Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Time seems to fly by when you're busy! It's difficult to believe summer has ended. Since the conclusion of the 2019 session, I've devoted large blocks of time to learning about the evolving needs of our communities.
During the past several weeks, I've met with constituents, community leaders, small business owners, farmers, agriculture workers, teachers and administrators, forest health experts, public policy analysts, and healthcare executives. At these meetings, I learned about the issues that matter the most to our district. Getting this kind of first-hand information is invaluable to my work for you in Olympia.
Here's a quick look at some of my activities:
In June, I joined other lawmakers on a “Food and Farm” tour through the region. Being raised on a farm—working alongside my family on their local orchard—is one of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me. Agriculture is a key ingredient in our state's continuing economic success. We need to remove obstacles to industry growth and give farmers and ranchers every opportunity to succeed.
Visiting Morgan Owings Elementary School was one of the highlights of my summer. Listening and talking with students, teachers and facility confirmed what I've been saying for years: We need to set aside differences in politics and do the hard work necessary to create a system that gives every student the opportunity to succeed.
On June 28, I helped cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the Leavenworth Park and Ride. This brings closure to the hard work I put into securing the funds necessary for this facility.
In July, I toured Methow Recycles and learned about challenges facing this industry. Recycling reduces waste. It also spurs economic activity by providing a source for materials that can produce new goods and jobs. Several problems and issues in the industry have caused a decline in the recycling process. Recycling waste cost-effectively is a growing public policy concern. We need to work with industry experts to create more productive outcomes for the industry.
In August, the National Conference of State Legislators brought together lawmakers and staff from around the country. We learned about innovations in public policy and discussed how to improve the effectiveness of state government. Some issues tackled included K-12 and higher education, budgeting and finance, criminal justice reform, behavioral health challenges, economic development, and transportation infrastructure.
The Methow River's steady erosion continues to threaten Twisp's Community Covenant Church. In July, officials from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) met with church officials and others to advise them on how to protect their infrastructure. During the meeting, we also learned about future flood control and erosion abatement plans for the area.
Not all the events this summer were about public policy. Some were just good old-fashioned community fun! A big thank you to the people of Cashmere for inviting me to attend the Founder's Day Parade on June 29.
Pie Hard! The Apple Pie Jamboree in Pateros was a blast! I was happy to help at this delicious event, which raises funds for local students, clubs, and other groups.
As always, if you have questions or you would like to meet with me to discuss state government-related issues, contact me at (360) 786-7832 or email email@example.com.
It's an honor to serve you!