Dear Friends, 

As we talked about last week, cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the state. We’ve reached a new single day high of 1,292 new cases, and the 7-day rolling average from June 26 to July 2 was 629 cases per day – also the highest since the pandemic began.

This continued growth in COVID-19 infection rates calls for additional steps to be taken by us as individuals, and elected officials as our leaders. Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced a new limit on social gatherings and a ban on live entertainment across the state.

Counties that have moved into Phase 3 of the Safe Start reopening plan have been able to host social gatherings of up to 50 people, but effective Monday, July 20 this number will be reduced from 50 down to 10 people. These new limits apply to social gatherings, not businesses operations, and funerals, weddings, and religious activities will be exempt from the restrictions.

Some gatherings that may be limited by this change include:

  • Book clubs
  • Barbecues
  • Picnics
  • Parties (birthday parties, house parties, cocktail parties, etc.)
  • Baby showers
  • Social clubs
  • Garage and estate sales
  • Gatherings on beaches and in parks

As more evidence continues to come in we’re seeing upticks in infection rates from face-to-face interactions, such as gatherings in the home or in work settings. While the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid these interactions, when that’s not possible wearing a facial covering is incredibly important. Governor Inslee’s order requiring masks in public settings a businesses is still in effect, and it truly is the most impactful thing we can all do to help one another.

“The numbers that we are seeing reflect the interdependence we have on one another,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said. “Everything that we do as individuals impacts our ability to move forward as a state. We can’t go safely forward until we all do our part.”

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy” 
Rep. Debra Lekanoff


The foothills around Bellingham were clearcut in the early 1900’s. Where did all that lumber go?

San Juan County Democrats Platform

Last Saturday, the San Juan county Democrats voted unanimously to adopt their platform, laying out plain to see the goals and aspirations they have for the San Juan Islands, our 40th LD, and Washington State.

Platforms like these from groups in the 40th provide a valuable resource and roadmap for what we need to be focused on. Right now, during the campaign cycle while the legislature is out of session, our work as elected officials is to engage with our districts and constituents. While we all wish it could be in person, keeping in touch and hearing from the people we represent over zoom is just as important.

Thank you to the San Juan County Democrats for putting forth your platform, and for your continued support! I will continue working with local officials and legislators to find and implement legislative options for our district and for Washington State.

“In the last year and a half a whole new team of progressive Democratic legislators has been assembled in the 40th Legislative District. Debra Lekanoff, Liz Lovelett, and Alex Ramel are as good as it gets. We couldn’t be any happier with their commitment to the concerns of the people in the 40th LD as exhibited by their openness to our voicing our concerns and their frequent updates and other communications with us. They are an action-oriented team and have accomplished a lot already in their time in the legislature. As the senior member of this team, Debra has been able to provide leadership and mentoring to Liz and Alex as they came on board, and they now operate in a totally complementary way.  We hope to have the three of these legislators serving our district for many years to come.” – David Turnoy, Chair of the San Juan County Democrats

Heather Shand Perkins For Skagit County Superior Court

When we consider who we want to see as judges in our counties, its incredibly important that we elect people who care about our communities and have a passion for equality and justice. With those as guiding principles, I am proud to endorse Heather Shand Perkins for Skagit County Superior Court Judge!

Heather brings two decades of experience to the table, has served as a Pro Tem Commissioner in Superior Court and a Pro Tem Judge in District Court, and currently serves as the Court Commissioner in Skagit county Superior Court.

She comes from a family that understands the value in public service – her father served for 30 years on the Washington State Patrol and 10 years in the Skagit County Sheriff’s office – and I am so excited for all that she will accomplish on the Skagit County Superior Court!

For more on Heather’s campaign, check out her website and Facebook page!

Education Tele-Tuesday!

Thank you to everyone who joined my Education Tele-Tuesday this week, and thank you to all of our panelists! We so blessed to have all of these incredible people working in the 40th LD and Washington State. Education is always a difficult issue to approach, but the dedication and passion of our panelists shone through our entire conversation, and I’m grateful for all of the work that they do!

