"People want to live
here and so we have
them, but it has to
be smart growth and
it has to be growth
that protects the
environment and it
has to be growth with
jobs and housing."
of it—and putting it in Central Puget Sound.
That is going to require over 900,000 new
housing units and offices and factories and
shops for a bunch of those million people
that are going to have new jobs here. We are
one of the areas of the country that is a great
place to live, and that’s why people come
here. That’s why companies come here.
People want to live here and so we have to
accommodate them, but it has to be smart
growth and it has to be growth that protects
the environment and it has to be growth with
jobs and housing. This is my passion that I’m
working on now and I’ll be working on for at
least the next 25 years—and that is finding
ways to connect housing and transportation
and employment, and the way we do that is
with high-capacity transit.
Q: What are you doing to bring that about?
A: I worked with a very broad consortium
of governmental and nongovernmental
folks last year and spearheaded a
grant application to the new Office of
Sustainable Housing and Communities,
which happens to be in the office of my
friend Ron Sims, who’s deputy secretary
of Housing and Urban Development, [a]
former King County executive. We got
the maximum grant—$5 million—for
Central Puget Sound to do transit-
oriented development action strategies.
That’s my most active current passion.
When you think of all the neat things I’ve
got to do, it’s going to be even better,
and as important as the Black Diamond
communities are going to be. … What we’re
going to be doing in Central Puget Sound
with transit-oriented communities is going
to be transformative of the region. We’ve
got to get people out of their cars and onto
mass transit, and we’ve got to get them to
live closer to where they work and closer to
where they can get on light rail.
Q: You sound pretty happy with your life.
A: I am one of the most optimistic people
you’ll ever meet. At the office they call me