COVID-19: Opening Washington state back up for business

Dear neighbor,

Three weeks ago, my wife Erin gave birth to our daughter Aubrey Rose. Erin and Aubrey are healthy, and we are grateful to so many friends and neighbors who have sent notes of congratulations. Baby Aubrey is a reminder to us of God’s blessings in the midst of this very challenging time for our whole world.

Every day, citizens contact me to share some of the difficulties they are experiencing in this time, or to voice their opinions about how we might move forward as a state. Some have shared valuable information that has helped me to better understand our present situation. Others have passed along messages they have sent to Governor Inslee as he exercises the emergency powers given to him under state law. I have heard from small business owners who are eager to get back to work safely when they can, unemployed workers who are struggling to access unemployment benefits during a time of overwhelming demand, and sportsmen who would like to resume activities like recreational fishing.

As the days pass and the statewide Stay Home order continues, many are anxious about finances, the economy and what lies ahead in the future. But we are making progress in our fight against coronavirus, together.

I am more thankful than ever for the amazing people who work in our health care system, who go to work every day and who make a tremendous difference for the people they care for. I am thankful for those who keep our food supply chain working, from farmers to truck drivers to grocery workers. I am thankful for our first responders. And I am thankful for our food banks and other local charities that go the extra mile to help people when they fall on hard times.

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