Dear Friends, 

We’ve recently talked a lot about the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and there is more information on steps you can take on that front below, but I want to take a minute on this Fantastic Friday to talk about another decision that the Supreme Court released last week.

In Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that Congress did not give EPA the authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to set emission standards for existing power plants that prescribe the market share of certain types of power generation.

This in effect prevents the EPA from enforcing emissions standards that would have drastically improved our air quality, cut down on our country’s emissions, and made drastic improvements to the environment.

This is a decision that does not think about tomorrow. We must take strong action today to ensure that the next seven generations to come have air to breath, water to drink, and a plane to enjoy. I’m saddened by the shortsighted nature of our current Supreme Court, but I am motivated to continue fighting on behalf of our planet.

Find more information about the decision here.

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Supporting Representative Ramel! 

One great candidate that I’d like to highlight for you today is my fellow Representative in the People’s House for the 40th LD, Alex Ramel!

Alex has been a strong ally and advocate for the 40th LD during his time alongside me in Olympia, and I’m happy to stand united as he runs for re-election to remain your Representative moving forward.

Last weekend on July 23rd, I went doorbelling with you all on behalf of Alex’s campaign – thank you everyone who joined!! I had such a great time speaking individually to those who came out, and to hearing your specific concerns and needs for the 40th LD.

Alex has been a great partner alongside me in Olympia, and I hope he can count on your support as he runs for re-election!

Find out more about Alex’s campaign and donate here.

National Caucus of Environmental Legislators 

Friends, it is my pleasure to join the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators this week as we come together in Denver, Colorado for their annual National Forum!

The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is hosting its annual National Forum in Denver, Colorado from Friday, July 29 to Saturday, July 30. The Forum is an opportunity for environmental state legislators from across the country to network and exchange ideas on a variety of environmental issues, learn about trending solutions, and collaborate on an agenda for a healthier planet and healthier people.

It is always incredible to come together and meet with other likeminded individual who understand the importance of acting today to ensure that our grandchildren’s grandchildren are able to enjoy this incredible planet that we call home.

NCEL was founded in 1996 by Maryland Delegate Leon Billings, who was the chief author of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. The Caucus, which began as a bipartisan informal network of environmentally focused state legislators, was formalized in September 1999 as a project of the Edmund S. Muskie Foundation and became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2007. Today, NCEL is governed by a board of sitting legislators and coordinates over 1,200 state legislators around regional and issue-specific projects.

For more information about the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, click here.

Supporting Joe Timmons in the 42nd LD! 

Another candidate I’d like to highlight for you is the incredible Joe Timmons running in the 42ndL LD!

Joe has spent the last decade working in public service at the local, state, and federal levels, always advocating on behalf of communities and individuals who need our support. He will be an incredible advocate for Whatcom County, and I’m proud to give him my support!

Joe currently works in Governor Jay Inslee’s office as the regional outreach representative for Whatcom and neighboring counties. In the community, he has served on boards with the City of Bellingham and he is a board member for the Bellingham Food Bank.

The more leaders like Joe that we can have in Olympia, the better. I’m proud to support his campaign, and I hope he can count on you as well. For more information about Joe, and do donate to his campaign, click here.

Staying Cool in the Heat 

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been absolutely struggling through this most recent heat wave. We’ve been seeing incredibly high temperatures across the country, and right here in the 40th LD.

Not only is this  a wake up call to ramp up our action on climate change and the environment, but it is also a reminder that we need to be careful and take care of ourselves during these times of incredible heat.

There are a number of things that we can do to help protect ourselves against the heat – staying hydrated, avoiding extended time in direct sunlight, and utilizing Washington’s cooling centers that are located throughout Western Washington.

Be sure to take care of yourself this weekend, Washington!   

Electric Ferry Update! 

Another exciting upgrade for our State’s infrastructure – and specifically right here in the 40th LD! – is that our State Legislature recently finalized our 2022 transportation appropriations. Included in the appropriations is $14 million for the all-electric Guemes Ferry Replacement Project, which completes the funding for the project!  

