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Mayor's Newsletter

In my weekly newsletter I cover all that is happening in Renton, including the most current COVID-19 updates and information from state and federal officials and agencies.

COVID-19 Resources

The city has compiled resources from several city, county, state and federal entities into a comprehensive COVID-19 page.

Issue: 63 / Friday, September 25, 2020

Photo of food delivery

Over 40 Renton small businesses have closed during COVID-19. The city, Renton Chamber of Commerce, and OneEastside have combined with Chip-In to provide support.

Supporting our small businesses

Renton businesses have always been strong supporters of our community. That's one of the things that makes me proud to call Renton my home. Small businesses provide more than jobs, goods, and services. They also give us a sense of place and community.

Cover of the mayor's newsletter for September 25, 2020So far during the pandemic, we have already seen over 40 local businesses close their doors for good. While the governor’s “Stay at Home” order has protected our residents, it’s been devastating to our businesses.

To help, we are in the process of distributing $1.38 million in CARES funding to 188 qualified businesses to date. The problem is we had over 350 businesses apply. Federal aid is not enough.

That’s why the city is excited to work with Renton Chamber of Commerce, OneEastside, and Chip-In to raise funds for Renton small businesses through tax-deductible contributions. Think of it like GoFundMe, but Chip-In does not take a cut. Each dollar donated will support local Renton businesses meet payroll, keep their lights on and doors open.

Renton has faced and come through tough times in the past by sticking together and working for each other. The way back after COVID-19 will be no different. One way is by supporting those local small businesses that mean so much to our community. I hope you will join me and make a contribution.


Comment period on draft EIS for proposed county facility in the Highlands open until October 30

Click image to download a larger versionIn my August 28 newsletter, I wrote about King County identifying a location in the Highlands as one of three possible sites for a Cedar Hills Regional Landfill support facilities center. All the members of the city council and I have serious concerns with this site. Such a facility in the Highlands should be of concern to all of us.

In my August message, I asked each of you to give some thought to what it would mean to Renton and be prepared to make your voice heard—especially if you live, work, or go to school in the Highlands Area. That time has come.

The county has made public a draft environmental impact statement on the Renton location. They are only accepting comments during a 45-day window that closes on October 30, 2020. There will be no in-person meetings.

Make your comments by any of these methods:

  • Via the project website

  • Email:

  • Mail a letter: King County Solid Waste Division; Attn: Kinyan Lui, Project Manager; 201 S Jackson Street, MS: KSC-NR-0701; Seattle, WA 98104-3855

  • Oral comments to a court reporter: The Solid Waste Division has arranged for a court reporter to take oral comments over the phone on October 6, 2020, from 5-7 p.m. To sign up for a 5-minute slot within those hours, please call the Solid Waste Division before October 6 at 206-477-4466.

Language interpreters will be available, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities are available.

We believe there is a need for this facility. But we think the other two options at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill are more viable and cost-effective. Additionally, they provide a larger buffer (500 feet) to residential properties.

The Renton site has only a 90- to 100-foot buffer to adjacent neighborhoods. Increased traffic will also cause problems and will significantly impact Renton Technical College (RTC). RTC has property on the south side of NE 3rd/NE 4th streets to expand its campus.

More information about the support facility options is in the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill 2020 Site Development Plan.

To further explain our opposition, I have included the letter we sent to the county and the letter sent by RTC. I hope you'll take the time to provide your comments. Remember, the deadline is October 30, 2020.


Kaiser Permanente donates $5,000 to fund SNAP at market for September

My sincerest gratitude to Kaiser Permanente for stepping up with a $5,000 donation to allow the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) at Renton Farmers Market to continue. Without their generous donation, the program would have run out of funds at the end of August. Instead, it will continue through the market’s last day on September 29.

Photo of the farmers market loogSNAP is a dollar-for-dollar match for qualified shoppers and is a vital part of the market. It helps make fresh fruits and vegetables available to those who need them. It also provides our local farmers with extra income. This is program is vital in the best of times and so much more today.

The program is funded annually by a $10,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Health. Because so many eligible families took advantage, funding was almost gone. The donation by Kaiser Permanente, a strong market sponsor and supporter for years, has made a difference in so many lives.

Tuesday’s market will be the last one this year. They’ve moved up their hours and will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. The earlier times will allow vendors to close up their areas before it gets dark. If you've been a market regular, thank you! If you haven't, here's one last chance to buy farm-fresh fruits and produce.


REACH Renton celebrates 50 years; finds a new home

It seems hard to believe that 2020 is REACH Renton’s 50th year of serving our community. They will mark the occasion with a virtual celebration on October 13, from 6:30 to 7:40 p.m.

Photo of the REACH 50th anniversary logoThe Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH) has led the way in providing shelter and services for families transitioning into permanent housing. Each year they transition around 50 families into permanent housing.

Since 2013 they have also operated the REACH Center of Hope. The center houses daycare services and an overnight shelter under one roof. COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the center, but they continue to persevere. During the pandemic, they moved from their home of seven years at City Hall, eventually relocating to the Highlands Neighborhood Center. City staff from our community services recreation and neighborhoods and facilities divisions have done a fantastic job getting residents settled. They provided games and activities for the youngsters. Staff also shuttled residents to and from the Renton Community Center to use the showers and other facilities.

Earlier this week, REACH Renton announced a final move, this time into a permanent location at Lakeridge Lutheran Church in the Bryn Mawr-Skyway area. This is fantastic news and allows REACH to continue providing much-needed services to Renton and the surrounding communities.

Upcoming deadlines 

Seattle Metro Chamber Logo

Applications close on September 28 at 5 p.m. for CARES funding through the Seattle Metro Chamber. The chamber has $580,000 in federal funding available for small businesses in King County. This is part of the $10 million that Washington state received from the federal CARES Act.

This grant is open to businesses with 20 or fewer employees and to 501 (c)(6) non-profit business service organizations (e.g., chambers of commerce, direct marketing organizations, and tourism bureaus). Awards of $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000 are available.


Mayors Census Challenge ends September 30.

COVID-19 Quicklinks

  • COVID-19 - resources and information from city, county, state, federal and private entities.

Newsletter Archives

Mayor's Newsletter wins National NAGC Award

NAGC national first place award

The Mayor's Newsletter has been awarded a 2018 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award for First Place for External Newsletters by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC).

The committee looked at submissions from all over the country and judged them on purpose, goals, objectives, target audience, and special factors.

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