Dear Friends, 

Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day across the country, taking the time to appreciate and show love to those incredible individuals that have made such sacrifices to serve on all of our behalf.

As I spend time throughout the 40th LD and Washington, and particularly now that we are able to safely gather under certain circumstances, I am always humbled to meet veterans who live in our communities. I hope you were all able to step back, take a deep breath yesterday, and that those around you showed the support and thanks that you deserve.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to take a moment today and offer my thanks to all who have served in our armed forces. We all so appreciate the work that you have done and the sacrifices you have made.

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!

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Skagit Valley Veterans Day Parade

Staying on the thread of celebrating our veterans – tomorrow the city of Burlington is hosting the 25th Annual Skagit County Veterans Day Parade!

The parade will start tomorrow morning at 11 A.M. and will travel along Fairhaven Avenue from Walnut to Skagit Streets in downtown Burlington. Along with the parade, there will be an accompanying Heritage Plane flyover! I’m so excited to get out there to help celebrate our veterans, and to see all of you!

Additionally, there will also be a pancake breakfast and soup and sandwich lunch at the Burlington Senior/Community Center, offered free to military veterans and by donation for all others, as well as free refreshments and military display at the Burlington Visitors Center.

For more information about the parade, click here. Looking forward to seeing you there.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Friends, like we talked about last week the Centers for Disease Control recently endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine, meaning that our young children are able to get this important protection against COVID-19.

Following this announcement, Governor Inslee sent out a statement detailing that the Western States Scientific Safety Advisory Group met to review this authorization, and confirmed the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine.

Now, as we near the holiday season when many of us will be traveling and gathering with loved ones, it’s more important than ever that we remain vigilant and do what we can to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

As of today, 70% of eligible Washingtonians have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 64% are fully vaccinated. This is an incredible display of commitment to our communities, and that number keeps growing every single day.

Now it is on each of us to reach out to those around us who have not yet been vaccinated, who are still hesitant, and to encourage them to take this step to protect not just themselves, but also those around them.

For additional information on finding a vaccine, click here.

Spotlight on Women in Stem!

Last month, I had the honor of participating in the Northwest Washington STEM Network’s tremendous event, Spotlight on Women in STEM. It was so wonderful seeing other passionate and dedicated individuals come together to support this special project.

At the end of the event, Northwest Washington STEM Network was kind enough to share both of the full-length films that were highlighted during Spotlight on Women in STEM, as well as four shorter videos that highlight one of the four industries: Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and Construction.

Now, earlier this week on National STEM Day, the Northwest Washington STEM Network launched the entire film series – titled See Yourself in Me: A Spotlight on Women in STEM – to the rest of our community. Everyone can watch the full video series here.

As the Northwest Washington STEM Network recently shared, “We know that the need for STEM personnel is only growing, yet women and people of color are not pursuing these lucrative jobs at an equitable rate. Produced by the NW Washington STEM Network in collaboration with other local partnerships and featuring regional students, professionals, and elected officials, See Yourself in Me is an exciting free resource to promote STEM careers among young women in our community and promote equitable access to these excellent professions.”

I would highly encourage everyone to check out these great films – they’re inspiring and moving and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Please share them widely with members of your family and community! And if you need some more information, check out the STEM Network website here.

Ferry Service Briefing

On this Fantastic Friday, I’d like to take a quick moment to thank everyone who came out and participated in our Ferry Service Briefing earlier this week.

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been service disruptions due to both crewing and vessels, and our delegation in Olympia has worked together and tirelessly to ensure that you have access to safe and reliable ferry service.

It was a wonderful briefing and a good opportunity for us to sit down and communicate the current state of affairs surrounding our ferries. This form of transportation is pivotal to so many in the region, and it is truly one of my priorities to ensure that everyone in the 40th and all Washingtonians are able to move between our islands safely and efficiently.

Thank you to all who came out and participated, and thank you in particular to all of our great speakers – Senator Lovelett, Representative Ramel, Representatives Jake Fey and Dan Bronoske, Chair and Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, Senator Rebecca Saldana, Vice Chair of the Senate Transportation committee, and more!


Indigenous Leaders Summit

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) hosted their annual Indigenous Leaders Summit, bringing together an incredible lineup of dedicated individuals from around the world to collaborate and address pressing concerns.

The Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission is a consortium
of 15 sovereign Tribal nations located in Southeast Alaska that seeks to protect the vital and sacred rivers that sustain our communities and culture. I want to thank them for their continued work, and for putting on a tremendous summit!

It is always wonderful to come together with similarly committed individuals who are ready to roll up their sleeves and do the necessary, difficult work. It was wonderful seeing and meeting so many people, and I hope that next year this event can be in person, not over Zoom!

For more information about SEITC, check out their website here.

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