On this Fantastic Friday, I am thrilled to tell you all that I am running for re-election this year because I love the 40th District. From the San Juan Islands to Anacortes to Bellingham, we are blessed to live in this beautiful place we all call home.
The legislative session brought some great wins this year. We worked together to pass critical policy that will affect our communities.
I helped lead the passage of the Missing Indigenous Women and People Alert. This bill created an alert system to help safely and quickly locate missing individuals in our community. I stood with farmworkers in Skagit County as they continue the fight for fair wages and hours. I pushed for more affordable housing solutions for the 40th District.
We need to continue to create solutions that serve our community at all ages. Let’s bring everyone with us as we progress forward!
Potential opponents are watching to see if the community supports my re-election campaign. I need your help to have a strong showing early to keep a strong challenger out of this race.
Thank you for joining me in this campaign
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Protecting Missing and Murdered Indigenous People
Yesterday was a truly historic day. Surrounded by incredible advocate and dedicated individuals, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1725 into law, officially created an alert system to help identify and locate Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
More than four in five Native women will experience violence in their lifetimes and are murdered at more than ten times the national average. It’s plain to see that this is an issue that we need to address, and I’m proud to have led the way on creating this new system that will save lives and bring our loved ones home.
Governor Inslee signs House Bill 1725 into law
The system will work similarly to “silver” alerts that are used to notify the public about missing vulnerable adults, broadcasting information about Missing and Murdered Indigenous People on message signs and in highway advisory radio messages. It also will provide the information through press releases to local and regional media.
When issues are as plain to see as this one, it’s clear that we must take action. Addressing the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People in this country must continue to be a priority, we must do everything we can to protect Native women.
This was a collaborative effort that took months to put together. I’m incredibly grateful to all those who worked alongside me to make this new alert system a reality – together we have made a difference.
Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change
Around the world we are already seeing the impacts of climate change, with communities forced to begin migration away from their homes as a result of our changing planet.
Included among those groups are the Yup’ik residents who are being forced to move out of the direct path of a slow moving climate disaster, and who are the subjects of the Newtok documentary that was shown in Seattle last night.
The film follows one of America’s first documented cases of 21st century climate refugee communities, and points to one undeniable fact: climate migrations are on our doorstep.
The Newtok documentary shows the present impacts of climate change
Marie Meade, a Yup’ik professor and traditions bearer, is prominently featured in the film. She joined directors Andrew Burton and Michael Kirby Smith for a panel before and after the show, moderated by Alyssa Macy, Executive Director of the Washington Environmental Council (WEC), and who is also a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and is of Wasco, Navajo, and Hopi descent.
Esquire named Newtok one of the best documentaries of 2021, and it won an award at the Big Sky Film Festival. It will officially premiere later this month, April 22 on Earth Day, but you can learn more and watch the trailer here.
Move Ahead Washington
Last week, Governor Inslee signed into law the Move Ahead Washington transportation package, setting in motion a 16-year process that will revitalize our transportation systems and create cleaner ways to get around Washington State.
The Move Ahead Washington package focuses an increased share of funding on maintenance and preservation of existing roads and bridges than prior packages, and includes major projects such as the replacement of the I-5 bridge across the Columbia River. But the clear distinction is how it directs a significant share of investments towards climate and clean transportation. These investments are possible thanks to revenue from the state’s cap-and-invest program that places a price on carbon pollution.
The package includes funding for four new hybrid-electric ferries, tens of thousands of new EV charging stations, 25 transit electrification projects across the state, and free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation.
Thank you to Governor Inslee, and to all who worked to create this legislation. Together, with actions like this, I know we will continue to protect this beautiful place we all call home, and do our part to ensure that the next seven generations to come are able to enjoy our natural splendor.
Endorsing My Re-election Campaign!
Friends, representing you in Olympia these past four years has been such an incredible honor. I have loved getting to know each and every one of you, and it is always my goal to listen to each of you as we continue working to create a place our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be proud to call home.
It’s with that in mind that I ask you to stand with my campaign – I would love to include your name on my list of endorsements as I run for re-election this year. If you’d like to endorse my campaign, click here – it will only take a minute!
Excited to run to continue as your voice in Olympia!
The 40th LD is an incredible place, and I am proud to have you behind me as I run for re-election to continue as your voice in Olympia.