomorrow’s workforce, said Rep. Jesse Johnson.

The Redondo pier replacement project secured $900,000 to rebuild the pier along Redondo Beach Drive South in Des Moines after a 2019 study found the pier was structurally unstable.

For affordable housing, the Redondo Heights Transit-Oriented Development project secured $3 million to renovate 132 existing units and build 130 new affordable housing units for a workforce housing project adjacent to the Redondo Heights Park and Ride.

The Legislature also invested $300,000 to study disparities in home ownership in Federal Way.

Another budding project secured $75,000 to begin the planning of 12 kiosks for those experiencing homelessness in Federal Way.

Sponsored by the Federal Way Black Collective in partnership with the City of Federal Way, the kiosks would be deployed around 2022 and be in partnership with Public Health — Seattle & King County.

Through the Health Care for the Homeless Network kiosks program, the healthcare kiosks would provide holistic health access, according to Anna Johnson, legislative assistant to Rep. Johnson. Kiosk clients will be able to complete intake, assessment, enrollment at the point of care and have integrated care delivery, Anna Johnson said.

“These kiosks will be placed strategically throughout our city,” Johnson said. “This is also a project that has worked elsewhere … it’s really helping to provide resources.”

Focusing on youth-first projects, $1 million was secured for the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s purchase of the 25-acre Camp Kilworth site for a recreation and environmental education center in Federal Way. In addition, $82,000 was invested into developing a youth resource center in Federal Way.

“I think they’ve had to leave, oftentimes, our community to find that instead of being able to find that within,” said Sen. Claire Wilson of youth opportunities in Federal Way.

$200,000 was secured to expand the Federal Way National Little League fields, along with $75,000 to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations serving local youth.

The project allows for building the capacity of and centralizing BIPOC organizations in Federal Way. The money is specifically for organizations to train leaders and make their service to youth as sustainable as possible, Johnson said.

“We’ve got to fund small organizations that are at the heartbeat of our community,” Wilson said.

El Centro de La Raza received $250,000 for its after school and summer learning programs in partnership with Federal Way Public Schools.

“We need more places for our young people to go after school and in the summertime,” Johnson said. “Creating spaces for young folks to go is super important.”

For transportation projects, Wilson said the projects are designed to aid in the 30th District’s growth in the years to come.

“We see this as a grand opportunity as we continue to move forward with our transportation projects in South King County, that we make sure we’re meeting the needs of our community,” Wilson said, adding that particular attention is paid to safe routes to schools and east-to-west transportation.

An investment of $300,000 is for improvements on S. 314th Street in Federal Way, and $15 million has been invested to improve the off-ramp of eastbound SR 18 in Auburn.

Much of the funds were focused on public health investments, Wilson said.

“A lot of that is because we’ve not funded the basic needs that people have in order to get them up and get them off,” she said. Behavioral health, mental health and public health services “are critically important in order to have a healthy community for all.”

More information about the funding investments will be provided at the Greater Federal Way Chamber Luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 4, and later this year.

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