Earlier this week was National Voter Registration Day!
We have such an important election coming up, and there is no better way to make sure that your community reflects your beliefs than to cast your vote. Choosing who represents you in Washington, in Olympia, on School Boards, and everything in-between is so incredibly important.
If you need more information about registration or what is on your ballot, head over to voter.votewa.gov for all the information that you need.
There are so many tremendous candidates running for office this year, and it truly warms my heart to see passionate and dedicated people stand up to work for their communities. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together, and I truly hope you will make your voice heard during this primary election.
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
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 have shared a number of updates in recent weeks on the efforts that have been underway to remedy the situation. Now, I am happy to let you know that the commercial fishing boat that sank last month has been brought to the surface!
Thank you to everyone who had a part in recovering the Aleutian Isle!
Last Saturday, September 17, the Aleutian Isle was raised to the surface and dewatering the vessel began. 250 gallons of waste oil were removed as well, and as anticipated, fuel was dislodged during the lift operation and caused a visible sheen on the water’s surface.
The most recent update from the Department of Ecology came this past Wednesday. Here is the update:
“Today crews were able to completely dewater the Aleutian Isle and lift it onto a barge anchored in Mitchell Bay after 40 days in the water. The work area was completely surrounded by boom, and as anticipated, there was some light sheening. Some of that sheen did escape beyond the boomed area, but was too light to be recovered. Whale deterrence teams were on standby during the operations, however, no whales came into the incident area. In the coming days, crews will continue to remove petroleum products and other hazardous material and fully secure the vessel to the barge in preparation for transit to a shipyard for survey.”
This was a tragic event, and we still have a lot of work to be done to clean up the impacted ecosystems and waterways. I am eternally grateful to all of the dedicated individuals who worked tirelessly to raise the Aleutian Isle, and all those who will continue working to minimize the sinking’s impact on our environment.
Updated COVID-19 Boosters
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 most 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.
MMIWP Breakout Session
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians for their breakout discussion on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People.
It was an incredible informative session, sitting down with such committed and passionate individuals to talk about the future of this issue raised my spirits and helps me feel optimistic about our future.
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 three months has been implemented across the state.
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.
Thank you to everyone at ATNI for this incredible and eye-opening session! I look forward to working with you all more in the future.
An Update from Congressman Larsen
Friends, I’m pleased to share with you an update from Congressman Rick Larsen – and I want to extend my thanks for the Congressman taking the time to share information with State Legislators so we can follow up on implementing federal laws in Washington State and our communities.
Here is the update from Congressman Larsen:
We passed the Presidential Election Reform Act yesterday to reform the 1887 Election Reform Act, the law that governs the electoral college count
The bill will severely limit and in some cases outright ban some of the House member shenanigans on Jan 6 that fueled the insurrection
1. Clarifies the VP role in counting is CEREMONIAL only. Cannot reject or delay counting
2. States have to submit a single and accurate count.
3. Sets a deadline by which governors must send electoral results to Congress
4 prohibits states from rescinding results
5. Eliminates ability of state to declare a failed election
6. Prohibits election officials from refusing to count callous or certify elections
7. Raises the objection threshold to one-third of House and one-third of the Senate
8. Lists the explicit Constitutional grounds under which an objection can be filed
Only 9 GOPers voted for it
Senate takes up its version next week.”
Thank you again to Congressman Larsen for keeping us informed! I’ll be sure to provide additional updates as this makes its way through Congress and is implemented nationwide as well.
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.
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.
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.