Dear Friends, 

Earlier this week, a draft of an upcoming decision from the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade leaked to Politico, and while this is not the final decision or the official decision of the court, it is a scary and heartbreaking development for our country.

For nearly fifty years Roe v. Wade has protected a woman’s right to choose at a federal level, and what this draft decision would do is delegate that authority to the states instead – where we have already seen a concerted attack on reproductive rights and many states are poised to act the moment Roe is overturned.

As a mother I understand how critical it is that our daughters and sisters have access to reproductive care and are trusted to make their own decisions. Here in Washington we will stand firm protecting Washingtonian’s right to choose.

I will always work to protect those rights as your voice in Olympia, and I am ready link arms with my fellow representatives in the peoples’ house to fight against this new attack on the rights of our daughters, sisters, friends, family, and all those who bear children.

This is a critical year across the country, and it’s so important that we cast our votes in the upcoming midterm elections for candidates who reflect our values. It’s vital that we as elected officials and individuals asking for your vote uphold the core values of our communities, always understanding that our work must come from your support.

Thank you for your continued support as we fight to protect the reproductive rights of everyone in Washington, and this country.

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.  

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People 

As I look back at yesterday’s National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, I am struck by how far we have come together. Never before have Native voices been so represented across all levels of government — from Congress to County Councils we are making our voices heard.

Together we are working and collaborating across the country to address this crisis, working to bring our mothers, daughters, aunties, grandmothers, and all others home, and to protect future generations of Indigenous women and girls.

I’m proud of the work we have done, and together we have made great strides in protecting our Native women with the new amber alert system here in Washington, yet we know there is still much work to be done. My sleeves are rolled up, and I’m ready to keep working.

As we commemorate and remember those we have lost, we can all play a part in protecting our mothers and our sisters, our daughters, and our friends. Together we can create a brighter, safer future for everyone to enjoy.

Earlier this week I was honored to join Congressman Dan Newhouse and Department of the Interior Assistance Secretary — Indian Affairs Bryan Newland for a listening session aimed at addressing public safety and the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People.

It has been a privilege working alongside these two passionate people, as well as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tracy Goodluck, and  Northwest Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Bryan Mercier.

Thank you for all your hard work!

Life Without Salmon Pathways Conference 

Last weekend it was my pleasure to attend and speak at the Life Without Salmon? Conference in Bremerton, Washington!

The conference was put on by Pathways and was part of their Pathways: Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conference and Training series. The 2022 theme, “Life Without Salmon?” aimed to provide a closer examination of steps to take when facing the extinction of a species cornerstone to economic stability, ecological health, and regional identity.

It was a pleasure to speak alongside and hear from so many incredible individuals who are passionate about preserving this beautiful planet we all call home. The focus of the conference was on salmon, and we know here in Washington how important it is to maintain healthy, native salmon populations throughout our waterways.

The conference acted as a guideline for how we can take steps today that will impact our world and our children’s children tomorrow. I’m so grateful to Pathways for having me, and to all the great speakers who left me feeling excited about our future.

Pathways is an international conference and training program designed to address the myriad issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable manner. Our team believes that through increasing the professionalism and effectiveness of the Human Dimensions of Wildlife field, we can contribute to the success of the global conservation effort as a whole. 

New Play in Olympia! 

Friends, I am so excited to let you know about a new play opening at The State Theater in Olympia this weekend. Sovereignty highlights the Cherokee Nation case before the US Supreme Court and the struggle of tribes to prevent violence against Native women.

Here’s a quick excerpt from the program:

“A complex, thrilling historical drama shining a light on the Cherokee Nation’s deeply intertwined past and present. Performed by an ensemble of Native and non-Native regional and local actors with direction, set, costume and lighting design by Native artists. You don’t know how much you don’t know about this history; it’s a story well worth your time!

Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer, fights to restore her Nation’s tribal jurisdiction while confronting the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. Stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson’s Oval office, along the fateful Trail of Tears, to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma – Sovereignty tells an epic tale of the powerful intersections of personal and political truths, bridging our country’s distant past and imminent future.

“Fundamental and revelatory” – Gloria Steinem”

Sovereignty will run through the month of May, and I hope I’ll be lucky enough to go and see it! If you’re interested, you can get tickets here.

Helping Our Snake River Salmon 

Friends, after decades and decades of failed efforts and federal plans, the Snake River salmon is at the edge of extinction. The Snake River basin is an incredible ecosystem that is absolutely capable of supporting substantial populations of our precious salmon, yet they are unable to grow and thrive as they deserve.

This is a result of four federal dams along the Snake River – dams that restrict our salmon’s ability to move up and down the river as they have since time immemorable while they live their lives and reproduce.

One of the four Snake River dams

It is long past time to remove these four dams, and I am proud to add my name to a running list of individuals here in Washington State calling on our Congressional delegation to act now in the best interests of not just the salmon who call the Snake River home, but on behalf of all Washingtonians.

This will not be an immediate process, no overnight fix is possible. It will take a lot of difficult, coordinated work across all levels of government, ensuring that as these dams are removed we are able to replace the services they provided and set ourselves up for the future.

Thank you to everyone who has worked for so long and so hard on this project – it’s an honor to stand beside you as we work to restore our Snake River salmon!

Thank You to AFT Washington!

It is with great joy in my heart that I am able to let you know about the first endorsement for my re-election campaign today!

Since I decided to run for the first time in 2018, the AFT Washington has stood beside me and I have supported them. I am honored to receive the endorsement of their Executive Board and their Committee on Political Education!

AFT Washington is a state federation affiliated with the 1.6 million American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. They represent about 6,500 members including faculty from community and technical colleges and pre-K through 12 classified employees. They also jointly represent professors at Eastern, Central, and Western Washington universities and The Evergreen College with the Washington Education Association.

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.

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