Supporting our immigrant and agricultural workers here in Washington has always been close to my heart. This year, it has been particularly important to give them our support, as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the people who grow, harvest, and transport our food at risk.
Earlier this week, Governor Inslee announced two funds designed to help immigrant and agricultural workers during the ongoing pandemic. This a strong step towards keeping our immigrant and agricultural workers safe, and I’m grateful for the continued support that Governor Inslee has shown for these essential communities.
The Immigrant Relief Fund will provide $40 million to assist Washington residents who are unable to access federal stimulus programs due to their immigration status, and the Food Production Paid Leave Program will provide $3 million of financial resources to certain food production workers who remain home when ill.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services has also issued a request for proposals to select a nonprofit that will administer the Immigrant Relief Fund. For more information, click here.
There is still a great amount of work to be done in supporting our immigrant and agriculture workers, and I remain committed to supporting them however I can. We must ensure that they receive the resources they need, and that all are able to remain safe and healthy as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
When is the final day to fill out the 2020 Census?
Tribal Public Safety Roundtable
Over the past few weeks, it has been my pleasure to virtually meet with communities and public officials throughout the 40th LD to discuss public safety reform. Our conversations have been productive and enlightening, and just this week I had the opportunity to hear from tribal communities across Washington.
Thank you to the more than forty people who joined us, and thank you to all of our incredible speakers and guests! I’m so grateful for your time and feedback, and your dedication to addressing this vital issue as we move into 2021, and beyond.
The issues surrounding public safety reform that we face at the city and county levels overlap with tribal public safety as well, but there is not a one size fits all model that can be applied broadly. Specific issues require specific solutions, and that is why I am so grateful for all the contributions from public officials and community members.
We have to move forward in addressing public safety reform together. I will continue to spread my wingspan wide and make space at my table for all, ensuring that everyone has their voice heard and that we address the concerns of our underrepresented communities.
Debra’s Table Talk Podcast
The first episode of Debra’s Table Talk Podcast is now live! Listen here to the 40th Dream Team event I took part in with Senator Liz Lovelett and Representative Alex Ramel a few weeks ago.
For “Debra’s Table Talk Podcast,” we’re going to bring in experts from the public and private sectors and from the 40th LD and across the country. We’ll discuss issues ranging from public safety reform to labor and employment, from housing and homelessness to climate change and salmon recovery.
Supporting Our Students
The most pressing issue we in the legislature are currently facing is addressing our schools as we begin the new academic year. Last week, Governor Inslee published his recommendations on how schools should balance in-person versus virtual learning as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent weeks, I have virtually sat down with my colleagues who serve on the House Education Committee to discuss engaging with the public and with the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, adjusting our support to address the ever changing educational needs of our children during a pandemic, and addressing food security for our low income students.
Most recently, I sat down with Representative Lisa Callan from the 5th LD to discuss next steps that we can take to ensure that teachers and students alike have the personal protective equipment (PPE) that they need to stay safe, and how we can provide broadband support for off campus learning if and when the need arises.
Representative Callan has previously served as a school board president, and brings with her a tremendous amount of experience, and exactly the perspective we need in these discussions. I’m grateful to have her next to me in the People’s House, and we will continue working alongside our colleagues to create the best path forward in providing quality education to our students, while making their health a priority.
Be Sure To Fill Out The Census!
Earlier this month, the Census Bureau announced that they would be ending all their counting efforts on September 30, a month sooner than they had previously announced. This makes it all the more important to fill out the Census and make sure that you and your family are counted!
Not only will the Census inform how many Congressional Representatives each state gets, but that number goes on to inform how funding is distributed across the country and can play a pivotal role in helping to improve your community.
It’s so important that all of us are counted this year, and if you haven’t already you can head over to the Census 2020 website and fill it out.
As we get closer and closer to the end of Census enumeration, we are also approaching the beginning of the redistricting process for our Congressional Districts, and it’s incredibly important that we approach this in a responsible and informed way.
So many districts are gerrymandered in order to create a constituency that would elect a certain party or candidate, and in doing so families and communities are often split down the middle. This is particularly apparent on our Native reservations, like the Yakama Nation.
The Yakama Nation is split between two Congressional Districts, meaning that votes cast by members of the same communities and families often go towards different races. We must consult with our tribes and communities as we redistrict, and ensure that we create Congressional Districts that reflect our communities, and not just our politics.
Thank you to Grandmothers Against Gun Violence for endorsing my re-election campaign! Your support means so much to me, and gun safety is something that I take seriously. I will always work to ensure our neighbors and children are safe.
Thank you to Janet Alderton for endorsing my campaign! Your kind words mean so much to me:
“Debra is always mindful about protecting our environment as she works to improve the lives of all Washingtonians. Debra is a thoughtful listener who values differing perspectives. She brings people together to achieve consensus and work towards common goals.”
Thank you to IBEW Local 77 for endorsing my campaign! Supporting our workers and addressing the needs of hardworking men and women throughout Washington State is always a priority of mine, and I am grateful for your support!
Thank you to Jan Dank, Charles Adkins, and Alice Walker 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.
September 30 is the last day that you can fill out the Census! Make sure you’re counted here.