Geek of the Week

Geek of the Week: County Exec Dow Constantine’s ardour? Preserving place the place he has deep roots

Dow Constantine
Dow Constantine has been King County Government since 2009. (Picture courtesy of Dow Constantine)

In a metropolis the place it’s simple to satisfy a newcomer at virtually each flip — of us who’re drawn to Seattle by its booming tech financial system and extra — Dow Constantine’s native roots run deep.

The King County Government, who’s GeekWire’s newest Geek of the Week, was raised round Alki in West Seattle, the place he graduated from highschool. His nice grandparents got here to Everett, Wash., greater than a century in the past to work within the mills. His mom’s father was the primary to go to varsity, and he performed soccer on the College of Washington. His mother and father, who married as college students at UW, are retired lecturers.

“I met my spouse Shirley on the College of Washington, after we each labored on the school radio station,” Constantine mentioned, including that it took a number of a long time to get round to getting married. “She was very cool. I used to be much less so. I additionally tended bar, taught snowboarding, labored in a salmon freezer plant, and so forth.”

Constantine earned bachelor’s, grasp’s, and regulation levels and went on to follow regulation earlier than turning into a state consultant and senator, and ultimately being elected to the King County Council. He has served as King County Government since 2009.

“Preserving this superb place and serving the individuals who reside listed below are my lifelong passions,” Constantine mentioned.

Constantine additionally weighed on this week on a difficulty attracting loads of (loud) voices on the subject of what sort of place Seattle is perhaps, and for whom. Within the Puget Sound Enterprise Journal, he mentioned the town’s concept to tax large companies and jobs is counter-productive and that collaboration is important to combat homelessness. Try his reply to our startup query under.

Now dad to a 3-year-old daughter (and a “significantly older shelter cat”), Constantine mentioned his time away from the workplace is spent working.

“My time away from that’s spent with household, snowboarding or, after we can get a sitter, catching a present round city.”

Be taught extra about this week’s Geek of the Week, Dow Constantine:

What do you do, and why do you do it? “King County is residence to almost 2.2 million individuals — one of many nation’s largest counties and bigger than 13 states. Daily, I work with our 14,000 workers to offer important regional providers — from transit to public well being, environmental sustainability, and prison justice. We now have a two-year funds of about $11 billion and greater than 60 traces of enterprise.

“I’ve such a deep sense of stewardship for this place — the surroundings, tradition, establishments, and extra. I take into account it my private mission to make sure everybody, regardless of the place they began in life, has the chance to thrive.”

What’s the only most essential factor individuals ought to find out about your discipline? “Our steady enchancment marketing campaign is named ‘Finest Run Authorities,’ and we’ve utilized new fashions of worker engagement and modern problem-solving to native authorities. Whilst inhabitants grows and demand for providers will increase, we now have lowered prices with out sacrificing high quality. We give native companies recommendations on how we’ve finished it, and the suggestions has positively re-enforced that we’re heading in the right direction.”

The place do you discover your inspiration? “Inspiration can strike at any time. Throughout a go to to the College of Washington, researchers defined the significance of early childhood experiences on mind growth. We created the Finest Begins for Children initiative to put money into the lives of our youngest residents, and take advantage of distinction for them and their households. As individuals share their tales, their hopes — and, sure, generally their frustrations — we make enhancements and make life higher for everybody who calls this place residence.”

What’s the one piece of expertise you couldn’t reside with out, and why? “I imply, like most individuals, my cell phone retains me linked all over the place I am going, day or evening (not at all times a very good factor).”

Dow Constantine
The convention desk in Dow Constantine’s workplace is constituted of reclaimed timbers within the King County workshop. (Picture courtesy of Dow Constantine)

What’s your workspace like, and why does it be just right for you? “It’s a reasonably commonplace, out-of-date rabbit warren of cubicles. We now have plans however can’t afford greater than incremental modernization. I no less than have a nook workplace with a door, the centerpiece of which is a protracted convention desk constituted of reclaimed timbers in our county workshop. It’s right here that I meet with neighborhood members, different elected officers, and employees. Partnerships and collaborations have been the hallmarks of my administration, as a result of I consider that authorities, enterprise, labor, philanthropy and neighborhood can solely accomplish what’s wanted by working collectively. On the partitions, I’ve all method of Husky memorabilia, my dad’s work, and a poster of probably the most magnificent mess of a band ever, The Who — autographed by Pete Townshend himself.”

Your finest tip or trick for managing on a regular basis work and life. (Assist us out, we want it.) “Attempt to not eat lunch alone at your desk. Use that point to attach with previous associates, or achieve insights from new ones.”

Mac, Home windows or Linux? “Home windows, after all. From our pleasant neighborhood software program producer.”

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? “Total, Picard. However Kirk from ‘Wrath of Khan’ is my favourite factor ever.”

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? “Time Machine. A lot of my, erm, time is spent considering the long run we want to have, or keep away from.”

If somebody gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I’d … “Summon the creativity and power of the tech neighborhood to deal with homelessness.”

I as soon as waited in line for … “Sniagrab. Ask your old-school Seattle associates.”

Your position fashions: “My grandfather Abe Wilson confirmed what exhausting work, grit and dedication meant — on and off the soccer discipline. And our County’s namesake, Martin Luther King — braveness, imaginative and prescient, and the flexibility to encourage us to higher ourselves and our nation.”

Biggest recreation in historical past: “1926 Rose Bowl. Alabama 20, Washington 19. Whereas my nice uncle, All-American George Wilson, was within the recreation, Alabama did nothing. When he was out for 1 / 4 or so after being deliberately injured, Alabama scored all 20 of its factors.”

Finest gadget ever: “The good telephone. See reply about gadget I can’t reside with out.”

First laptop: “Main Edge mannequin D – 8088 processor, 20 mb exhausting drive, 5 1/4″ floppy drive, monochrome (amber) monitor.”

Present telephone: “Samsung Galaxy 9+.”

Favourite app: “Alaska Airways lets me obsess endlessly over my seat project and retains me from lacking my flight.”

Favourite trigger: “Regional Animal Companies of King County (pet adoptions).”

Most essential expertise of 2018: “Reusable rockets.”

Most essential expertise of 2020: “Blockchain every thing. And the gizmo we haven’t heard of but that can autonomously extract and sequester extra atmospheric carbon.”

Closing phrases of recommendation to your fellow geeks: “We wish to hear from you. Inform us about your prime considerations and ask questions of your native authorities.”

Web site: King County

Twitter: @kcexec

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