Dear Friends, 

Serving as your Representative in the Peoples’ House has been the honor of my lifetime, and I count myself lucky that I wake up each day and get to go to work on your behalf, and on behalf of our communities.

The importance of our work is not lost on me, and it is only amplified by the fact that I am the only Native American serving in our legislature. This is not a position I take lightly, and it is truly humbling to hold this important position in the ongoing conversation happening in Washington.

Now, I am so excited to let you know that I will soon be the first member of our legislature to have their traditional name officially used on my floor badges, and office door!

The traditions and values of my upbringing carry over into all the work we do – focusing on community, protecting mother earth, and uplifting those around us that need our help the most.

It is an honor to have my traditional name added to my official materials, and I am so grateful for your continued support!

Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Addressing Salmon Recovery in the Seattle Times

Salmon restoration has always been at the forefront of my work, and it continues to lead the way as I fight to protect our beautiful natural world for the next seven generations to come.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of sharing an opinion piece in the Seattle Times outlining the importance of salmon restoration – from removing the harmful snake river dams to emphasizing habitat restoration, this must be a priority of ours mobbing forward.

One of the snake river dams

I’d like to take a moment and share a part of that piece with you here:

“Washington state continues to face one of the most significant crises of our lifetimes in the degradation of Pacific Northwest salmon. The salmon, whose numbers have been plummeting for decades, are now in some places facing extinction. Once the salmon are gone, the very foundation of Pacific Northwest Native American culture, laws and values will be irreparably damaged.

I stand before you as the only Native American in the Washington state Legislature. I’m asking your spirits and hearts to make the right choices to avoid salmon extinction.


Together, we can urge collaboration from the state, local governments, tribes, Congress and the Biden administration to act. Together, we can ensure a prosperous future based on our Washington state values of protecting the environment and economies.”

This is something that will take time to get right, and something that we cannot wait any longer to do. Restoring our salmon to their natural and original splendor will have incredible impacts throughout the Pacific Northwest – it is something we can do today that will benefit our grandchildren’s grandchildren, and generations more that follow.

Together we can accomplish so much, but we must continue to put pressure on our elected officials. I will always work to lead the way and advocate on behalf of our salmon in Olympia, but we must make our elected officials from the community level to the national understand that this is our priority.

I am glad to be standing beside you all as we work to solve the challenges facing our salmon, and I am confident that together we can accomplish incredible things. Be on the lookout for additional information as we continue working on this front – I will be sure to continue to provide updates as we do this important work.

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.

Supporting Skagit Dems! 

It is vital that we support the Skagit Dems! Normally we have over 200 guests attending our Gala, and our numbers are down under 150.  We believe you all are committed to supporting an organization that educates our communities and shares our Democratic values. 

This organization needs your support now more than ever. Recent years have seen some of the lowest voter turnout in recent memory, and it will take all of our support and encouragement to elect candidates that will work for our communities.

We need your help heading into November as we get out to door knock, host events, reach out to voters, and do whatever we can to “get out the vote” come election day.

The Skagit Democrats are vital this year, and we are focused on retaining Representative Dave Paul in the 10th LD, and flipping the District’s other seat by electing Clyde Shavers. We need their Democratic seats and votes in the House to ensure our community’s, neighbor’s, and children’s futures are safe and prosperous for generations to come.

Though you may live outside of the Skagit Dems’ districts, it’s still important that we support Democratic candidates wherever we can. We are family across the state and across the country – showing support for the Skagit Dems will have direct impacts on the 40th LD.


Join me at the Skagit Dems! You can register to attend here.

Make Sure You Are Registered to Vote!

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 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.  

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

The Many Ways to Support Salmon Recovery 

Friends, while I am proud of my piece in the Seattle Times, that has not been my only recent work aimed at protecting and rejuvenating our salmon populations. Earlier this week, I was pleased to join Members of Congress Derek Kilmer and Marilyn Strickland as a part of our Puget Sound Partnership.

The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Partnership brings together hundreds of partners to mobilize partner action around a common agenda, advance Sound investments, and advance priority actions by supporting partners.

It’s a pleasure to work at all levels of government and across the private sector to take these important steps that we all know are a necessity to protect and promote our salmon populations.

An additional advocate for our salmon are Salmon Defense, who acquired the rights to “As Long as the Rivers Run,” a film that documents the Fish Wars of the late 1960s to early 1970s. The film was directed by Carol Burns and co-produced by Hank Adams.

The “As Long as the Rivers Run” project is aimed at conserving and redistributing the film as an educational tool. Salmon Defense updated and repackaged the film by digitally re-mastering it to meet today’s digital standards, and it has been distributed to tribes, schools and others.

The movie is available on DVD by request as well as streaming at YouTube or through the Internet Archive.

We all understand how important this issue is to Washington state, and I will always work to ensure that we spread that understanding far and wide as we work to restore our salmon populations to their original splendor, which will have incredible impacts not just on our communities, but across the country.

Brooks Sasquatch Collection! 

There is a new pair of running shoes for us to celebrate!

Celebrating running shoes may be new, but Brooks recently announced and released their “Sasquatch Collection” of running shoes and apparel designed by a Nooksack artist!

This a great opportunity to showcase our incredible talent right here in Washington state. I am so pleased to see Brooks supporting Native artists and bringing these ideals to a much wider audience.

According to Brook’s website:

“The limited edition Sasquatch collection by Nooksack artist Louie Gong invites us to consider our impact and how to stay in step with nature. Gong’s designs tell the story of the shape-shifting forest protector Sasquatch fused with native Pacific Northwest plants, like big leaf maple and licorice ferns. The Sasquatch collection shares a message to tread with care in our interconnected natural world.

Celebrate our connection to the land we run on.”

This is a great way to stay active and support our Native brothers and sisters. If you want to check out the collection, click here.

New Carpenters Union Apprentice Training Center

Last week, I had the pleasure of touring the newly opened Carpenters Union Apprentice Training Center!

It was so incredible to tour this wonderful facility, and I am glad that our carpenters have this new resource to train their apprentices. Supporting trades as career paths is something close to my heart, and I am proud to work on behalf of our carpenters and all laborers here in the 40th LD!

Our carpenters who do work in all facets of construction. Their continued support has led to improved safety and wages, and has provided additional opportunities for training. Thank you for all your hard work!

Supporting our laborers is something I take seriously, and I am so grateful to have received their support in return.

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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