Mayor's Newsletter

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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: 66 / Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

Photo of Cugini Florest outdoor retail

Cugini Florist has expanded retail space into their parking lot taking advantage of an emergency ordinance.

City continues support of small businesses

No one area of our city has been hit harder by COVID-19 than our small business community. So far, we’ve seen more than 40 small businesses close, and those that remain open are operating amid concerns for their future. As a city, we are continually working to ease those concerns.

Cover image of the mayor's newsletter for OCtober 16, 2020Late last month, we distributed almost $1.4 million in CARES grants to 188 qualified Renton small businesses. The funds cover COVID-19 related expenses.

Several businesses have taken advantage of an ordinance the city passed in July, allowing them to expand their retail onto the sidewalk or onto an adjacent parking lot. This expansion aligns with Phase 2 of the governor’s “Safe Start Plan” and increases the number of customers they can serve. These areas can be used for sales, pick-up, and, in the case of restaurants, additional seating.

Last month we announced our partnership with Renton Chamber of Commerce and One Eastside to raise funds for Renton small businesses through Chip-In. It’s 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.

Our small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhoods and a source of community pride. They’ve been enduring an unprecedented time. We’re asking all of Renton to step up to support each other in these times. Never has it been more important to “shop local.”

Graphic of an accessory building unit

This week is Affordable Housing Week

We proclaimed Oct. 12-16 as Affordable Housing Week in Renton. All of us should have access to safe, healthy, and affordable housing within our city. That all our residents live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes is a goal we are working towards every day.

City leadership is working collaboratively to develop affordable and workforce housing for Renton residents with a diverse group of organizations: Renton Housing Authority, South King County Homeless and Housing Partnership (SKHHP), non-profit partner organizations, Homestead Community Land Trust, Challenge Seattle and Habitat for Humanity, and private developers and partners including Microsoft. We are moving aggressively to meet the challenge of housing affordability and have several new projects that are planned or underway:

  • Sunset Oaks, a 60-unit rental housing project under construction in the Sunset Neighborhood by Renton Housing Authority

  • Willowcrest Townhomes, a 24-unit townhome complex by Homestead Community Land Trust

  • Sunset Gardens, a proposed 75 affordable rental units for elderly/veterans on the site of RHA’s current headquarters in the Sunset Area.

We are developing a Housing Action Plan and a Community Needs Assessment to ensure public investment is maximized and meets our residents’ needs. These plans will focus on near-term solutions to increase housing availability and affordability. The Housing Action Plan includes input from an advisory committee of community and housing stakeholders from private and non-profit sectors. Their recommendations will go to the City Council for adoption.

An exciting new proposal we are working on is creating a set of model plans that Renton property owners can acquire from the city for backyard cottages and carriage houses. These plans are pre-designed and pre-engineered and ready for approval in a streamlined permit process at little to no cost. The city plans to roll out this program very soon. We’ll keep you updated as we work through the process.


Virtual Multicultural Festival on Nov. 7 and 8

For the past four years, the Renton Multicultural Festival has celebrated the cultural diversity that is the very fabric of our city.

Renton Multicultural festival call for performers graphicCOVID-19 has prevented the festival that you’ve come to know, but we’re holding the next best thing: a virtual festival. This year’s theme is “Unity in Hope.” It will feature the same outstanding performances, with some extras like cooking demonstrations. There’s also the added benefit of viewing from the comfort of your home.

We’re looking for videos from various performers who best share their culture and individuality under our “Unity in Hope” theme. We are giving preference to Renton residents and businesses.

If you’re interested in participating, please go to the festival website and fill out an application. If you need assistance creating a video, plan to come to Carco Theatre on Oct. 24 and 25 for videotaping. If you have a video, please submit by Nov. 1. Details are on the website.

The festival will premiere on our YouTube channel on November 7 and 8 and will also be on Channel 21 in Renton and embedded on our website.


General Elections ballots have been mailed

"I Voted" graphicThe 2020 General Election is less than three weeks away. Ballots were mailed earlier this week to King County voters and ballot boxes opened yesterday.

There is still time to register online or check your registration. It’s as simple as going to The deadline to register online or return a paper registration form by mail is Monday, Oct. 26. In-person registration is allowed through election day at anyone of seven Vote Centers. Each of these locations also allows you to vote.

