Last week was an eventful one in Washington’s First Congressional District. We had both Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visit us.
On Tuesday, Secretary Vilsack joined me for a community conversation with local farmers, foresters and ranchers at Washington State University’s (WSU) Mount Vernon Research Center. Since being elected to Congress, it’s been a priority of mine to work with our farmers and ranchers to support the amazing work they do in our region. Agriculture is a vital part of our state’s economy, contributing $49 billion of economic activity each year. As the highest ranking agriculture official in the federal government, I was pleased Secretary Vilsack met with our local farmers and community leaders to answer questions on farming, nutrition and forestry, among other topics, and to hear their feedback.
Just two days later, Secretary Jewell came to the district. We’re fortunate to have a Washingtonian like her in the administration. She understands the Pacific Northwest and its unique natural landscape. While she was here, we had the opportunity to participate in a Great ShakeOut Day earthquake drill with a Darrington Middle School science class at the Oso Firehouse, and we joined a roundtable with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to discuss the region’s unique natural disaster threats, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires and landslides.
I also had the honor of taking her to a region that will always be near and dear to my heart – the communities of Oso and Darrington. Overlooking the site of the landslide, with local scientists and stakeholders, we discussed the need to increase federal resources for preparedness and research efforts to prevent future natural disasters from becoming national tragedies. I plan to address that by introducing legislation to increase funding for landslide research and mapping efforts conducted by USGS.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the IRS or the VA, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.