I want to take a quiet moment to remember those who lost their lives, the first responders who worked tirelessly to save lives, and our communities across the country who stood together in the face of adversity on September 11, nearly two decades ago.
As we face a pandemic, a national sprint towards equity, and environmental crises in fires across the nation, we must remember that we are more united than divided. We will move forward through this difficult period the same way we always have – side by side, walking together and supporting one another.
We must all link arms and reach out a helping hand to our neighbors as we move forward with recovery efforts, just like we did for the families that lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. When we do this, we will emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before
Keep reading for more on this Sensational Saturday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
A two part question: when is the last day to fill out the 2020 Census, and have you filled it out yet?
Addressing Climate Change
Up and down the west coast, we are watching as devastating wildfires burn acre upon acre of our natural landscape. Right here in Washington, more than 330,000 acres have burned just this week, more than double the total acreage that burned in Washington last year.
While Governor Inslee has not declared a state of emergency in any counties, the first have impacted both sides of the Cascades, and continue to create poor air quality in Western Washington. Governor Inslee said he was considering taking further action to speed up assistance to those in need.
We are seeing the devastating effects of climate change before our very eyes. Our skies are glowing an unsettling color, and our forests are burning. There is no time to waste – we must take concrete, strong action to combat the current effects of climate change, and to address our environment moving forward.
I remain committed to fighting for our environment, and passionate about creating a world for the seven generations to come. Click on the image below to hear from me about this important topic.
Supporting Urban Indian Communities
Too many of our Native brothers and sisters in Washington’s urban communities are currently dealing with adversity, and we must do everything we can to provide the support they need. Whether it’s homelessness, healthcare, or just getting basic support from the community, so many of our Native neighbors are in need, and I’m proud to work on their behalf.
So many of Washington’s Native citizens do not live on tribal land, and that often makes it significantly more difficult to receive benefits and support.
Chief Seattle Club is one of several organizations doing this hard work to help our Urban Native communities, and I will continue coordinating with the Governor’s office to provide assistance – long term, and during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Urban Indian Health Institute – a division of the Seattle Indian Health Board – is currently asking survivors of sexual violence in urban Indian communities to fill out a completely anonymous survey. This will help to direct resources where they need to go, and can inform further policy initiatives to bring even more help to those who need it.
The survey is available here.
Make Sure You Are Heard
There are still a few weeks left for you to fill out the Census and make sure that you and your family are counted! We only do this enumeration once every ten years, and it is so very important that everyone fills it out. The number of people living in each state helps decide Congressional Representatives, how funding is allocated, and so much more.
This November will be one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. So much is at stake, and voting is the most direct way that you can influence our country. Unfortunately, so many people don’t cast their ballots every election – and I don’t want that to include you! Please register to vote, and vote as soon as you get your ballot!
New Resident Killer Whale!
We have a new resident killer whale calf! Our hearts broke in 2018 when Tahlequah lost her baby and carried the calf for more than two weeks, but we got great news this week when we learned that Tahlequah has had her baby!
A recent drone survey of the southern resident orcas showed that they were expecting, and while the sex of the new baby is not yet known, it truly is fabulous news that we have another member of this beautiful family.
Read more about Tahlequah and her baby here.
Ensuring Safe Workplaces
As we continue to all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s incredibly important that we all feel safe in our day to day lives, and particularly in our workplaces. While many are continuing to work remotely, as we continue to phase in going back to the office and working in person we must ensure that all safety precautions are taken to protect our workers.
The AFL-CIO has launched a new tool to help workers feel comfortable, and to educate everyone on what a safe work environment looks like in the time of COVID-19. The “Am I Safe At Work?” took helps us identify key COVID-19 risks, and how we can overcome them.
The new online tool will help individuals identify potentially problematic aspects of their workplace, and will guide them towards solutions and resources that will ensure their workplace is taking all the necessary precautions. Thank you, to the AFL-CIO for creating this important tool!
For more information, click here.
For the first time in their history, Community to Community (C2C), has endorsed a political candidate. C2C is a women-led grassroots organization dedicated to working towards food sovereignty and securing immigrant rights in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and it has always worked to represent those who so often are overlooked or ignored.
As the only Native American in the State Legislature, I fully understand how important it is for our underrepresented communities to have a voice. I’m proud to be that voice, and I’m honored to have C2C’s endorsement.
“We’re so excited to endorse Representative Lekanoff during her reelection campaign. Her unending strength in the face of opposition is inspiring, and she embodies what we have always looked for in candidates to endorse. After she was elected, the Representative came to us and asked what we needed. We told her, and then she took action to get it done.” – Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development
Click the image below to hear C2C’s endorsement!
September 30 is the final day to fill out the 2020 Census! I hope you’ve filled it out already, but if not you can do so at the 2020 Census website!