Hawkins’ sixth annual ‘listening tour’ begins in Chelan County Sept. 13-16

State senator offers district residents choice of meeting in person, via Zoom or by phone

Sen. Brad Hawkins will soon hold his sixth annual 12th District “listening tour,” starting with visits to several Chelan County communities for meetings in mid-September.

“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. “After meeting primarily via Zoom the past two years because of the pandemic, I’m pleased to resume in-person meetings for those wishing to meet face to face, although we will also make Zoom or phone meetings available.”

This year’s listening tour will be split between the traditional areas of the 12th District and the new western areas of the district resulting from the recent redrawing of the state’s legislative district boundaries.

Hawkins begins his listening tour on Sept. 13 with stops in Cashmere and Leavenworth, followed by meetings in Wenatchee on Sept. 14-15 before concluding the Chelan County part of the tour with appointments in Chelan on Sept. 16. The meetings will be scheduled approximately 20 minutes apart to accommodate as many groups as possible. The first meeting each day will begin at 8 a.m. and the last will end at 5 p.m.

During past listening tours, meetings included businesses, local governments, and community groups.

All meetings are by appointment. Those interested in meeting with Hawkins should contact his office at brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov or 360-688-8951. Hawkins’ staff will provide the necessary technical details to constituents who prefer to meet via Zoom or by phone.

Hawkins said his annual listening tour allows him to hear ideas and concerns that can be turned into successful legislative action.

“Leavenworth officials told me in 2017 about 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 four years ago, and a road paving project to a popular fishing location in Okanogan County was recently funded. Last year, a Methow Valley biochar demonstration project was funded for forest management purposes along with funding for renovations at the city of Wenatchee’s Community Center utilized by Pinnacles Prep School. All of them were ideas discussed with constituents during past listening tours.”

As in the past five 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.”

The remaining leg of the listening tour will take place Nov. 14–18 in the parts of the 12th District now in King and Snohomish counties.

PHOTO CAPTION: The first stop on Sen. Hawkins’ 2018 listening tour took him to the city of Leavenworth to meet with the City Council. His Senate Bill 6055 was signed by the governor in 2018 to assist the city in disposing of its brush and yard waste. Smiling in this photo is the late councilmember Carolyn Wilson (light-colored shirt), who sadly passed away last month.