Hawkins to hold second annual ‘listening tour’ in mid-September

Sen. Brad Hawkins has announced the times and locations for his 12th District “listening tour” in mid-September. Similar to his listening tour last fall, Hawkins will visit all four counties in the legislative district with his legislative staff. His tour this year will include some of the same stops as last year, such as Leavenworth, Wenatchee, and Chelan along with a mix of new locations, including Cashmere, Coulee City, Soap Lake, Waterville, Bridgeport, and Twisp.

“The listening tour idea was something I attempted last year to be creative and people responded very positively,” Hawkins said. “It’s very helpful for me to hear directly from the people I serve.” He noted some of the ideas brought to him last year resulted in legislative action, including an idea from Leavenworth officials to dispose of brush and yard clippings, a funding request related to the Saddle Rock trail system, and other legislative suggestions.

Meetings will be available by appointment and likely include visits with individuals, employers, local governments, and community groups. He noted the 12th District’s location in north central Washington can make it challenging for people to reach the Capitol in Olympia during a legislative session. “Being accessible and being a good listener are two things I take great pride in,” said Hawkins. “I don’t want people to feel that they need to travel all the way over to Olympia in the middle of winter just to share their thoughts with me on issues.”

Like last year, Hawkins has invited legislative staff to accompany him on the tour, including his office aides and issue specialists. “People appreciated us making these resources available to their communities, and it’s good for the 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.”

Hawkins will meet by appointment at public locations in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties and asks that people e-mail brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov or phone his legislative office in Olympia at 360-786-7622 to schedule an appointment. The community stops are not town hall meetings. Because there may not be time available for day-of, unscheduled visits, people are asked to contact Hawkins’ office in advance for an appointment. The listening tour locations and appointment time blocks are:

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Leavenworth: Leavenworth City Hall (700 Highway 2), 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Cashmere: Attending September 11th Memorial Service 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wenatchee: Confluence Technology Center (285 Technology Center Way), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Chelan: Chelan City Hall (135 E. Johnson), 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Coulee City: Coulee City Fire Station meeting room (401 W. Main St.), 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Soap Lake: Soap Lake City Hall (239 2nd Ave. SE), 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 13

Waterville: Douglas County Courthouse (213 S. Rainier St.), 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Bridgeport: Bridgeport City Hall (1206 Columbia Ave.), 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Twisp: TwispWorks Executive Board Room (502 S. Glover St.), 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 14

Winthrop: Community Hike up Patterson Mountain, 10 a.m.

Hawkins will conclude his district tour Sept. 14 by leading a community hike on Patterson Mountain near Winthrop, starting at 10 a.m. The Patterson Mountain trail, which is near Sun Mountain Lodge, offers sweeping views of the Methow Valley from Twisp to Mazama. Everyone is invited to participate on the hike and no appointment or RSVP is needed. Those participating in the hike are encouraged to bring sunscreen and water.

(Directions to reach the Patterson Mountain trailhead: If you are traveling west on Highway 20 toward Winthrop, turn left onto Twin Lakes Road and follow it for 3.1 miles. Turn right on Patterson Lake Road and follow it for 4.0 miles. The trailhead parking lot is on the left. A Discover Pass is needed to park in the trailhead lot. Vehicles can be parked on the road shoulder without needing a Discover Pass.)

“We concluded last year’s listening tour with a community hike up Saddle Rock and this year we’ve planned something similar in the Methow Valley,” said Hawkins. “The 12th District is beautiful and known for its outdoor recreation, so it’s fun to experience that together and connect with people in a different way.”