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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this letter finds you well. The governor held another press conference this afternoon regarding the reopening of our state. During this conference, the governor said he will extend the stay-at-home order through May 31 to continue the social distancing strategy against the new coronavirus pandemic.

The governor also laid out a four-phase plan for Washington businesses to reopen safely. Additionally, he said that smaller counties that haven’t been hit as hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) might be able to open sooner. These counties will be able to apply to the Department of Health for a variance from the governor’s order, which will allow them to move to the next phase more quickly.

Earlier today, I personally sent a letter to the governor, signed by dozens of state lawmakers and local government officials throughout the state, to ask for a regionalized reopening of Washington. Please click on the image below to read a press release about this effort.

I’d like to thank all those who joined me in this endeavor and signed their name to the letter. We’ve worked a lot of hours developing this idea and gaining support from all across the state. I am encouraged to see the governor is willing to take our advice on a test drive of sorts.

I do wish he would have expanded the ability to request a variance to additional counties as we have 32 counties with 20 or fewer deaths and 17 with zero deaths. However, I believe we will see positive results from these 10 counties. As those results reveal themselves, I am hopeful the governor will expand on this idea and fully decentralize to the county level.

I am confident that unleashing the full creative power of the 39 individual counties will allow our economy to safely spring back to life much faster than anyone could have imagined, and we can get Washington back to work. After all, every business that keeps its doors open today will be a blessing for tomorrow.

You can read the entire letter to the governor below:

I would love to hear what you think about my approach for reopening our state. Please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email to share your input. I look forward to speaking with you.

It’s an honor to serve you,


Chris Gildon

State Representative Chris Gildon, 25th Legislative District
409 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000