Dear Friends, 

Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic is something we all must do together. By taking actions that protect ourselves and others, we will slow the spread and curb the impact of the coronavirus. It has always been about community looking out for community, neighbors helping neighbors. It’s no different as we look into the future.

Earlier this week, Governor Inslee and Washington’s Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced a statewide mandatory face covering order that takes effect today, June 26. Every Washingtonian must wear a facial covering whenever we are out in a public space – both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Here are some important resources to consult on mask wearing:

Resources for employers and employees:

Resources for the public:

Wearing a facial covering is an easy, accessible way to help protect those around us. It’s a surefire way to limit the spread of COVID-19 to those nearby – something that can happen even if you show no symptoms.

“The science is clear that when we use face coverings, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze. While some of us are wearing face coverings in public, we must increase usage to best control the virus. Washington’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if, together, we act safely and follow health recommendations,” Secretary Wiesman said.

Read the full order from Secretary Wiesman here.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to protect those around us from COVID-19. Together is how we will move forward, and I would urge everyone to read up on facial coverings and do their part to beat this pandemic.  

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff


In 1951 the State Legislature had school chidren choose between two choices for our state bird. They would choose the American Goldfinch, but what was the other bird?

Justice For Joel

In my nearly 50 years in this world, I have seen and experienced discrimination first-hand as a woman of color. I have grieved with the mothers who have lost their children to unprovoked violence based on the color of their skin and have watched over my lifetime seeing people who looked like me face hardship based on race.

Most recently, we had an incident happen in our own home community here in the 40th LD. A Skagit County teenager was beaten, held at gunpoint, and had a racial slur written in marker across his forehead after the physical assault. All because he is Latino.

Enough is enough. We do not treat one another this way – NOT in our district and NOT in our state. It is time that justice is served. Earlier this week, I joined our community members at a protest for that young man, Joel. I stand in solidarity with our families and community at our kitchen table together to make the 40th LD a safe home for us all. As your State Representative and a mother, I cannot let the systems fail us. I am here in the fight with you alongside our allies and colleagues.

My commitment to you is to bring light to the darkness of these systemic issues, treat everyone with humanity, and make this a safer world for our children.


Creating Multicultural Curriculum

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet (virtually) with a number of professors at Western Washington University to discuss creating and instituting an accredited multicultural curriculum program in our K-12 schools, and our higher education. Whatever expectations I brought with me into the meeting were completely blown away.

Dr. Dolores Calderon, Associate Professor of Youth, Society, and Justice at WWU’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Veronica Velez, Associate Professor and Founding Director of the Education and Social Justice Minor and Program at WWU, and Dr. A. Longoria, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at WWU, and I had a wonderful conversation about how to move forward on crafting this sort of curriculum.

I left our meeting feeling optimistic and energized, and I’m so excited to pursue this addition to our education further. Thakn you so much Dr. Calderon, Dr. Velez, and Dr. Longoria for taking the time to talk to me about this! 

A multicultural curriculum taught across our K-12 and higher education institutions would be a tremendous step towards cutting through systemic racism and creating an awareness around issues of race and inequality that so often go overlooked.

In the coming weeks and months I’ll continue working with my new friends at WWU to build out a conceptual framework, and to create the right team to bring the necessary people to the kitchen table to engage on the potential curriculum.

San Juan County and Phase 3 


Last week we talked about San Juan County delaying their move into Phase 3 of Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” program for reopening our state, on the recommendation of San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James.

Earlier this week at a special meeting, Dr. James recommended the county move into a modified phase 3, and the County Council voted 6-1 in favor of Dr. James’ recommendation. The order was finalized and submitted to the state, and Phase 3 can go into effect as soon as approval is granted.

Here is what Dr. James recommended as San Juan looks to move into Phase 3:

The following be allowed in Phase 3.

