Dear friends and neighbors,

I always enjoy town hall meetings, but Monday’s was extra special. The level of participation was by far our highest ever, and it showed in the quality of discussion. The questions were plentiful and knowledgeable, and that’s important—my district seatmates, Rep. Steve Tharinger and Rep. Mike Chapman, and I rely on these forums to get a true sense of the concerns and priorities in our communities.

I know we say this a lot, but it bears repeating—the better we know what’s on your mind, the more we can make sure we’re addressing your needs in Olympia. That makes the tremendous feedback we got Monday night invaluable.

It also made two things crystal clear. First, our neighbors keep their eyes on the ball; we had to postpone our original town hall in February due to technological problems, but instead of getting annoyed or disinterested, folks took part in greater numbers than ever. Second, it shows we can all maintain effective lines of communication even during a pandemic.

If there was any drawback, it was that participation was so strong that there were far more questions than we could answer in one hour. But that’s a good problem to have—and another sign of fantastic engagement. It’s no accident our communities are popular places to live: it’s a direct reflection of people’s willingness to dedicate an hour on a Monday night to make their voices heard.