Hawkins’ fourth annual ‘listening tour’ to be held virtually Dec. 10

Sen. Brad Hawkins will hold his fourth annual 12th District “listening tour” on Thursday, Dec. 10. It will be conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meetings with Hawkins during this year’s virtual tour will take place through Zoom video conferencing or traditional conference phone calls, each lasting up to 20 minutes. Individuals or groups interested in meeting with Hawkins should contact his office at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov or 360-688-8951 to schedule an appointment and receive information about the technology details. In addition to the individual or group appointments, Hawkins will host two virtual “community meetings” via Zoom at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 10, each lasting about one hour, and everyone is invited.

“As the state senator for the 12th District, it is very helpful for me to hear directly from constituents, which is why I started conducting annual listening tours,” said Hawkins. “Due to the ongoing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve decided to make this year’s listening tour a virtual tour so I can meet safely with my constituents and hear their ideas, thoughts, and concerns. It’s very helpful for me to hear directly from the people I serve.”

During past listening tours, Hawkins has met with individuals, employers, local government officials, and community groups. In the two virtual community meetings, Hawkins will provide an overview of the upcoming 2021 legislative session, discuss the state’s budget challenges, and answer questions. Hawkins plans to dedicate much of the community meeting time to hearing directly from constituents or groups. To accommodate as many community members as possible, participants will have a couple minutes each, depending on the total number of people interested in speaking.

Hawkins said a listening tour, which has been held in past years, allows him to hear ideas and concerns that can be turned into successful legislative action.

“During the 2017 listening tour, Leavenworth officials told me an issue about disposing of brush and yard clippings and worked with me to enact a new law in 2018 to address it,” said Hawkins. “A funding request related to the Saddle Rock trail in Wenatchee became reality when it was included in the state capital budget two years ago, and a road paving project to a popular fishing location in Okanogan County was recently funded. All of them were ideas presented by constituents during past listening tours.”

As in the past three years, Hawkins has invited legislative staff to join him on this year’s tour, including his office staff, communications staff and issue specialists. “People appreciated us making these resources available to their communities, and it’s good for our staff to hear directly from people about the issues of interest in our region,” said Hawkins. “If we need to research concerns or begin developing ideas, we are ready to do that.”