  • Expanding to 75% capacity in eating establishments. However, these people will still need to wear face coverings at all times when they are not eating and seating will need to place people 6 feet apart.
  • Museums and Libraries may open safely.
  • Gyms and pools can operate at 50% capacity.
  • All other businesses can now open except for night clubs, concert venues and large sporting events and other activities specifically reserved for Phase 4 by the Governor.
  • Government services that are customerfacing can also open but will be required to provide those services with masks and distancing like other businesses will be required.
  • Other activities will need to be restricted further than allowed for in Phase 3 options:
  • Groups up to 50 will only be allowed outdoors only (weddings, sport events, summer camp activities)

These elements of Phase 3 NOT go forward at this time:

  • Indoor gatherings of more than 5 people and up to 50 people NOT be allowed.
  • Table seating of up to 10 people in an eating establishment will NOT be allowed.
  • Bar areas in restaurant and taverns will NOT be allowed to open a 25%.
  • Theaters will NOT be allowed to open at 50% capacity.

New Tele-Tuesday Date! 

Join me on Facebook Live for Tele-Tuesday with Debra and local experts and leaders!

As a way to virtually stay connected with community, we’re hosting Tele-Tuesdays to discuss issues that are at the top of all of our minds.

Our new date for this Tele-Tuesday is July 14 at 3PM! I’ll be sitting down to discuss education with local experts, leaders, and all of you!

So bring your questions and we’ll “see” you on Facebook Live!

Click here to RSVP.

Fighting For Our Salmon 

The Growth Management Act (GMA) continues to be a priority of mine as we continue working to build our policies and communities based on values and infrastructure needs. I have spread my arms wide and worked closely with a number of my colleagues, including Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, along with stakeholders in cities and counties, the environmental community, and state agencies on this important issue.

The GMA is an incredibly important undertaking, something that will take time and generations to truly come to fruition. With our work today we are setting the stage for seven generations to come, ensuring that we leave behind a planet they will be proud to call home.

Along with the GMA comes the idea of net ecological gain across our environment and ecosystems here in Washington State. One of the top issues I continue to work on including in the GMA is salmon recovery, and ensuring that their habitats see the benefits of that net ecological gain. We’ve seen as populations and land use grow while climate change continues, salmon populations decline. It’s a sad sight ot see our rivers and streams without their native salmon, and it is absoutely within our power to help bring them home.

I want to say to the 40th LD that we hear you, loud and clear – we want the salmon back for our culture, our environment, and our livelihoods. As work continues, I will not waver in my passion and support for helping bring our salmon home, and helping them to thrive.


I believe we have found a partner in the 10th District with Helen Price Johnson who can represent our community, who can represent our rural voices, and who understands the value of making those strong economic decisions with environmental prosperity in mind. I am thrilled to endorse Helen’s campaign, and look forward to working with her in the future! Learn more about Helen’s campaign here.

Helen Price-Johnson

After nearly 15 years working with public and private utilities across the country, Christine Grant is running for Whatcom County Public Utility District (PUD) Commission, and I am proud to endorse her campaign! Christine will be a strong voice in Whatcom County to create clean jobs and protect our water! Learn more about Christine’s campaign here.

Christine Grant 

I’d also like to shout out a few organizations that have endorsed my campaign! Thank you so much to the Washington State Labor Council for always putting people and their families at the forefront of every discussion. Thank you to the Retired Public Employees Council of Washington for endorsing my campaign! Those who dedicate their careers to public service deserve our thanks and support, and I will always fight on your behalf and for your interests.

Finally, thank you to the Children’s Campaign Fund! As elected officials, it’s our job to think seven generations ahead and plan for the health and safety of our children, and the Children’s Campaign Fund supports candidates who do exactly that, and I am so grateful to have earned their endorsement for my campaign!

Individual endorsements are an incredibly important part of my campaign. You can put your name next to mine and support my re-election by heading over to my website and filling out this form. These endorsements mean so much to me – they show that this is a campaign focused on people, and I would be honored to have your name added along with mine.

Trivia Answer! 

In 1951 Washington’s school children chose the American Goldfinch over the Meadowlark! The Meadowlark was originally chosen by schoolchildren as the state bird in 1928!