Chamber C.E.O. Recounts Covert Covid Meeting With The Governor
Governor Jay Inslee sent a late night message to Yakima area leaders on Monday night 6/15/20. The Governor said he was flying into town -his first trip out of Olympia since the pandemic-to meet with local leaders to talk about the County's high rate of Coronavirus infections and the prospect and challenge of reopening business.
The Governor's office asked meeting participants not to announce the gathering to the public.
Why? Is the Gov. a chicken-afraid to face the angry residents of Yakima suffering under his restrictive and inconsistent policies? OR Did the Gov. reasonably want a serious conversation, hoping to make progress without a loud and boisterous distraction? OR Something in between?
Ultimately, leaders obliged and for their take-the-high-road show of class, courtesy and respect they have been barbecued on social media as cowards, poor representatives, unpatriotic, unfit and more!
I get the frustration, I get the suspicion of the Governor and his motives, I get the anger over the lack of progress and the uncontrolled virus growth. What I don't get is the lack of civility to those who are on our side and are working the problem from a different angle.
There is a reasonable scale of frustration and if you are further up the scale than others, that's likely justified, but our electeds are sincere in their efforts too - though they be held to a little more polite standard at first blush.
Did keeping the meeting on the down-low allow the Governor to get away with anything? Did it cost Yakima anything? OR Will it allow Yakima's next step -in what is sure to be an ongoing conversation- to carry the added weight of "look, we showed good behavior and restraint the first time, but we may not be as gracious the next time as this shutdown drags on."
I prefer to be in that camp. Again, no disrespect to those who are further up the frustration scale and think that some kind of show of protest or shout down is what he deserved. (and maybe he did!) But a reminder that attacking local electeds won't help anything.
Yakima Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Verlynn Best was at the meeting and has experienced some of the social media outrage. She appeared on KIT's Morning News to tell us how the meeting went.