Dear Friends and Neighbors,
While the Legislature is no longer in session, I continue to represent you and our wonderful 6th Legislative District throughout the year. It's been great to be back home after spending more than 100 days in Olympia! The summer was extremely busy and the fall is shaping up to be more of the same as I attend community meetings, meet with constituents and tour the industries, schools and health care facilities in our district.
One of the most pressing issues in our region is the ongoing homelessness, drug and crime epidemic. I've met with law enforcement, toured the jails, met with homelessness advocates, and had conversations with many of you. And I want to continue those conversations in a broader, more inclusive way by hosting a criminal justice town hall meeting to hear from you directly! I invite you to join me and your neighbors on Wednesday, October 2 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Airway Heights Recreation Center (11405 W Deno Rd. in Airway Heights). I want to hear about the frustrations you have, the problems you and your family are facing, as well as any solutions you can think of. I also want to hear if you think state and local governments are doing something wrong in trying to address these issues. Sometimes it feels like government does something just for the sake of doing something! Is that the case here? I want to know. I hope you can join us for this town hall as homelessness continues to impact us all.
I was able to tour the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on the Snake River, as well as Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River. There is once again a movement – driven mostly by radical environmentalists out of California and Seattle – to remove the Snake River dams. The impetus now is so that a handful of Orcas in the Puget Sound can be saved. This “crisis du jour,” however, is offset by facts. And the facts, as explained to us by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries, say that recent downward trends for many salmon populations is largely due to unfavorably warm ocean conditions and that “No salmon recovery effort on a single river will bring about recovery of Southern Resident killer whales on its own.” In addition, the salmon in the Snake River dam system make up an extremely small portion of the Orca diet.
The dams in our state continue to provide affordable, green, renewable energy. They are a huge economic boon to our local economies. They also serve as our “agriculture highway” for farmers and growers to get products to overseas markets.
I will continue to fight against any effort to remove these vital pieces of infrastructure from our state.
As folks get back into the swing of the school year, please know that I am available to meet with your community group, civic organization, fraternal order, or church group. This is your state government; I'm here to be of service and to be your voice. Please let me know how I can help. And again, I hope to see you next week at our town hall meeting!