Innovative solutions to our nation's biggest challenges have consistently come from our metropolitan regions. A discussion on how King County, WA is removing barriers to success for all residents and lessons learned for other regions across the country. With King County, WA Executive Dow Constantine.
Traynham:The Unites States can be a place of remarkable prosperity and startling inequity. The metropolitan region of King County, Washington -- one of the nation's most populous counties, reflects this disparity in spite of unprecedented economic growth. County executive Dow Constantine of King County, Washington, joins me to discuss actions he's taking to ensure the enduring prosperity of the Puget Sound region and how other regions can follow suit. Dow, welcome to the program. Constantine: Thanks for having me, Robert. Traynham: You know, it sounds like -- this is basically Seattle, Washington -- it sounds like there is a lot of opportunities in your neck of the woods, if you have a certain skill set. But if you don't have that skill set -- whatever that may be -- you kind of fall through the cracks a little bit. Constantine: Well, that's right. We're the home to Microsoft, Amazon -- to, really, global corporations that have continuous demands from people who are highly trained and highly educated. Thousands of jobs that we can't fill and are being filled by great people coming from around the world. And yet at the same time, we have hundreds of thousands of folks who are stuck in poverty generation after generation. Our goal really is two-fold -- to make sure that they can earn enough right now to take care of their families and live a decent life. And that over the course of their youth and into young adulthood, they get the things they need to be able to grab on to that new economy. Traynham: And Dow, how do you do that? I think the simple answer is, more education. But what if that's not an option? Or perhaps maybe they already have the education, but it may not fit into the skill set that you're referring to. Constantine: We've actually decided to start earlier. Constantine: We've actually decided to start earlier. With the Best Starts for Kids measure passed by our voters last year, we're investing from prenatal through those critical first few years to make sure every kid arrives at kindergarten ready to succeed and support them throughout school so that when they graduate from high school, they're ready -- ready to go to work or ready to go to college -- and do the things they need to do to participate in this new economy, this global economy. Traynham: So, if I hear you correctly, early childhood education -- zero, from birth, to 4 years old. Even before they get into kindergarten, those are critical years for forming that brain. Constantine: That's when all the brain development happens. We have great science coming out of the University of Washington and other institutions that really points to those first 36 months as absolutely critical. Traynham: I'm curious now. What is the average income in King County? Constantine: Average income is in the mid-70s. Traynham: Okay. Constantine: What I do know is that of all of the households that have been created in our region, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, since 2000, 96% of them earn either over $125,000 a year or under $35,000. There are very few new jobs being created in the middle, and this is really an example of what you alluded to. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and a lot of what we're doing in education, in transportation, is aimed at beginning to close that gap. Traynham: I want to focus for a few moments on transportation. What do you mean by that? Is that basically light rail and buses and all the other things to make sure that people can get to the jobs, people that are more mobile, or frankly, people that cannot afford their own private transportation. What does that mean? Constantine: Well, yes, transportation is an enormous cost along with housing, and our region is very congested. So for our economy to continue to grow, our businesses need people to be able to get around. And for people to be able to participate in that economy, we know more and more that mobility is indispensable -- to get to education, to get to the job interview, to get to daycare, and to get to work on time and get home again to your family. So we just passed a $54 billion rail measure. I'm the chair of the Regional Transit Authority, and that is going to, over the course of a couple decades, build a 116-mile light rail system that will rival Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco.
As the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, we take a look back at the early days, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver created a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Today, there are 4.9 million Special Olympics athletes from more than 172 countries.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
On July 26, 1941, as tensions with Japan rose in the Pacific, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called into service all of the organized military forces of the Philippines. And while more than one quarter million Filipino soldiers served in World War II, in the same manner and under the same circumstances as other members of the U.S. Armed Forces, these soldiers had not been formally honored or recognized by the United States. That changed on October 25, 2017, when Congress bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino WWII veterans in honor of their wartime service.
Ben de Guzman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project discusses ongoing efforts to be sure every Filipino WWII veteran is honored.
Latinos are underrepresented at America's most prestigious schools, contributing to a lack of diversity in leadership roles in the U.S. Elizabeth Vaquera of Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute discusses Hispanic enrollment, retention and graduation.
The United States Census Bureau provides data about the nation’s people and economy. While that data is used by our government for planning and redistricting purposes, there are private sector applications as well – especially for businesses. DeVere Kutscher, Principal with Public Private Strategies discusses the importance of census accuracy and its effect on businesses making informed decisions.
According to a 2017 McKinsey & Company report, 50% of current work activities are technically automatable by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies discusses how automation strongly impacts the global workforce for African Americans. A life-learning approach is one way to adapt to the advancement of technology.