After my election to the Senate seven years ago, I started an annual “listening tour” to help me hear directly from constituents on issues important to their communities. I recently completed this year’s listening tour throughout the district. Hosting my discussions in communities each fall help prepare me for legislative sessions each winter. This year’s listening tour included discussions on business, recreation, wildfire, healthcare, education, transportation issues and more. The tour also included a preview of the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.
As a result of recent redistricting, I divided this year’s listening tour between the traditional areas of the 12th District and the new areas. The first portion of the tour was dedicated to Chelan County and Douglas County residents. The remaining tour was held in the King and Snohomish County portions of the district. Past listening tours have helped connect me with issues important to many communities in North Central Washington. Many of these areas are no longer within the 12th District boundaries, which is why this year’s stops included many of the new communities in the district.
The new 12th District boundaries now include East Wenatchee, Chelan County, and portions of Snohomish County and King County. The new communities include portions of North Bend, Carnation, Sultan, and Monroe and many unincorporated King and Snohomish County residents. A major feature of the new 12th District is the Cascade Mountain Range, although the inclusion of the Cascade Mountains doesn’t actually add much population to the district. I have worked hard in recent months to outreach to all communities in the district and have enjoyed learning about the issues in these new areas.
Recent ideas shared during past listening tours have turned into successful legislative action. A proposal by Leavenworth officials to dispose of brush and yard clippings resulted in new law to help the community. A funding request for the Saddle Rock trail became a reality when later included in the budget. A biochar demonstration project to reduce wildfire risk was also funded as well as significant improvements to Wenatchee’s Community Center used by Pinnacles Prep Charter School. A land purchase for the Wenatchee Valley YMCA was also recently supported. All ideas were discussed during past listening tours.
During my recent listening tour, I also heard comments that helped prepare me to better represent you in Olympia. I hope you had the opportunity to participate in this year’s tour. Whether you were able to participate or not, please know that my position exists to serve you. Please feel free to reach out to me and my office anytime through my website at senatorbradhawkins.org.
Brad Hawkins serves as State Senator for the 12th Legislative District.
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