Local legislators host town halls

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim), Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) and Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) begin a town hall tour of the northern 24th District to listen to the ideas, concerns and comments of people before the start of the 2018 legislative session.

“The three of us bring a varied and broad knowledge of the district to Olympia, but that knowledge constantly needs updating,” said Van De Wege, who was recently named the new chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee.

“The better we understand what’s on people’s minds right now, the better we can make sure we focus on folks’ most urgent needs,” he said.

Town halls are set for:

• 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the First Congregational Church, 280 S. Spartan Ave., Forks;

• 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the Peninsula College Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, and,

• 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St., Port Townsend.

“Hearing directly from the people we represent is incredibly important,” Tharinger said. “Listening is the first part of leadership. I’m always interested in hearing your stories, your ideas and ways we can partner up to make this a better place to work and live.”

Van De Wege, Tharinger and Chapman also do telephone town halls that reach the entire 24th District, including Grays Harbor.

“We’re trying to give people every possible avenue to learn about the issues important to their families and have a dialogue with us about solutions,” Chapman said.

“Our district is a lot bigger than most so it’s our goal to be available in whatever way that works for the people we have the privilege to represent: by telephone town halls, email updates or old-fashioned town halls like these.”

The 2018 legislative session is set to start on Jan. 8.

Find information on proposed laws, hearings on legislation and ways to contact lawmakers at www.leg.wa.gov. Also, watch live broadcasts of floor debate and committee hearings at www.tvw.org.

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