Legislative 'Wake-Up Call' events planned

KENNEWICK -- The Washington Policy Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization with offices in Spokane and the Tri-Cities, is planning 12 "Wake-Up Call" legislative forums in Eastern Washington during the 2011 legislative session that begins Monday.

Forums will rotate among the four largest cities in Eastern Washington, and will be held in the Tri-Cities on Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12 at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce office in Kennewick, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Center.

All of the free breakfast events will begin at 7 a.m.

Council officials said the forums are designed to give citizens an update on what's happening in Olympia and to connect them live with their lawmakers to offer feedback.

"Eastern Washingtonians often feel left out of the legislative process, and we're trying to change that with these special events featuring state and Eastern Washington policymakers," said Washington Policy Center President Dann Mead Smith.

The events will feature a presentation from WPC and a question and answer session with lawmakers in Olympia.

Other forums will be held as follows:

* Spokane: Jan. 18, Feb, 15, March 22 - Quality Inn Hotel Spokane Valley.

* Yakima: Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 29 - Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce.

* Wenatchee: Feb. 1, March 1, April 5 - Banner Bank, 501 N. Mission.

The events are free, but attendees should RSVP by calling 509-570-2384 or e-mailing wakeupcall@washingtonpolicy.org.

More information is available at www.washingtonpolicy.org/wakeupcallforums.