Serving you is our number one priority!

Clarke and Clarke orchard banner

January 11, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2021 legislative session began today, and I’d like to take the time to introduce my staff who will be working hard this year to help answer your questions and keep you connected with state government. The legislative offices have some year-round employees, but additional staff are hired to assist with the high workload associated with the legislative session. My office works very hard to select the best people for my office staff because I view them as an important element of my public service to you.

The way I view my job as your state senator is that I work for you. As constituents of the 12th District, you are and always will be our number one priority. As you can probably imagine, legislators receive speaking and meeting requests from throughout the state, and many organizations and state agencies hire professional advocates to reach out to us. I appreciate the role that statewide groups and their hired advocates have in the legislative arena, but I never want their active participation in the process to overshadow or squeeze out your opportunity to share insights with me.

Capitol Dome from south

The Capitol will remain quiet as most work for the 2021 session will be virtual.

Meeting the office staff

While the interim months during this past year were very busy due to the COVID pandemic, the legislative session is usually the busiest time of the year. My calendar is almost entirely full already this session as a result of my policy committee schedule, education committee leadership sessions, legislative caucus meetings, Senate floor debates and voting, local media commitments, individual colleague visits, office staff meetings, and constituent appointments. It is not uncommon for my office to receive several hundred emails per day during the session in addition to phone calls and postage mail. The staff below understand my philosophy for constituent customer service and will be assisting me with scheduling requests, bill tracking, media inquiries, virtual meetings, email responses, and phone calls. All of us in my office value public service and the opportunity you provide us to serve you. Given the high volume of requests and communications we receive – and the research required for responses – it may take us a couple days to get back to you, but we will be working very hard to ensure that not a single constituent inquiry goes unanswered during the session. Given the thousands of inquiries we receive throughout a legislative session, this may seem like a very ambitious goal, but it is the standard set for my office.

Here are the staff helping me this session:

  • Justus Phelps, Legislative Assistant

Justus has worked as my full-time Legislative Assistant since July 2019. He is a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in public affairs. While at WSU, Justus served in government relations for the university’s student government and participated in legislative activities in Olympia. As my Legislative Assistant, I work very closely with Justus throughout the year to track legislative issues, respond to constituents, coordinate scheduling, and oversee office work. For those of you who have reached out to the office in past months or years, you have probably had the pleasure of interacting with Justus.

  • Brian Zylstra, Public Information Officer

Brian is a senior member of the communications staff assigned to me through the Senate Republican Caucus. He has worked closely with me on all aspects of my communication efforts since 2018, including managing my website, editing my email newsletters, reviewing my guest opinion submittals, distributing news releases, coordinating local radio interviews, and responding to media requests. Prior to working with me, Brian was Deputy Communications Director with the Office of Secretary of State. He has a close connection to the 12th District. Brian and his family often visit his in-laws, who for many years have operated a successful fruit business in Manson.

  • Tony Sprague, Legislative Session Aide

Tony is serving as a session aide for the legislative session. In this role, he works closely with me and the other staff to assist with meeting requests, constituent appointments, email responses, and other office coordination and legislative efforts. Tony is a University of Washington graduate who studied political science and communications. Prior to his role as a session aide, Tony worked at Alaska Airlines, the Museum of Flight, and Washington2Advocates. Tony has a significant interest in United States foreign policy and is an aspiring State Department diplomat.

  • Estela Navarro, Legislative Intern

Estela is serving as a Senate intern for the session. She spends a portion of each week completing a rigorous program with other interns from our state universities. In addition to her program duties, Estela will work each day for my office tracking legislative priorities, meeting with constituents, responding to phone calls, and coordinating correspondence. She is a graduate of Wenatchee High School and is a third-year student at WSU studying economics, political science, and Spanish. Her past experience includes Chelan Fruit, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and serving as my Senate page in 2017.

Capitol Rotunda

The Capitol Building (under the dome) will remain mostly empty this session.

Staying connected with us 

For the 2021 session, my staff and I will be working remotely from different locations to assist you. This virtual work arrangement has taken extra coordination to put in place in order to ensure that our high standards for constituent customer service can still be achieved. We believe, despite the separate locations, that my office is still able to be very responsive to your inquiries and provide a high level of customer service.

The best ways to connect with us:

Phone: 360-786-7622
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
Media: 360-786-7869                                                               

To refer a friend for my email newsletter, please subscribe here.

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

Each week, I call our local radio stations to participate in live interviews about the latest happenings in the legislative session. If you'd like to hear my most recent interviews, click on these links for KPQ and KOHO

Please contact me with questions or concerns

While the Capitol Building in Olympia remains mostly empty, please know that our staff members are working remotely and are ready to assist you. If you have questions or comments about state government or the legislative session, please contact me anytime.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District


107 Newhouse Building - P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000