Elect Peter Abbarno

Community and State Responds to COVID-19

Many families and small businesses are being impacted by the Outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. And as of Friday the 13th, every student in the State of Washington is on a school break until April 24th.

As a husband and father, as a business owner, and as Centralia mayor pro tem, I am concerned about the short and long term financial, emotional, and health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a very scary time for many of the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods. It is important to stay calm, use caution, and follow sound advice.

I am working closely with the city, county, and state officials to communicate what I believe are the priorities for our communities. Locally, the City of Centralia created a site to provide information about local community services and ways the Centralia residents can pay bills online, view public meetings online, and try to stay engaged while being safe.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District and Mayor Pro Tem.

On Thursday, March 12th, State Lawmakers allocated $200 million towards addressing the outbreak. Of the $200 million earmarked, $175 million will be for state and local response, and $25 million will help businesses impacted by the area outbreak of COVID-19.

The details on how the money will be specifically spent has not been released.

The State should be investing the funds locally; especially in distressed counties, and resist the urge to spend the money on expanding government programs unrelated to the virus outbreak. Small rural communities are really pulling together and I am very proud of the response; unfortunately, the very quick closing of schools without notice or a coordinated plan placed additional financial and emotional strain on working families, ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families, and families living in poverty.

Everyone should be taking the precautions necessary to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy and not risk contracting the virus and passing it to our most vulnerable in the community. I also encourage safely supporting local businesses where you can and connect with community programs and nonprofit organizations.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

For more local information, visit the following:

City of Centralia COVID-19 Update (Community Services)

Lewis County Department of Health

Cowlitz County Department of Health & Human Services

Thurston County Department of Health & Social Services

Washington State Department of Health

Washington Department of Financial Institutions

Washington Department of Commerce

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

I am very thankful to the women in my life; past and present. I am also very thankful for the positive role models in our community for my daughter, Sophia, to admire- first and foremost my wife, Holly, a middle school math teacher, mentor, and awesome mother and wife!

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.

I’ve been lucky to have positive female role models in my life. I want to thank all the women in our community who are mentoring others and leading by example.

Being positive role models by supporting local youth and students is a very important mission of our family. International Women’s Day is a holiday to remind both boys and girls to treat each other with respect and equally. That is how I want my son and daughter to treat others and how I want others to treat my children.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District

Peter is president of the Centralia College Foundation, active volunteer with the Miss Lewis County Scholarship Program, and serves in the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program, and as a mentor to students in Centralia, Chehalis, and Morton.

Two women who are widely credited with keeping Centralia College running during one of the darkest times in American history; Margaret Corbet, the college’s first principal, and Katharine Kemp, the former dean of students.

Learn more about Peter and his campaign for State Representative in the 20th Legislative District by visiting www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com

Trades Education Gets Boost from Centralia College Foundation!

Today, the Centralia College Foundation broke ground on the Southwest Washington Flexible Training (SWFT) Center, a 12,000 square foot building that will be operational by the end of 2020.

The SWFT Center features two large classrooms, a large “open space” to allow specialized machinery and equipment to be brought in for training on Centralia College campus, and a mobile training classroom.

A cornerstone to any successful community is a quality education. Whether college bound or career ready, the College Foundation wants to prepare our students and adults seeking a second careers to be successful in the workforce and in the changing global economy. The SWFT Center will help make sure students interested in trade careers will have every opportunity to train, be successful, and follow their passion right here in our community.

Peter Abbarno is President of the Centralia College Foundation and candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

The Centralia College Foundation received a $1.3 million TransAlta Coal Transitions Grant to help the Foundation construct the SWFT Center. The facility will be available for training programs for local industry, trade associations, community groups, K-12 education, and Centralia College programs.

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Sign The Petition: Local Parental Control of Sexual Education!

The Mandatory Sexual Education bill does nothing to strengthen families. It only makes government stronger. If we are truly to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and destructive behaviors, then Olympia must empower local families and communities.

Please consider signing the petition to learn more about how parents like us can empower families and local communities. And, please consider supporting my campaign at ElectPeterAbbarno.com

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

Sign the PETITION!

This issue is more complex than merely ‘are you for or against the teaching of sexual and health education.’ This is an issue of ‘who should teach it,’ ‘where should it be taught,’ and ‘when should it be introduced.’ I am choose our families and our communities first.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House or Representation in the 20th Legislative District.
Donate and Support the #ElectPeterAbbarno Campaign at www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com
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Mandatory Sex Education Passes: Ignores Local Families

On Wednesday, March 4, many of us watched the House pass Mandatory Sexual Education legislation along party lines 56-40, with Republicans voting against. A similar bill, SB 5395, passed the State Senate on January 22.

Mandatory Sexual Education was passed despite a recent survey of 10,000 people conducted by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) that found 58% opposed mandatory sex education for K-12 students.

The issue of sex education should be left to local school boards in conjunction with local families. Olympia continues to pass legislation that erodes local control and family decision making. We should be encouraging families to be part of the process and the discussion on a local level. Our communities are not “one size fits all!”

This issues is more complex than merely ‘are you for or against the teaching of sexual and health education.’ This is an issue of ‘who should teach it,’ ‘where should it be taught,’ and ‘when should it be introduced.’ I am choosing our families and our communities first.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for the State House of Representation in the 20th Legislative District.
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Centralia Hosts Homeless Workshop

The City of Centralia hosted the first of several homelessness workshop at city hall this week, featuring a a presentation from Director of Lewis County Public Health and Social Services (LCPHSS) J.P. Anderson and County Manager Erik Martin.

