King County residents receive Martin Luther King medal of distinguished service

Recipients include Eastside King County residents

The King County Council awarded nine citizens the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service on Feb. 27. And for the fourth year of the award, councilmembers awarded individuals in their district who have answered the question by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “What are you doing for others?”

In Bellevue, Pastor Jim McEachran received the medal of distinguished service. McEachran pastored Bellevue’s Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church for 35 years. The pastor resigned after three decades.

“I’m honored, but it’s not about me,” he said about receiving the medal. “I am here because we are.”

With the help of his congregation, Pastor McEachran helped create Saint Andrew’s Housing Group in 1987. What once was Saint Andrew’s Housing Group has grown into Imagine Housing, the Eastside’s leading affordable housing organization. The organization owns and manages 14 developments located in Kirkland, Bellevue, Issaquah, Mercer Island and Redmond. Imagine Housing serves more than 1,200 people.

In the Valley, Amy Biggs, director of the Snoqualmie Valley Transportation (SVT), was recognized by Councilmember Kathy Lambert of District 3.

“I’m just honored,” Biggs said. “It was very kind of Kathy to even think of me. I’m really honored.”

Biggs joined SVT as director in 2012, when the organization had lost funding due to cutbacks during the Great Recession. Biggs helped to secure the contract with King County Metro Transit.

“In a rural area, transportation is life,” Biggs said. “If you don’t have a car, how do you get around? How do you get to [the] food bank, medicine, doctor or dialysis? Transportation is life in a rural area.”

In order to keep connections in the Valley, Metro contracted with SVT for the first time to provide services in Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. SVT was the first company to provide door-to-door as well as fixed route transportation, through the contract with Metro’s “Community Connections” program.

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