As we look into 2020 and beyond, it’s important for us to continue giving our support to Democratic candidates through the HDCC, and bringing everyone into conversations with community stakeholders. Those of us in the legislature need to be able to understand what is happening in our school districts, and what the challenges are.

It was so great to hear from Representative Monica Stonier from the 49th LD this Tuesday. Monica is not only a Representative beside me in the legislature, but she also serves on the education committee and has been a union teacher for over two decades. Monica always provides a strong voice on education and so much more.

As a fellow mother and woman of color serving in our state legislature, I am proud to have Monica by my side as we work towards providing for our students and teachers in our districts, and across the state.

If you weren’t able to join watch the whole event on my Facebook page here.

Mari Leavitt Reelection For 28th LD

Representative Mari Leavitt has been a strong, passionate voice beside me in the legislature. She has done a wonderful job representing the 28th LD, always strongly advocating for families across the state, doing her part to ensure they have financial security, access to a quality public education, and health care that is affordable and accessible.

I am proud to endorse Mari in her reelection campaign this year! It was a pleasure to be next to her in the people’s house as she worked towards bi-partisan solutions for issues impacting all Washingtonians, served as Vice Chair of the House Committee on College and Workforce Development, and as a Committee Member for both Housing & Community Development and the Capital Budget.

Thank you, Mari, for all that you’ve done so far. I can’t wait to get back to Olympia – even if it’s over zoom – and continue working alongside you. For more information on Mari’s campaign, click here. 

Making Sure All Voices Are Heard 

As we look ahead to our primary elections next month, our general election in November, and beyond, there is nothing more important than ensuring all voices are heard and represented in the voting process.

OneAmerica, along with former Sunnyside Councilwoman Evangelina Bengie Aguilar, former Yakima City Councilwoman Candy Dulce Gutierrez, and former political candidates Susan Soto Palmer and Rogelio Montes have filed a lawsuit against Yakima County and its board of commissioners, alleging the county’s election system disenfranchises Latino voters in violation of the state’s Voting Rights Act.

While the case moves through our judicial system, this creates an opportunity for us to look at our election process. I remain committed to ensuring that all voices are heard, and will always work to identify and remove roadblocks to making that a reality.

We must do everything within our power to find areas of implicit bias and do away with them, spreading our wingspan wide to ensure that there are seats at the table for everyone. Broad and diverse representation benefits everyone, and it’s something I will continue working towards in 2020, and beyond.

Alicia Rule For 42nd LD

Currently serving her first term on the Blaine City Council, Alicia Rule traces her family roots back five generations in Whatcom County. She’s done an incredible job supporting her community as a social worker and therapist, and I am happy to endorse her campaign to represent the 42nd LD beside me in the legislature!

Alicia is active in her community, as a volunteer for many worthy causes, including for Kids in the Kitchen, an annual event combating childhood obesity, a backpack and school supply drive for low-income children, organizing a community wide health fair to help uninsured and underinsured children, as well as for community organizations like Junior League.

Click the image to see my message for Alicia’s fundraiser this week!

For more information on Alicia’s campaign, click here.

Endorsement Shout-Outs!

Thank you to the Skagit County Democrats for endorsing my re-election campaign! Your support means so much to me, and I am grateful for all the work you do supporting candidates and lifting up important ideals here in the 40th LD

Those who work in public service do so much to keep our communities running and our families safe and happy. Thank you, to the Washington Federation of State Employees  and your members, and thank you for endorsing my re-election campaign!

Thank you to Theresa Baker, Kane Hall, and Amy Hockenberry for endorsing 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.

I also want to thank Whatcom County Councilmember Todd Donovan, San Juan County Councilmember Jamie Stephens, and Friday Harbor Councilmember Tim Daniels for endorsing my campaign! I’m so grateful for your support and proud that we have people like you working right here in the 40th LD.

Trivia Answer! 

The lumber from the foothills surrounding Bellingham went to rebuild San Francisco after the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906!

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