Hi Friends -
As many of you know, Congress holds a district work period in August to enable Members of Congress to spend more time meeting with the folks they represent. I’ve been running from pillar to post around our region - attending festivals and fairs; meeting with businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations; and making myself available on ferries, outside the shipyard, and everywhere else I can to connect with folks.
Importantly, this extended period allows me to spend lots of time visiting with all of YOU and hearing what’s on your mind. I always value the chance to learn more about what I can do to lend a hand.
During these conversations across the district, many folks frequently ask: “When you’re home in the district, what does a day look like?”
So, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of an average day during the district work period. Without further ado, I give you:
Monday, August 12
5:45am - Wake Up
Today’s an early day - so I grab a couple cups of coffee, a quick bite, and get ready for a drive.
6:45am - Drive to Port Townsend
The district I have the honor of representing includes over 710,000 people and covers just under 7,000 square miles! It’s my responsibility to make sure I am representing people in every corner of the district, and today, I’m starting my day off by driving to Jefferson County.
8:30am - Tour the Port Townsend Paper Corporation
First stop: the Port Townsend Paper Company. I had a great opportunity to visit with the mill’s leadership team to hear about the substantial investments being made in the mill and then I took a tour. They recycle nearly 1/3 of all the cardboard in Washington state. It was great to see the mill in operation and to see the economic impact they are having.
10:00am - Meet with the Jefferson County Immigration Rights Advocates (JCIRA)
I caught up in Port Townsend with a nonprofit called the Jefferson County Immigration Rights Advocates. We discussed the humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border and the work I’m doing in Congress to ensure that our immigration laws treat immigrants and refugees with dignity. As I’ve written previously, I believe Congress should prevent the separation of children from their parents, deny funding for detention centers with clear records of abuse, end the use of private prisons and county jails to detain immigrants, set humane standards for detention facilities, and should protect immigrant detainees from abuse (more about those efforts in my newsletter last month!).
11:15am - Meet with Jefferson Healthcare Employees
I started my visit at Jefferson Healthcare by having a meeting with their leadership team to talk about potential legislation to ensure that rural hospitals can offer - and get reimbursed adequately -for the services folks in our region need. After that, I had a chance to speak with 25 new employees during their orientation. We talked about integrated behavioral health and the importance of job creation for our region. This team is providing critical services for Jefferson County!
12:45pm - Drive to Port Hadlock
1:30pm - Tour Naval Magazine Indian Island
Next, I met with Donald Emerson, the new Commanding Officer at Naval Magazine Indian Island, which provides operational ordinance logistics in support of Navy, Joint, and Allied forces in the region. I got to meet with some of the firefighters on-base and got to tour some of the new construction happening.
2:45pm - Speak at the Kilisut Harbor Restoration Project Groundbreaking
I then joined the groundbreaking at the Kilisut Harbor Restoration Project - a collaborative project led by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition to restore historic tidal channels and fish runs. It’s a fantastic project highlighting federal, state, tribal, and nonprofit cooperation and coordination in our region! We’ve got a lot of work to do to restore salmon, and this project will be a positive step forward. Plus - it was a gorgeous setting!
4:30pm - Drive to Silverdale
6:00pm - Meet with Kitsap County Central Labor Council
In my final meeting of the day, I joined the Kitsap County Central Labor Council for their regular meeting to talk about needs of Kitsap County workers, and the work I’m doing in Congress to fight for federal workers and help create a skilled and prepared workforce for the future.
7:00pm - Head Home
7:30pm - Dinner with My Girls
One of the best parts of August is I get to see my daughters and wife a bit. That night’s offering: breakfast for dinner!
9:00pm - Catch-Up on Letters
As many readers know, I’m committed to responding to the folks I represent. Here’s the deal - if you call or email and ask for a response back, you’ll get one. I wrote a few letters to respond to ongoing federal and local developments and let folks know what I’m doing to help!
10:00pm - Bed Time
That’s a wrap! Time for bed. Up early the next day for another full day!
I could’ve given plenty of other examples. On Thursday the 15th, my travels took me to the Bainbridge Island Oatmeal Club, coffee with a constituent to talk about criminal justice reform, two Kilmer at Your Company visits on Bainbridge, two company visits in Mason County, and then the Shelton-Mason Chamber’s annual Dinner at the Lake.
Or Friday the 16th which included the Naval Base Kitsap Change of Command (welcome Captain Rhinehart!), a visit to the Bremerton Salvation Army, and visits with the leadership of the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center and Kitsap Transit. I ended that day by honoring Vietnam Era Veterans at a pinning ceremony in Bremerton (see more below)!
In other words, every day is an adventure! And every day it’s an honor to serve you!
Honoring a Community and American Hero
Speaking of spending time in Bremerton... I’m excited to announce that at the end of July, I introduced a bill, co-sponsored by the entire Washington congressional delegation, to rename the Bremerton Post Office to honor John Henry Turpin, a distinguished U.S. Navy sailor who called Bremerton home for most of his life. Turpin is believed to be the first African-American to qualify as a Master Diver (1915) and was one of the first African-Americans to achieve the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. His distinguished thirty-year career in the U.S. Navy included service during the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, and World War I.
Mr. Turpin’s outstanding legacy of service to our country is made even more significant by the era of prejudice and discrimination during which he served. He repeatedly answered the call of duty to his country, served with great distinction, and rose in rank throughout his Navy career.
I was proud to work with exceptional community leaders like Karen Vargas, Mayor Wheeler, local NAACP leaders, and others, to ensure we found a proper way to cherish Mr. Turpin’s legacy and make sure that future generations know his story. His life-long and selfless commitment to the defense of America, American values, and the American way of life is worthy of our recognition and praise.
Being Accessible to YOU - Upcoming Town Halls
I work for the people I represent and it’s important to me that I get opportunities to hear directly from you. I hope folks will be able to join one of my upcoming town halls to share their ideas and concerns - and if you can’t make it in person, I’ll be hosting a tele-townhall, too.
Doors open a half hour before the start of each in-person town hall. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, August 26, 2019 at 5:30pm
McCausland Hall (next to Westport Maritime Museum)
2201 Westhaven Dr,
Westport, WA 98595
Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 6:00pm
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Rd NE
Kingston, WA 98346
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 5:30pm
Peninsula High School Auditorium
14105 Purdy Dr. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 5:30pm
Rainforest Arts Center
35 N Forks Ave
Forks, WA 98331
Monday, September 9, 2019 at 5:00pm
Telephone Town Hall
Residents of the 6th District who would like to join the call can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, address, and phone number by Sunday, September 8. Residents who sign up before the deadline will receive a phone call on Monday, September 9 inviting them to the telephone town hall.
Working For You
Celebrating Cool New Jobs and Investment in Tacoma
I was excited to celebrate NewCold and their investment in Tacoma last week. Through a partnership with Tacoma Power and BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial program, their local storage warehouse is one of the most energy-efficient cold storage warehouses in the country. This project is not only cold - it’s cool. It’s cool to see that an employer can invest in innovative technologies and also invest in its people. It’s cool to see that a company like this can do the right thing for the planet by investing in energy efficiency and improve their competitiveness at the same time. And it’s cool to see jobs being created in our community.
Honoring Our Vietnam Era Veterans
On behalf of this community and a grateful nation, I was honored to hold a Vietnam Veteran Era pinning ceremony in Bremerton. I was joined by Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler and the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 5 in thanking local veterans for their service. Thanks to everyone who came out! And thanks to all who serve!
OK - that’s it for now, folks. As always, I’m honored to represent you.
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