It is more important today than ever before that we take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Just this week, the United States passed 150,000 new cases in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and here in Washington State our case numbers have doubled over the last two weeks.
While there is certainly cause for optimism – Pfizer and Biontech recently announced success in a new vaccine study – there is still a long road ahead of us towards fully moving past COVID-19. It’s imperative that we all do our part and continue socially distancing, wearing our masks, and limiting our contact with people outside of our households.
This is all particularly important as we come up on the holiday season – many of us have plans to travel and see our family, but we must carefully consider the risks we take when we do so. This is something that we will only have to do once, but in order to fully stop the spread of COVID-19, limiting our contact with those outside of our households – even family – is a sacrifice we must make.
As Governor Inslee put it, “More than 240,000 chairs will be empty in homes across the U.S. because of the lives taken by COVID-19. As you rethink holiday plans with your family, consider also how you can welcome these families into your hearts by the actions you take to protect your community.”
I want to thank you all for the sacrifices you have made already. It’s okay to be tired, and it’s okay to be concerned. We will continue to work, to take the necessary precautions, and we will continue to move forward through this chapter of our lives together.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Rep. Lekanoff’s Sensational Saturday Message
For those of you who may have missed it this weekend, I wanted to quickly share my Sensational Saturday message that followed the projection of the Biden-Harris winning the Presidential election:
Where were you when the 2020 Presidential Election results came in?
I was in middle of my morning run with Cedar, the wonder dog, when my daughter sent me the text that I knew would change the lives of all Americans. We are all celebrating with hope, faith, and happiness. It is time for our Nation to heal, deconstruct racism, end hatred, and dissolve the darkness. Together we will rebuild who we are as Americans, and that in this new era, united we stand.
Click on the image below to hear my full thoughts on this historic day.
2020 Election Update
Friends, last week I sent a full write-up of election results for candidates I endorsed, congratulating the many women and men who won, and thanking those who did not for participating in this important public discourse and running wonderful campaigns.
There were a few races that were just too close to call last week, and I wanted to give you a quick update on how the past week has played out in those races:
First, in the 42 LD, I want to give a huge shoutout to Representatives Alicia Rule and Sharon Shewmake, and congratulate them on winning their campaigns! I’m so excited to have both of these wonderful women next to me in Olympia, and can’t wait to see all that we can accomplish together.
In the 10 LD, I want to congratulate Representative Dave Paul! He has been a strong ally during my time in Olympia, and I am proud to continue working alongside him in the future.
Also in the 10th, I want to thank Helen Price Johnson for running a fantastic campaign. While she did not win this time around, she has set a tremendous example and pushed the conversation around improving the lives of Washington’s rural communities forward. I know this isn’t the last we’ll see of Helen, and I look forward to all the great things she’ll accomplish soon!
I want to congratulate T’Wina Nobles for winning her race! She made history and flipped the 28th LD Senate seat for the first time since the 1960s! She and her team ran an incredible campaign, and I am absolutely thrilled that T’Wina will be joining me in Olympia as just the second Black woman ever to serve in the Senate Chamber! It will be an honor to work alongside her for equality and justice across Washington State.
In the 17th LD, I want to thank Tanisha Harris for running a wonderful campaign, and congratulate her for all that she accomplished. While she was unable to unseat the incumbent in her district, she and her team ran a strong campaign that created a new dialogue around important issues. I’m excited for the next steps Tanisha takes, and will be proud to support her in the future!
Finally, in the 5th LD, Ingrid Anderson’s race for the State Senate remains too close to call, with the margin under 100 votes at the time of this writing. Ingrid will make an incredible addition to Olympia, and will always work on behalf of those who need it most in our communities – if you’re interested in helping her campaign out, click here.
Congratulations Call With Newly Elected Officials!
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with a number of our newly elected officials! While I wish I could have truly set my kitchen table to welcome everyone, it was still fantastic to see so many smiling faces over Zoom.
It was wonderful to sit down and discuss our priorities for the upcoming legislative session, how we can turn what we heard from constituents on the trail into policies, and how state and local officials can continue working together.
While there is so much uncertainty about the future as COVID-19 looms, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of optimism after speaking to my fellow legislators last night. Washington voters have brought together an absolutely stunning group of dedicated individuals who all share in one simple goal: to improve the lives of Washingtonians across the state.
Thank you to everyone who joined me to say hello last night, and thank you to everyone who cast their ballots this year! We’ve said, over and over again, that this was the most important election of our lives – and Washington stepped up.
With this new class of legislators coming to Olympia, I am extremely confident that we can accomplish a great many things to help this place we call home. I’m ready to get to work with these wonderful people, and ready to make the next seven generations proud.
Thank You To Our Nation’s Veterans
Earlier this week our country celebrated Veterans Day, and I wanted to take a moment on this Fantastic Friday to thank all those who have served in our armed forces, and those who continue to make sacrifices that keep our country safe.
We are all so grateful to those who have served, and if you haven’t already I would encourage each and every person reading this to reach out to a loved one or someone close to you who has served to say thank you. It is because of their work and continued dedication that we enjoy the lives that we do.
Thank you, Veterans!
“A Vote For Diversity”
It has been my absolute pleasure to watch the votes roll in over the last week, and to see Washingtonians turn out to cast their ballots in record numbers. Not just record numbers overall, but also record numbers for the most diverse and representative Legislature in our state’s history!
Washington voters tripled the number of women of color – including a huge uptick in Black women – that will work on their behalf in Olympia over the next two years.
Before I first ran two years ago, I looked at my mirror and I said, you know what? It’s time to run for office. The only other people who looked like me were my colleagues from Lummi and the women in the kitchen.
My approach has always been that I create a big kitchen table, and I work in collaboration with all stakeholders. Running unopposed this year is an important milestone for me because it helps bring me strength to know that the decisions and the relationships—and my wingspan around the 40th—is really respected by the voters.
It is an honor to represent you, and I am so excited to work with this incredible new cast of Representatives and Senators in Olympia! Thank you, Washington, for always standing up and making your voices heard. Together we will continue creating the best possible version of this place we call home.