We have General Election information available on our website.

Items of Interest

Supporting our small businesses through Chip-In

Renton 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.


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

The county is accepting comments on their draft environmental impact statement on a proposed Renton site for a Cedar Hills Regional Landfill support facilities center. The window closed on October 30.


PSE contest will benefit small businesses

Puget Sound Energy is offering four small businesses a $45,000 energy-efficient and cosmetic upgrades makeover. Businesses have under October 18 to enter PSE's Small Business Energy Makeover contest. Contest entrants must be small businesses operating within PSE’s service area.

COVID-19 Quicklinks


2020 Newsletters

Weekly Newsletter

October 9

Renton allocates over $900,000 in COVID-19 human services funding
HealthPoint Clinic comes to Sunset Neighborhood
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Our Renton TV Debuts
Governor updates Safe Start reopening plan

October 2

Proposed 2021 and 2022 budgets presented to city council
Farmers Market ends successful 2020 season
PSE contest will benefit small businesses
Proposed county budget includes Renton RapidRide

September 25

Support our small businesses
Draft EIS for landfill support services center open
Kaiser Permanente donated $5,000 for SNAP at Farmer Market
REACH Renton celebrates 50 years in Renton
Chamber-sponsored COVID-19 funding

September 18

Community police survey
Making Renton accessible to all
Concealed pistol permits
Election Day is November 3; register to vote
Census 2020 - time is running out
Closing King County's technology divide
Chamber-sponsored COVID-19 funding

September 11
Honoring the victims of 9/11 on Patriot Day
Sustainable Renton's Free Grocery Store
One-day drive benefits food banks
ALERT Renton provides emergency updates
Business Plan for 2021-2026 adopted
City receives $100,000 flood control grant from county

September 4

This Labor Day is so different
Budget: City's financial health has improved slightly
Plans unveiled for former city hall property
Mayor's census challenge
Free COVID-19 testing site in Renton
Pandemic EBT Emergency School Meal Program

August 28

City's concern over county facility siting in Highlands
Chamber distributing PPEs

August 21

National Senior Citizen Day
Information System Update
Renton Census Countdown Day 2020

August 14

Renton Census Countdown Day
CARES funding for small businesses
Seniors receive donated face shields
Renton Regional Community Foundation

August 7

City to distribute over $900,000 in COVID-related funds
Food banks and shelters serving more
City gives away 25,000 masks; county mask event on August 11
Women's right to Vote Centennial Anniversary Day
Teleworking will continue

July 31

Census return rate tops 70%
Police launch community survey
K9 Zev remembered
Parade of Positivity

July 24

Primary Election
RAAP Meeting
Communities In Schools

July 17

Emergency ordinance expands outdoor business space
City Hall reopening plan unveiled
Projects will provide affordable housing
Renton leads all South King County cities in Census 2020 self-response rate
Pop-up blood drives collect 144 units

July 10

CARES Act funding for small businesses
Police Chief briefs council
K9 Zev passes away
Parks & Rec Month proclamation

July 2

Small business grants available from CARES Act
Mayor's July 4 message
Police Chief's July 4 message
Red Lion Free mask distribution
Blood donations needed

June 26

Coulon Park and Fourth of July
First CARES Act funds to be distributed
Face coverings mandated by governor

June 19

"Philly Flag"
"Open for Business" Banners; Business resources
Free COVID-19 Testing a success
2020 Census Numbers
COVID-19 Relief Concert
Pop up Blood Drives

June 11

RAAP works to make Renton an informed & inclusive community
Praise for police officers Sangder and Thielman
COVOD-19 testing site open Saturday
Pop up blood drives coming to Renton
Farmers Market returns

COVID-19 Updates

June 5
June 3

May 29
May 27

May 22
May 19
May 18

May 12

May 8
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May 4

May 1
April 29
April 28

April 24
April 22
April 20

April 17
April 15
April 13

April 10
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April 6

April 3
April 1 
March 30

March 27
March 26
March 25
March 24
March 23
March 22

March 20
March 19
March 18
March 17
March 16

Weekly Newsletters

March 12
March 6

February 29 (update)
February 28
February 21
February 14
February 6

January 30
January 23
January 16
January 9

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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