From the Desk of the Mayor April 2023
Outside my work office window at City Hall is a lovely cherry blossom tree. Each year I notice different varieties of birds enjoying the first nectar of the season. This year, an unintended surprise landed upon the scene; an early migrating hummingbird, I suppose from someplace much warmer. A shout out to Hummingbirds everywhere- welcome home and thank you for being a part of my happy space.
It is always near the end of April when anticipated news comes to the city from our state legislators. Sine Die (Seen-aye Dee-aye) meaning, without a day, a term used to describe an ‘adjournment when the date to reconvene is not specified’. In layman’s terms- The State Legislative session is complete for the year. Between all of the bills going back and forth between State Senate and State House of Representatives, the City Council also has a State Legislative Agenda which is a list of council approved priorities requested of our State Legislators, Senator Jeff Wilson, and Representatives Jim Walsh and Representative Joel McEntire. These legislators do a remarkable job of representing the city’s priorities while away in Olympia writing and advocating for and against bills and policy for the state.
In addition to the many trips our council members and staff make to Olympia to advocate on behalf of our city, the city does employ a lobbyist team to represent us in Olympia. State lobbyists from the firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Josh Weiss and Annika Vaughn work directly with our legislators to advocate for our city’s legislative agenda. Some of the capital budget request priorities for the 2023 session from the City of Longview included: Martin’s Dock at Lake Sacajawea infrastructure replacement, Windemere park playground replacement, and Highland’s neighborhood lighting. The city is hopeful that these priority items will be funded this session. We also advocate for changes to certain public policy measures including concerning law and justice, public safety, housing, and costly regulations and burdensome mandates for example.
Early in May a few council members and our city manager will collaborate with our Federal Congressional representatives, US Senator Maria Cantwell, US Senator Patty Murray and US Representative Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez and many Federal agencies in Washington DC, facilitated by our Federal Lobbyist Joel Rubin of CFM Associates. Our Federal Legislative agenda includes Congressionally Directed Spending Requests for Hope Village, Columbia Heights Road Safety Improvement Project, Phase 2, Downtown Streetscape Project, and a Dedicated Fill line to Water Reservoir Project, Phase 1. While in DC, we will talk with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department of Justice. Our city has public safety, transportation, and infrastructure needs and we hope to return to the city with a positive report that our voices for these priorities will be heard.
All of the collaborative efforts of our state and federal legislators and lobbyists are appreciated. It’s truly a team effort. State and congressionally designated funding and grants are dedicated and can be directed towards our community, and if not our community, they will flutter off like a hummingbird to bless another community. The intention - to benefit our community and bring joy and happiness to the citizens in our city. Our council is working closely with our legislators and lobbyists to ensure our needs are well represented. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to do so.
Happy Spring everyone! What brings you joy and happiness? For me, it’s hummingbirds flying back home, and family all the way!
Blessings to you all,
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis