Journey Into Yakima

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy barbecue eaters at the Yes on Districts office.

I have been an explorer for as long as I can remember - however, I have not yet had the opportunity to explore much of the great state of Washington, since I was either a) unable to drive or b) attending school across the country. So, naturally, this weekend I jumped at the chance to canvass in the city of Yakima for the Yes on Districts campaign.

Briefly, the Yes on Districts campaign will create 7 districts in Yakima (there are currently 4) so that each city council member represents a smaller number of people and can be more accessible/cater to their needs better. It is a proposition in an off-year election, so they needed all the help they could get raising awareness of something that could be monumental for Yakima. Thus, the Washington Bus hooked us up with the opportunity to canvass with their group. Woo hoo! Adventure and local politics!

We will be going back there in August with a greater number of volunteers for the final push towards the primary, so don't hesitate to contact me if you want to join us next time!

Getting to Yakima was an amazing journey. The Seattle area is consistently rainy and colder than east of the mountains because a rain shower is created by the mountains, so when you cross them, the world becomes a mass of dry low hills and heat. So much heat and sunshine! I must have turned 3 shades darker by just walking around over there. Anyway, the landscape goes through all these gradual transitions: from city to country, from wet to dry, and from trees to arid scrub grass. Although we were flying past that scenery, taking a long car journey there was one of the best ways to get a sense of how diverse our state is.

Once there, we were treated to not one, but two fantastic barbecues - one with the Yes on Districts campaign and then a family one with Summer Fellow and Yakima resident Andy. The generosity we experienced in Yakima was palpable and sincere; they appreciated our work and our presence, making it easy for me to want to go back next month. And getting the full tour of Yakima through our canvass driving was also wonderful. As it turns out, they have amazing parks and a varied set of commercial and residential areas. Though our day trip was only a taste, I felt like I got to see parts of central Washington that often are glossed over by western city folk. Oh, and there were a ton of cats just running around also, which was cute. Maybe we can turn cat-spotting into a game next time.