Under the requirements of the Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act (Ch. 43.185C RCW) and in order to qualify for funding sources, jurisdictions must complete a plan to address homelessness in their communities. Specifically, plans are required at the county level, which takes the lead on the programs and involves a cooperative plan between city and county governments together with local nonprofits, businesses and faith communities.

Centralia City Council Workshop: Homelessness

Judging by the number of people that are here then they probably agree with us that this is a top issue not only in our community but throughout Lewis County and really throughout the state of Washington. This workshop was an opportunity to hear the County’s plan- the next workshops will drill down into the details and include more community participation.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District
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Campaign Kickoff to Elect Peter Abbarno a Success!

On Wednesday, February 26th, the kickoff breakfast to support Peter Abbarno’s campaign for State Representative was a huge success! Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Meyer served as emcee, the invocation was delivered by Bethel Pastor Scott Collins, and the Pledge of Allegiance was lead by Sophia and Antonio Abbarno.

Rep. Richard DeBolt introducing Peter Abbarno at the 2020 #ElectPeterAbbarno Campaign Kickoff. Learn more at www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com

I can talk about issues until I am blue- and orange- in the face. This campaign is not just about issues, but solutions. We all have a common interest in better schools for our children, more family wage jobs, greater freedoms, and increased opportunities. As your state representative, I will pull up my sleeves and get to work on solutions for our families, our businesses, and the entire 20th Legislative District.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State Representative in the 20th Legislative District.
Peter Abbarno speaking at the 2020 #ElectPeterAbbarno Campaign Kickoff. www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com
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What Would You Do With The State’s $2.4 Billion Surplus? VOTE

The Revenue forecast reports $1.1 billion in unexpected revenue from existing sources; creating a total state surplus of $2.4 billion according to Rep. Drew Stokesbary.  House Republicans have proposed tax cuts and critical services spending. The Majority Party in the House proposed spending the surplus with no tax cuts and no long-term investment.

I am running because the majority party in Olympia is focused on fringe extreme issues and seem to only care about those living in the shadow of the Space Needle. Communities across the State cares about ‘kitchen table’ issues that impact every working family and small business like accountable government, affordable communities, and safe streets. I am committed to finding solutions for all of us.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Centralia
Join the #ElectPeterAbbarno Victory Team at www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com

Homeless Students Falling Through Cracks

In 2018, Senate Bill 6560, Ensuring that no youth is discharged from a public system of care into homelessness, passed unanimously (House and Senate) in a strong bipartisan commitment to reducing homelessness among our most vulnerable population.

According to a recent report from Komo News regarding young people living on the street, Seven out of 10 young people released from state-funded programs in 2015 came out of behavioral health- the rest from criminal justice and child welfare, according to a new state report. One year later, one-quarter of the youths were found to be in unstable housing and homeless.

Releasing young adults into an unstable environment puts them at significant risk for physical assault, sexual assault, robbery and sexual and commercial victimization, the report says. There are real doubts whether the Department of Commerce, Office of Homeless Youth, and Governor have the right approach.

This is heartbreaking! Our State must focus on preventing students and our youth from becoming homeless and providing opportunities to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. This is not about giving a fish- we need to be teaching them how to fish and providing them and families the skills to be successful. Preventing homelessness is not only the right thing to do morally and ethically, but it is the most fiscally responsible approach.

The latest reports indicate a failure by the State to protect children and families, and show a lack of commitment to reducing homelessness. The same-old Olympia big-government approach does not work- and most certainly is not in the best interest of at-risk children. The state needs to do a better job supporting early identification and early intervention.

Solutions must include building strong families, building stable homes, and building programs that provide opportunities for every student and every family to be successful. The State is releasing these children without the necessary life skills and in unstable environments.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.
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Bipartisan Funding Bill for Chehalis Basin Flood Mitigation Passes House!

House Bill 1154, sponsored by Rep. Richard DeBolt, passed virtually unanimously on Sunday night in a strong bipartisan manner.

The legislation authorizes the State Finance Committee to issue up to $700 million in general obligation bonds to finance Chehalis Basin flood damage reduction and aquatic species habitat restoration projects and create the Chehalis Basin Taxable Account. The bill moves to the State Senate!

Catastrophic flooding is one of the most important issues facing our community in Lewis County and throughout the Chehalis Basin. Past floods have cost our community financially and emotionally; and the threat of future flooding holds our community back from reaching its full potential.

Although it has been over 10 years since the last catastrophic event, the effects of the past flooding and fear of future flooding have negatively impacted our region. This funding will guarantee work continues on small- and large-scale flood mitigation projects throughout the basin. Thank you Rep. Richard DeBolt and the Chehalis Basin Board.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

In 2007, the catastrophic flooding event in the Chehalis Basin caused $9 billion in economic impact to the state, including devastating the agricultural industry in the area and shutting down Interstate 5 and the main rail line between Mexico and Canada, and brought trauma and tragedy to the community. In 2016, the Legislature established the Office of the Chehalis Basin (Office) in the Department of Ecology (Ecology). Its purpose is to aggressively pursue implementation of an integrated strategy and to administer funding for long-term flood damage reduction and aquatic species restoration in the Chehalis River Basin (Basin).

I strongly support this long-term vision and commitment to our community. This is a very smart investment when you consider the last flood cost the community $9 billion and it is only a matter of time before the next catastrophic flood. This shows a strong bipartisan commitment to funding a comprehensive solution.

The City of Centralia, City of Chehalis, Aberdeen, and many other communities have already benefitted from funding for small flood mitigation projects and this legislation helps guarantee the work continues. Home owners, land owners, and businesses need to know their family, property, and business is safe from flooding, destruction, and ruin.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, business owner, attorney, and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

Join the #ElectPeterAbbarno Victory Team by visiting www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com