Governor Jay Inslee is looking for ways to grow Washington State through economic development. On Thursday, he met with Latino business leaders at the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Pasco to address their concerns.
In the packed conference room, the governor stated, “We have to increase our housing stock or we will have increased homelessness because 65,000 people are moving into the State of Washington.”
He attributed this growth to our great economy, as well as the smart people here in Tri-Cities.
The governor is also focused on helping small businesses. “We have lots of contracts with the Department of Transportation in Washington and one possible solution, is breaking those larger contracts into smaller pieces so small businesses get more access to those state contracts.”
He added that efforts are underway to train people to navigate small business owners through the application process of doing business with the state.
The attending group kept the governor fielding topics ranging from ICE deportations, the future of agriculture, wildfires, development plans, along with the plight of homelessness.
At one point, when asked by Chamber members how he would help their community with the variety of issues, his response was to get out and vote this November.
A Dreamer businesswoman shared the fear that even though her family had good jobs and paid taxes, the current administration’s new sanctions might threaten them with deportation; the governor expressed compassion and his appreciation for her honesty.
When a local business leader spoke about utilizing a vacant downtown building for revitalization efforts such as The Pasco Farmers Market, he was met with encouragement.
The event wound down as Governor Inslee was asked about a 2020 Presidential run; he wasn’t telling but he did say, “We’re not waiting for 2020, were fighting in 2018.