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King County

Charter Amendment No. 3

References to Citizens

 

Shall the Preamble and Sections 260 and 800 of the King County charter be amended to replace the word "citizen" with "public," "member of the public" or "resident," as applicable?

 

Yes

No


If adopted, Charter Amendment No. 3 would replace references in the Preamble, Section 260 and Section 800 of the charter from "citizen" to "public," "member of the public" or "resident."

The Preamble lists the purposes for the charter. If Charter Amendment No. 3 is adopted, the reference to "effective citizen participation" in the Preamble would be changed to "effective public participation."

Section 260 concerns the office of citizen complaints. If adopted, Charter Amendment No. 3 would change this to the office of public complaints and the reference to complaints by a "citizen of the county" would be changed to a "member of the public."

Section 800 concerns charter review and amendment. If adopted, Charter Amendment No. 3 would change the reference for appointments to the charter review commission from “citizens” to “residents” and refer to it as a “resident commission” rather than a “citizen commission.”
 

We celebrate the diversity of King County and work to ensure all programs and services are welcoming and inclusive for all. The county serves everyone, including residents who do not have citizenship. Our county charter currently refers to people mostly as “public” or “residents”; in just a few places does it use “citizen” where it isn’t necessary to make that distinction. 

Every resident deserves the ability to be actively involved in helping shape the functioning of county practices and services. County employees do not inquire about citizenship status unless required by state or federal law. Our charter should not imply citizenship requirements where none exist. This amendment would selectively replace the word “citizen” with “resident” or “public” except in one place where it refers to qualifications to hold public office.

The Office of the Ombuds (as the Office of Citizen Complaints is now known) is required by county code to accept complaints from any source. This amendment aligns the charter with this long-standing practice to ensure all residents can file complaints. It also aligns with the long-standing practice of not inquiring about citizenship of members of the Charter Review Commission.

We urge you to vote Yes to approve this amendment.

Toby Nixon, Kathy Sakahara, Rich Stolz

No statement submitted.

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple Majority (King County Charter, Section 800)

For questions about this measure, contact: Patrick Hamacher, Director of Council Initiatives, 
(206) 477-0880, patrick.hamacher@kingcounty.gov

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