Getting to know Renton’s city leaders: Councilmember Ed Prince

Q&A with Renton City Councilmember Ed Prince

How well do you know your Renton City Council? The Renton Reporter is asking Renton City Council members questions to learn more about their leadership styles, top issues of concern and more.

This week, the Renton Reporter spoke with Councilmember Ed Prince.

Q: What is your relationship with Renton and what do you do outside your role as a city council member?

A: I have lived in Renton for almost twenty years and outside of being a council member I am the Executive Director of the WA State Commission on African American Affairs.

Q: Why did you want to become a Renton City Councilmember?

A: I wanted to become a council member to continue serving my community. Before I was elected I served as a chair of the Renton Planning Commission, Chair of the Citizens for Renton Schools bond and levy committee, and as one of the founders of the Renton Community Foundation’s The Next Curve.

Q: What do you love or admire about the Renton community?

A: Everything! But if I had to settle on one thing it would be the ethic and commitment to service this community embodies. I have never been part of a community that rolls up its sleeves to help one another like Renton.

Q: What are some of the biggest problems facing the Renton community currently?

A: Public Safety, Homelessness, and Transportation.

Public Safety: As a council, we have allocated funds to our police department to invest in tools to make our community safe however, many of the issues we have with public safety come from other governments and institutions outside of the city. As elected officials, we have lobbied our legislature so they are informed on the issues we are facing. As local elected officials we are the closest to the public so we see and hear things that other levels of government don’t see and hear.

Homelessness: This issue is a regional issue that we as a city can’t solve ourselves. As a member and co-chair of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, I have consistently pushed for a subregional approach to this issue. One size doesn’t fit all. The issues in Renton are different than the issues in Bellevue or Seattle.

Transportation: It is no secret that Renton has been paying into Sound Transit for years and not getting what we have paid for. I was appointed to the Sound Transit board in 2020 and while the pandemic hit the agency budget hard I am consistently talking to the CEO and past/present board leadership to make sure we get Renton projects done as close to on time as possible.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your career as a council member, or what are you already most proud of?

A: There are so many things I am proud of. I am proud that we passed a source of income discrimination ordinance in Renton that doesn’t allow landlords to discriminate based on your source of income. I am proud of our healthy housing ordinance that ensures people aren’t living in substandard conditions and I am very proud of the transformation we’ve seen in downtown Renton and the Sunset neighborhood. We still have so much more to do. We need to fully staff our police department, we need to work on affordable housing and we need to continue our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.