Hawkins plans first annual ‘listening tour’

EAST WENATCHEE…Sen. Brad Hawkins today announced he will visit several 12th District communities this fall to hear directly from constituents. The first of what Hawkins expects to become an annual “listening tour” is set for Thursday, Oct. 5 through the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7.

“I greatly value being able to hear directly from the people I serve – individual constituents, employers, local governments and community groups. This is an awesome legislative district, but our location can make it challenging for people to get to the Capitol when I’m there. Even then, my office receives many requests for meetings, and it’s difficult to make everything line up.

“I thought this would be a creative way to go out and connect with people where they are, so I can listen to their thoughts and concerns,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins will meet by appointment at public locations in Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties. On Oct. 5 he’ll start at Leavenworth City Hall, then stop at Wenatchee’s Confluence Technology Center and the Douglas County Public Services Building in East Wenatchee, make a visit to Pybus Public Market, and wrap up that evening at the Port of Quincy. The tour’s second day opens at the Lake Chelan School District board room, with visits to the Sweet River Bakery in Pateros and Alta Lake State Park on the way to late-afternoon appointments in Winthrop.

Hawkins asks that people email him at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov or phone his legislative office at 360-786-7622 to arrange appointments.

“Organizations that have met with me in the past will notice the timing is earlier, but my hope is that they along with any new groups will take this opportunity to meet up at one of our tour stops,” he said.

“Touching base in October is good because the Senate committees meet in November to prepare for the 2018 session, and it also lets everyone steer clear of the crazy schedules common around the holidays.”

Hawkins said there will be two meeting opportunities in the Wenatchee area where no appointments are needed. One is the Oct. 5 stop at Pybus Public Market; the second will be a community hike up Saddle Rock. Hawkins and others who want to join him for the hike will depart from the Saddle Rock Gateway starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.

“I think this will be a great way to end the tour, enjoying some of our famous outdoor recreation at an iconic Wenatchee Valley location that now offers better community access thanks, in part, to a state grant. I’ll enjoy the opportunity to catch up with folks at the gateway, at the top, or along the way.”

Hawkins intends to choose different locations throughout the 12th District’s four counties in future years. “Over time, I think we’ll cover a lot of ground and connect with a lot of people.”

Hawkins will be joined by his legislative assistant, Jack Grimm, and other staff.