Dear Friends, 

As many of you know, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new COVID-19 booster shot that will is currently available – the Moderna booster for those who are 18 and older, and the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for those 12 and older.

Individuals who completed their most recent round of COVID-19 vaccination at least two months ago are eligible for these new boosters.

These new shots target both the original strain of COVID-19, as well as the omicron variants that make up the vast majority of current cases in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) signed off on these new shots last week.

Getting vaccinated remains the most effective way of protecting yourself and those around you from COVID-19, and it is important that we continue to do our part to keep our communities safe. If you are able, I would highly recommend you get vaccinated with the new vaccine. With the holidays coming up, many of us are set to start traveling to see our loved ones – for their sake and yours, make sure you are safe!

Doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remains important, and I am so grateful for the continued efforts we are all making to protect one another.

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Join Me Next Week! 

Friends, this week I have exciting news!

We have a new date for Rep. Debra Lekanoff’s Wellness for All event and we hope you can join us! Mark your calendar for Wednesday, September 14th at 5:30pm at Taylor Shellfish!  

This event will be an opportunity to combine self reflection and wellness with political action. As we re-emerge into “normal” life, so many of us are struggling to care for our personal wellness. This event will feature a meaningful program to connect us politically as well as get us thinking about how we can consider our own wellness in the world. 

Mark your calendar for Wellness for All! Come as you are in yoga pants, jeans, and messy buns!

You can RSVP at this link.

I hope to see you on next week!

Supporting Sharon Shewmake’s Campaign! 

It has been such a pleasure serving in the State Legislature beside Representative Sharon Shewmake these past four years. As a fellow mother and Representative, she has been a strong and steady voice on supporting legislation that helps Washingtonians and makes peoples lives better.

Now, she is running for the State Senate in the 42nd LD!

Next week, I am proud to be one of many hosts coming out to show our support for Sharon’s campaign. Find more information on the flyer below – I hope you can join us!

To RSVP to the event or donate to Sharon’s campaign, click here.

Sharon is a tremendous advocate for her constituents, and I am proud to endorse her campaign! Together we will continue to work on building long-term, steady economic growth that keeps our ecosystems and environments in mind, while doing everything we can to help all who call this place home.

Happy Labor Day! 

As we pass and acknowledge the end of summer with our Labor Day celebrations this past Monday, I’d like to take a moment on this Fantastic Friday to thank all of the incredible workers who have done so much for our communities, and for our state.

Thank you all so much for the work that you do, and thank you for your continued support as I work on your behalf in Olympia!

Thank you to everyone over at LiUNA for always standing by my side and supporting me – in both of my campaigns! Thank you to IAM Local 751, the American Federation of Teachers, the Washington State Nurses Association, and all of the other labor groups and unions that have supported me over the years!

I will always work on your behalf, doing everything in my power to help keep jobs secure and strengthen workers’ rights. Thank you for always keeping our communities going and growing.

Aleutian Isle Update 

Friends, as you may know last month a fishing vessel sank west of San Juan Island and has been spilling fuel off our shores ever since. As soon as this occurred, all levels of government jumped to action in order to address the leaking ship as quickly as possible.

I wanted to share an update that I received from spills program at the Washington Department of Ecology detailing what occurred, and what the current response efforts include.

Here is what they said:

“The ALEUTIAN ISLE, a fishing vessel, sank west of San Juan Island, Washington on Saturday August 13, 2022.  The vessel has a fuel capacity of 4,000 gallons and was reported to have around 2,500 gallons of diesel on board at the time of the sinking. A Unified Command has been formed consisting of the US Coast Guard, Washington State Department of Ecology, San Juan Office of Emergency Management, and the Swinomish Tribe, to help coordinate response efforts.  Professional response organizations have been contracted to help protect sensitive resources and conduct diving operations on the sunken vessel.    

Operations have confirmed that the sunken vessel remains in an accessible location to continue with planned dive operations later this week. Specialized equipment, including the crane barge and mixed gas used for deep water diving, is enroute to the response and expected to arrive by Friday. When on location, the crane barge and other equipment will need to be positioned before safe dive operations can begin. The mixed gas used for deep water diving is being carefully calibrated and tested this week to ensure the safety of the divers. The dive and salvage team anticipate the first dive operations to begin on Saturday with potential for an initial dive on Friday if sea conditions and weather permit. A Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) will be deployed this week to assess the condition of the vessel and location of any remaining safety hazards before initial dives can begin. At this time, it is unknown how many dives will be necessary to plug the vents of the vessel and secure the rigging in place so that the vessel can be lifted onto the barge. Operations may extend into next week depending on factors necessary to protect the safety of dive teams and responders.”

This is a tragic event that will have rippling impacts throughout the San Juan Islands. I’m keeping a close eye on all developments and am ready to help with cleanup and recovery as soon as we are able to move in this direction.

Rest assured, I will continue to share updates with you all as soon as I receive them myself.

MMIWP Alert System is Working 

More than four in five Native women will experience violence in their lifetimes and are murdered at more than ten times the national average, and it’s plain to see that this is an issue that we need to address. I’m proud to have led the way on creating an alert system to help identify and locate Missing and Murdered Indigenous People that will save lives and bring our loved ones home.

The special alert system that will help locate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People went live this past July, and over the past two months has been implemented across the state.

The system works 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.

While we have seen this system help Native individuals across our great state, there is still much work to be done. We need additional trainings for our Washington State Patrol, and we must have additional tribal consultations to ensure that this system is used as effectively as possible.

There will always be room for everyone at my kitchen table, and this is an issue near and dear to my heart. I will continue working to ensure that all of our Native brothers and sisters are safe and protected both here, and across the country.

Key Races that Need Your Support 

Last month, Washingtonians stood up across the state to cast their ballots and make sure their voices were heard. It’s an honor to be on your ballot once again, and I was excited to vote for so many incredible candidates in this primary election.

Now, following a strong turnout, we are celebrating a strong victory for Democrats across the state. While we should take this time to celebrate the results of our primary election, we still have a lot of work to be done before the general election in November.

We have recently celebrated some of the candidates who moved on to our general election, and I’d like to take a moment to list them out for you now. If you’d like to read more about each of them, check out our full recap newsletter here.

Representative Bill Ramos in the 5th LD 

Representative Lisa Callan in the 5th LD 

Representative Dave Paul in the 10th LD 

State Senator Emily Randall in the 26th LD

Representative Alex Ramel in the 40th LD

Joe Timmons in the 42nd LD

Sharon Shewmake in the 42nd LD 

Alicia Rule in the 42nd LD

Chris Stearns in the 47th LD

Disaster Preparedness Course 

As flood season approaches, focus on what you can do to be prepared. The National Center for Disaster Preparedness / FEMA will be offering two trainings for Whatcom County businesses and households that are designed to provide learners with information on individual, household, and business financial literacy and the potential financial effects of disasters.

The two courses will be held in English, but there is a possibility that additional instruction available in other languages moving forward! If you or someone you know are interested in registering but need instruction or materials in another language, please reach out.

The trainings are scheduled for October 4 and 12, 2022, 9am-230pm PST. For more information about this great opportunity, including links to register check out the course fliers.

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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