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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Our communities continue to respond and cope in the aftermath of the Oso mudslide. The collective strength and courage of the people involved is pushing back on the devastation and sadness. The best of our communities is on display in our greatest time of need. There are so many individuals and groups to acknowledge and thank, but it begins with the first responders and local citizens who continue to work tirelessly on recovery efforts. So many people have played roles – small and large. It is truly inspiring.

I haven't taken to the podium in the news conferences I have participated in, or sought to be be a part of the stories that have appeared in our news outlets. Rather, I'm just trying to do all I can behind the scenes to help. Since March 22, I have participated in briefings with the governor and other officials, attended community meetings in Darrington and Arlington, assisted with coordination of some charitable endeavors, listened and responded to those who are working on the recovery, and helped with logistics for various things. I have also spent time at the slide site with local citizens and search-and-rescue teams. Like everyone else, I wish I could do more.

How you can help

Many of you have contacted me expressing your concern and desire to help. I really appreciate it. There are many outstanding charitable and fundraising causes. Perhaps you are directly involved with some of these causes. The Everett Herald lists many of them here. I join our Secretary of State in reminding people there are scam artists out there who are willing to take advantage of our generosity. Please be careful if you decide to help financially. Below are a few efforts that I would like to highlight:

  • American Red Cross – Snohomish County
  • United Way of Snohomish County
  • Coastal Community Bank is accepting donations for slide victims at all branches: Darrington, Camano Island, Everett, Monroe, Stanwood, Sultan, Silver Lake, Smokey Point, Snohomish and Whidbey Island. You can find more information here.
  • Glad Tidings Assembly of God and Pastor Les Hagan have set up an account specifically for Darrington residents' relief. All of the funds donated will be used to assist residents affected by this tragedy. The church address is: P.O. Box 429, Darrington, WA 98241. The church phone number is (360) 436-1911. His e-mail is: les.hagen@frontier.com.

Staying updated

A good resource to stay updated on recovery and relief efforts continues to be this Snohomish County website. Snohomish County has also created a Facebook page to help coordinate and organize various relief efforts. For those of you who use Twitter, some of the related hash tags are #530slide, #helposo and #OsoStrong.

Sorting out the facts

There have been news stories that discuss logging, actions of government and the response with respect to the Oso mudslide. I understand the media has a job to do and there are important questions that need to be answered. It is critical that we sort out all of the facts to determine what, if anything, could have been done to prevent and respond to this tragic event. There might be new public policy proposals that emerge based on these facts. I look forward to being a part of that process and hope you will be a part of it, too. But for right now, I remain focused on the on the recovery efforts and helping those impacted the most.

Save the date: May 15

Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I will be hosting our final telephone town hall meeting of 2014 on Thursday, May 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To listen in on this community conversation, all you have to do is dial 1-800-759-5313. From there, you can ask us questions or share your ideas if you'd like.

Your state representative year-round

Due to election-year restrictions, this is the last e-mail update I can send you until Dec. 1. I appreciate you reading these updates and being involved in the legislative process. While the legislative session is over, I am your state representative year-round. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen

State Representative Dan Kristiansen, 39th Legislative District
RepresentativeDanKristiansen.com
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000