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Governor Chris Gregoire Asks Citizens to Help Chart a Course for the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—September 26 , 2007

OLYMPIA –Governor Chris Gregoire wants to know what Washingtonians think about state government and what their priorities are for the future of Washington. 

Governor Gregoire will conduct a series of town hall meetings and citizen workshops in October to listen to feedback from citizens and share her vision for the future of the state.  The statewide series will kickoff with a town hall meeting October 3rd in Seattle.

“I am excited to once again travel around the state and talk with citizens about what matters most to them,” said Governor Gregoire.  “Not only do I think it’s important for me to stay in touch and talk to people all over Washington, but the information we learned in these meetings last year helped us set priorities.”

These public meetings are required and funded by the Legislature, which passed a law in 2005 requiring that the Governor seek public involvement and input on state priorities.

Governor Gregoire last fall conducted a similar series of town hall meetings across the state.  She will visit different communities this year to continue listening to citizens, and to report back on the progress that has been made on issues they said were most important.

Washingtonians in 2006 overwhelmingly said education, the economy and health care were top priorities, and Governor Gregoire focused largely on those issues with her Washington Learns initiative, the Blue Ribbon Commission on health care, and record investments in small business development and local economies.

The town hall meetings are open to any citizen who wishes to attend.  Individuals should pre-register at http://www.governor.wa.gov/ to help the Governor’s office properly plan for the number of people who want to attend.

On the day of the town hall, directors of some state agencies will also meet with community organizations and individuals to have a conversation about the future of the state.

To better inform Governor Gregoire and her administration about local issues in each community that they are visiting, 50 citizens in each community will be selected at random to participate in an interactive workshop to identify top priorities in detail and to determine how best to evaluate and communicate how government is working. 

Town hall meetings this year will be held in Seattle, Bellingham, Aberdeen, Yakima, Tacoma and Spokane Valley and are open to the public.  Governor Gregoire in 2006 held town halls in Puyallup, Everett, Vancouver, the Tri-Cities and Spokane. Specific dates and locations will be announced in advance of each meeting.

Contact: Glenn Kuper, Office of Financial Management, 360-902-7607