Since the 1980’s, our Guemes Ferry has been a diesel powered vessel transporting Washigntonians and visitors, as well their vehicles. The new, all-electric ferry, which is expected to enter into service in 2025, will be a double-ended vehicle and passenger ferry with a three-tiered deckhouse. The design accommodates four lanes of vehicles including highway-rated trucks and emergency vehicles.

Now we are coming up to the next important step in building these electric ferries and getting them on the water – determining who will build them

These new hybrid ferries will not only improve service levels, but also reduce pollution and significantly reduce operating costs.

I will be working with Washington State Ferries and my fellow legislators to ensure our shipbuilding community can compete for these contracts.  Our future depends on it and I hope you join me in supporting this effort. 

We need to focus our efforts to not only build ferries but support the robust shipbuilding industry and the economic benefit it provides to our communities. Working together, these builders contribute to living-wage jobs and a diverse local economy that ensures our tax dollars benefit our communities. 

Now that Washington State Ferries has initiated a process to identify who will build the next five ferries, we need to support our local shipbuilders.  I am confident they will save taxpayer money and support local, living-wage jobs. I’ve been working closely with local shipbuilders like Dakota Creek in Anacortes and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland.  They are preparing to work together to compete in a fair bidding process to build the hybrid ferries needed to rebuild our fleet and provide long term jobs in our communities.

Fighting for our Rights 

Recently, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, holding that there is no longer a constitutional right for a child bearer to make decisions for their own body.

For nearly fifty years Roe v. Wade has protected a woman’s right to choose at a federal level, and what this decision does 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 now that 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.

Now, as we come up on an incredibly important election, it’s more important than ever that we support candidates that are ready to fight for reproductive rights. I want to take a moment and highlight a few of the key races coming up in our elections this November – races that need your support to maintain our majority in Olympia.

If you are able, please consider donating to these campaigns and lending them your support – I’m proud to stand by them, and I will always defend the reproductive rights of all Washingtonians.

Emily Randall for State Senate in the 26th LD

Sharon Shewmake for State Senate in the 42nd LD 

Bill Ramos for the State Legislature in the 5th LD

Lisa Callan for the State Legislature in the 5th LD 

Dave Paul for the State Legislature in the 10th LD

Alicia Rule for the State Legislature in the 42nd LD

Brandy Donaghy for the State Legislature in the 44th LD

Welcoming Public Servants! 

Finally, I want to take a moment to shoutout two incredible new individuals who are joining us in Washington State!

First, Candace Wilson from the Lummi Nation has officially accepted the position of Tribal Policy Director in the Office of Policy, Planning & Evaluation in the Washington Department of Health. Candice will do an incredible job serving tribal communities and working with all partnerships to serve Washington State

Candice carries a powerful leadership voice within Indian Country and she will be a valuable asset to DOH.  Her knowledge of tribal, state, and federal governments will help us all find solutions to ensure we have healthy citizens with health care that takes care of our families and communities.

Welcome Candice Wilson!

Second, Governor Jay Inslee recently announced that Ruth Musgrave will be his new Senior Natural Resource Policy Advisor!

Musgrave is the president of Wildlife Policy Consulting of Olympia and most recently was a conservation senior advisor for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. A biography on NCEL’s website says she has “worked in wildlife and conservation policy for over 30 years,” having founded and headed up the Center for Wildlife Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she taught “wildlife law, biodiversity and the law, and advocacy.”

Welcome Ruth Musgrave!

I am so excited to work with Ruth in her new role with WA State. I have had the pleasure of working with Ruth for years with NCEL, and I know she will bring national experience to WA State. Together we can collaborate to restore and protect the environment and resources and support a healthy workforce and prosperous economy.

Welcome Candice and Ruth!

Endorsement Shoutouts!

Working on your behalf in Olympia has been the pleasure of a lifetime these past four years, and it’s been an honor to work alongside so many great individuals and organizations as I’ve worked to represent you and the interests of the 40th LD.

Now I’m pleased to thank all those who have endorsed my second re-election campaign! It is an honor to have your support as I work on behalf of all Washingtonians. 

Excited to run to continue as your voice in Olympia!

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!

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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