Opinion-editorial by Brad Hawkins: Proudly Serving Lake Chelan

Special to the Lake Chelan Mirror


The 12th Legislative District is one of the largest and most beautiful districts in our state. Its boundaries include Chelan County, Douglas County, and portions of Grant and Okanogan counties. When my legislative colleagues in Olympia first asked me what district I represented, I used to try to answer by explaining these expansive geographic boundaries. Then I learned an easier way: “Have you ever been to Lake Chelan?,” I’d ask. Of course they had. “That’s my district,” I’d say proudly.

It’s fun to hear their memories of family visits or even business trips to beautiful Lake Chelan. I join them in similar stories having visited Lake Chelan with my own family for many years. The Chelan area is truly a wonderful place to visit – for those far away or just on the other side of the mountains.

I enjoyed a recent visit to Chelan, as your state representative, to hear directly from constituents and local leaders. It is important for me to hear from you and to experience my district in between the months the Legislature is not in session. I’m sure my colleagues in Olympia are envious of my time in Chelan for work, but, after all, it is my job.

As a member of the House Education Committee, our district’s first since 1978, it’s my job to connect with local schools. As a former school board member, I want to see how state policy is being implemented and to hear directly from the dedicated people on the front lines educating children. I recently met with Superintendent Manahan, Lake Chelan School Board members and teachers. I enjoyed a similar visit with Superintendent Charlton, Manson School Board members and teachers. Walking the halls of your schools with these leaders was a memorable and educational experience. You can be proud of the high-quality education being delivered in your classrooms.

I also enjoyed my visit to Karma Vineyards and experiencing one of the many fantastic wineries in the Chelan area. It was great to hear Julie Pittsinger’s story of success and passion for her product. This is a booming industry in our state and one where our district succeeds at not only growing grapes – but jobs.

The wineries are also contributing to the all-important tourism industry in Chelan. In fact, tourism was a major topic during my lunch meeting with the Campbell family. What an honor it was for me to hear directly from multiple generations of Campbells as they discussed their 100-year operation of a service business in Chelan and the importance of tourism to our state and your area.

Tourists could not safely travel to Lake Chelan, the unique body of water that it is, if not for state and city infrastructure. The highways to the Chelan area, the Woodin Avenue Bridge, and the No See-Um Intersection were just a few of the topics I discussed with Mayor Goedde, Administrator Schmidt and the city council. I also had the chance to visit your beautiful new library. Your community has dedicated and engaged leaders who care about the proud history – and promising future – of your community.

When I serve in Olympia this session, I will hold onto the things I learned from your leaders. When my legislative colleagues come tell me how much fun they had in Lake Chelan this summer, knowing that I represent this area, I will once again respond proudly and say, “Yep, that’s my district!” Please help me continue to represent your interests. Contact me anytime or visit my website at www.representativebradhawkins.com to sign up for email updates. If you are ever in Olympia, please stop in. It is my honor to serve and represent you!


Brad Hawkins (R-East Wenatchee) is a state representative for the 12th Legislative District, which includes Chelan, Douglas and portions of Grant and Okanogan counties. He can be reached at 360-786-7832, by e-mail at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov, or via his official website at www.representativebradhawkins.com.