Ron Sims served for 12 years as the elected Executive of Martin Luther King, Jr. County in Washington State. Before becoming County Executive, he was an elected member of the county council. His record of achievements at the county include:
- Instituting sound financial practices that earned King County AAA bond ratings.
Making communities safer
- Improving the Sherriff’s Office capabilities by providing every patrol car with computers.
- Instituting and supporting DNA forensics as a comprehensive element of enforcement and investigation
- Conceiving and funding the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
- Creating a state-of-the-art regional radio system for coordinated emergency response.
Making the county greener
- Protecting endangered salmon and beginning the clean up of the Puget Sound.
- Raising the alarm about global warming in the 1980’s, and then implementing one of the world’s first plans to do something about it.
- Expanding the wastewater system, and bringing Brightwater to life, to protect health, environment, and economy.
- Creating the first countywide flood protection plan to avoid Katrina-like catastrophes.
- Protecting more than 135,000 acres of land including 90,000 acres of the Hancock Forest.
- Establishing a nationally recognized regional emergency preparedness plan.
- Building one of the largest, greenest transit systems in the nation.
- Adding hundreds of hybrid buses and thousands of hours of service with Transit Now! and other projects.
Controlling health care cost
- Launching a nationally recognized health reform initiative with unprecedented participation from King County employees; a model for employers across the county.
- Creating the Puget Sound Health Alliance regional consortium of employers, labor, clinics, hospitals and doctors that works to improve healthcare and control costs for million of residents in Central Puget Sound.
- Winning the National Committee for Quality Assurance Award -- the “Emmy” for healthcare achievement.
- Being recognized by Seattle Business magazine as the only government employer ranked among the 100 best places to work.
Building affordable housing and making neighborhoods stronger
- Creating dozens of community and housing partnerships to fund and build 5,632 units of housing by streamlining regulations and offering surplus property for affordable housing.
- Becoming the first county in the nation to earn the Robert L. Woodson Jr. Affordable Communities Award from HUD.
- Working with builders, environmental groups, and cities to protect rural areas while focusing growth in the cities – 96% of all growth is now in the cities.
- Fighting for and winning completion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
- Expanding regional trail system to 175 miles.
- Integrating health, land use, and transportation planning to create walk-able communities that provide healthy lifestyles.
Fighting for justice and equity
- Launched the groundbreaking Equity and Social Justice Initiative to factor fundamental human rights into all areas of government policy and decision-making.
- Creating programs that reduced juvenile detention rates.
- Creating sustained successful alternatives to adult detention ---the only major metropolitan area to reduce its jail population and lower its crime rate.
- In partnership with the County Council, securing voter support to provide veteran services and programs for the mentally ill.
- Public Official of the Year, 2006 - Governing Magazine
- Edwin T. Pratt Award, 2006 - Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
- Built Green Hammer Award for Public Advocacy, 2006 - Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties
- Edgar Wayburn Award, 2006 - Sierra Club
- Local Public Service Award, 2006 - National Association of Clean Water Agencies
- Climate Protection Award, 2007 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Health Quality Award, 2008 - National Committee for Quality Assurance
- Children's Health Initiative, 2008 (Extraordinary Community leadership)