The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday lives from top to bottom, and has upended social norms across the board. One of the biggest changes I have been so pleased to notice is that community is taking care of community – neighbors are taking care of neighbors.
Though Governor Inslee’s decision to close down our schools for the rest of the academic year was a difficult one, it is yet another example of how we care for one another. By putting these measures in place we are given a framework for how we can all come together and help pull through this as a country, as a state, and as the 40th LD.
This is a difficult and often painful time for many of us and our loved ones, yet I am hopeful that we will move forward into the future with a fresh outlook and renewed commitment to care for each other, and for Mother Earth.
Keep reading for more information about COVID-19, and upcoming (virtual) events!
“Stay Home, Stay Healthy,”
RAISING UP SENATOR JOHN MCCOY FOR HIS SERVICE
Over the last two decades Senator John McCoy has been a tireless advocate and leader for the 38th LD. He has mentored generations of legislators, listened to community leaders from across the State, and worked to bring everyone to the table regardless of their background or economic standing.
Senator McCoy has worked on issues ranging from education to technology and agriculture to economic development. At the same time, he never forgot where he came from and was a passionate advocate for issues of interest to tribal communities and Native people.
As a Native woman, I look to John as my elder and a guiding voice in my life. When I first came to the Legislature, John took incredible care to educate me on issues and support me in my work. I will miss him terribly, but both he and his beloved wife, Jeannie, have earned a rest.
Thank you for all of your work, Senator McCoy.
COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE 40TH
In recent weeks I have been speaking with H-2A temporary agricultural workers, domestic agricultural workers, and especially with migrant workers – all of whom are essential workers, as they provide us with the food we eat daily.
We have over 8,000 migrant workers in Washington State right now, and that number will grow to more than 25,000 by the first of June for berry season. Together with Community 2 Community, Earth Justice, and Washington Justice for All we are working to find solutions and plans for migrant camp quarantines, increased testing and healthcare for migrant workers, and additional support across the board for these vital workers.
Another area of the COVID-19 crisis that requires additional attention is supporting our homeless populations in the 40th and across the state. “Stay Home Stay Healthy” has proven effective in reducing the spread and flattening the curve, but our homeless brothers and sisters do not have a place to stay. We must ensure that shelters and centers have adequate resources, and that testing and healthcare are available to the most vulnerable among us.
Finally, I was invited to join a committee in Olympia to assess and identify the best ways to reopen our economy. This is a responsibility that I take very seriously, and I understand that any moves towards reducing social distancing must be handled delicately, and must be enacted slowly. All decisions made on this front should be informed by science and experts, and we must take care to ensure that we do what is best for the health of our communities.
DEBRA’S (VIRTUAL) EVENTS!
In case you missed it, earlier this week I held a Tele-Coffee event! It was so great to sit down and hear from members of the community, and it lifted my spirits to laugh and smile with all of you! If you want to watch the video, you can check it out here – and be on the look out for more of these events in the future!
We’re also just under two weeks away from the (virtual) kick-off of my first re-election campaign! We’ll be livestreaming the event on Facebook on April 30 at 5:00PM PDT, and I’d love it if you could join me. You can click this link to RSVP and get all the info you need.
FOOD BANKS NEED OUR HELP
With so many being hit hard in the wake of COVID-19, food banks across the country are seeing huge jumps in demand, and we’re no different here in the 40th LD. Many are now looking for help to keep food on the table, so if you are able, please consider helping we should all help our community by supporting our food banks.
Donations of all sizes go a long way to feeding the hungry, and non-perishable items are greatly appreciated if you are able. Here are the links to our food banks here in the 40th:
GOVERNOR INSLEE EXTENDS EVICTION MORATORIUM
Yesterday evening, Governor Inslee announced that the ban on all residential evictions will be effective through June 4, and those protections will be extended to a broader group of living situations.
Those living in cars and renting out parcels, living in hotels, motels, or Airbnbs, and those on camping grounds cannot be evicted due to a lack of payment as a result of Governor Inslee’s new orders. Governor Inslee has also prohibited landlords, property owners, and property managers from “increasing, or threatening to increase, the rate of rent for any dwelling, parcel of land occupied as a dwelling.”
We should all be thankful for the leadership of Governor Inslee during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is yet another example of him prioritizing Washingtonians above all else. No one should be worried about losing their home during a time like this, and I applaud the Governor for taking this step towards protecting all those who call this place home.