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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you and your families well! Since the Legislature adjourned on April 25, I’ve been busy working on the issues that impact our district and state. Our battle against COVID-19 is nearing the 18-month mark, and we continue to see improvements and setbacks. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone experiencing hardships due to the current surge in cases.

In this e-newsletter, I’ll provide my thoughts on the current response to the pandemic surge, including the complex and personal decision to receive the vaccine – or not.

We’ve seen success in the state’s approach in providing the opportunity for people to become vaccinated. Per the Washington State Department of Health, as of August 22, 72.4% of Washingtonians have received at least one dose of the vaccine – including myself – as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

Many of you have chosen not to get vaccinated for a myriad of reasons. I support your right to make your own health care decisions.

On August 9, Gov. Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14, mandating most state employees, health, and long-term care workers are vaccinated by Oct. 18 or risk losing their jobs. On August 18, the governor further extended this mandate through Proclamation 21-14.1 to include those working in childcare, early learning, K-12, and higher education institutions.

I have received thousands of emails and calls from constituents, frontline workers, teachers, contractors, etc., from across the 2nd District regarding these mandates. I want to thank you for reaching out to me with your concerns, frustrations, and fears.

Using this aggressive tact, the governor hopes to achieve a higher vaccination percentage amongst Washingtonians. I have to disagree with his direction of using threats and severe consequences as the means to combat COVID-19.

The governor should not be acting alone without the Legislature’s involvement. Along with my Republican colleagues, I think there are better solutions and will continue to work hard to reverse his direction. We believe he needs to remove these mandates, and by working together, we can educate, encourage, and support everyone’s choice in fighting this virus. We’ve also:

Emergency powers reform will continue to be a legislative priority for my colleagues and me. 

Please click here for information on the vaccine mandates, general COVID-19 details, and the Republican response. You may also contact my office.

In my next e-newsletter, I’ll update you on the work I’ve been doing in the transportation and housing arenas and how I’m already preparing for the 2022 legislative session.

In Service,

Andrew Barkis

State Representative Andrew Barkis, 2nd Legislative District
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7824 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000