It is with a heavy heart that we say until we meet again to Lorraine Loomis, Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. Lorraine passed earlier this week surrounded by those she loved most, and she will be incredibly missed by so many of us.
For over four decades, Lorraine was a leader and teacher for the Northwest Treaty Tribes, helping to guide countless individuals and always ensuring that there were seats at the table for everyone. Her work has brought us so far, and with all of the lessons she leaves behind we will accomplish even greater things.
I will always be thankful for the teachings and wisdom Lorraine shared with us all. She built fierce women treaty warriors who will carry on her legacy to ensure that seven generations of our children will live the dream that passes down from our elders.
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
While the Seattle Mariners continue to play for a wildcard spot in this year’s playoffs, they weren’t the first professional baseball team to play in Washington State.
What team was the first professional baseball team to play in Washington?
Reducing Our Water Use
Last week, the City of Anacortes and the Skagit Public Utility District announced that they are asking water consumers to reduce their consumption by 10% – or about 15 to 20 gallons per day.
This request comes due to low water conditions in the Skagit River, and will help to preserve water levels that are critical to fish habitats in the river. Conserving water in your home will help to preserve water levels during seasonal low water flow, and can help prevent the river falling below minimum levels for our native fish populations.
Tips for reducing water consumption include:
- Take a break from watering lawns
- Only use laundry machines and dish washers with full loads
- Take 5-minute showers
- Check your toilet for leaks
- Turning the water off while brushing your teeth can save up to 4 gallons
Reducing your personal water consumption today is a direct way that you can help our environment. Every drop of water that you save helps our creatures that call the Skagit River home – please do your part and follow the tips outlined above!
We must always take every step possible to protect the beautiful natural world that surrounds us.
Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families Conference
This week, I had the pleasure of virtually joining the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, & Families’ (DCYF) Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families (ICYF) 2021 Conference. The DCYF has long helped promote the government-to-government relationships between tribes and the state and have been strong partners in helping our Native youth.
It was so wonderful joining everyone this week, and my heart is full after spending so much time with others who share my passions and have dedicated so much of their work to helping uplift our youngest generations.
Thank you to all of the DCYF Staff, Child Welfare Professionals, Caregivers, Parents, Tribal Staff, Alumni, and Youth who came together to discuss the best ways to support our youth moving forward.
In all our endeavors, we must keep those that follow behind us at the front of our minds. Our work must focus on creating communities that will help not just our children to thrive, but the next seven generations of children to grow and flourish as well.
Federal Infrastructure Bill Passes in the Senate
Earlier this week the U.S. Senate voted to pass a $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure package. This bill represents a historic investment in our country, a once in a generation chance to build up our communities and repair our roads and bridges that have long been overlooked.
While the bill passed in the Senate, it will still need to pass in the House and reach an agreement between the two chambers. As it stands now, the legislation would $550 billion in new spending for infrastructure projects across the country, as well as reauthorize highway and water programs.
The current infrastructure bill has a long way to go before coming law, but I am confident that all parties involved can sit down at the kitchen table together, understanding that building up America would be incredibly beneficial to everyone. It is my hope that we see our roads and bridges repaired and pristine in the very near future.
An Update on COVID-19
In an effort to slow the growing spread of different COVID-19 variants, as well as to protect our communities, earlier this week Governor Jay Inslee announced that most state workers, on-site contractors, and volunteers will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
This requirement applies to executive cabinet agencies, and the Governor urged all others such as higher education, local governments, the legislative branch, other statewide elected officials, and organizations in the private sector to institute similar requirements.
I want to commend Governor Inslee for taking this important step towards keeping all of us protected and finally putting COVID-19 behind us. Getting vaccinated protects you and those around you from COVID-19 more effectively than any other measure. It is the strongest step to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Representative Lekanoff with Governor Inslee in 2019
If you haven’t already, you can find a vaccine appointment using the state’s vaccine locator here.
A Legislative Update for Salmon Conservation
In recent weeks we’ve talked a number of times about the importance of salmon preservation, and how we must take steps today that will ensure our salmon are prosperous tomorrow. Even earlier in this newsletter we touched on what you can do in your home to help support local fish populations.
Now I want to take a moment to tell you about House Bill 1117 – a bill that I have sponsored with a number of close friends alongside me in the legislature. This bill, which is currently back in the People’s House and moving through the legislative system, would promote salmon recovery by adding revisions to our comprehensive planning framework.
This will be accomplished through three actions laid out in the bill: adopting state support for net ecological gain and incorporating elements of the local salmon recovery plan; ensuring that any impacts that future projects have on wetlands, water, and fish and wildlife habitats are compensated proportionally; and helping local governments by providing full resources needed to achieve the goals of salmon preservation.
This is ongoing work that continues to grow and change as it moves through the state legislature, and I will continue to provide updates as things progress. There is one thing that will not change – it has never been more important to put our salmon, and our environment as a whole, first in our minds and in our legislation.
We must continue to work on behalf of seven generations to come, ensuring that we leave behind a place that they will be proud to call home.
The Seattle Pilots were the first professional baseball team to play in Washington State! They played a single season in 1969, and ahead of the 1970 season they relocated to Milwaukee where they became the Brewers and continue to play today.