Dear Friends, 

This has been a spectacular week in Olympia. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with so many dedicated individuals, both in planned meetings, and happy accidents bumping into old friends and colleagues.

The work we are doing this legislative session is incredible, and it is because of the collaboration of so many people dedicated to the same goal of helping make the best possible Washington. I am proud of the progress we have made already.

I’d like to highlight several of these meetings in today’s Fantastic Friday, but first, a shoutout for an incredible organization!

The Inatai Foundation issues grants aimed at transforming the balance of power to ensure equity and racial justice across Washington and beyond. They do incredible work supporting Washingtonians and uplifting those who need our support the most.

They have issued Systems, Power, and Action Grants each year since 2020, and have provided much needed resources to so many Washingtonians that are stepping up and doing the difficult work of improving our communities, one day at a time.

Learn more about their grant recipients here.

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me this week, and for the incredible work you are doing.


Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Nooksack Tribal Council

This week, I was so honored to have a visit from the Nooksack Tribal Council at my office in Olympia!

We have collaborated to seek pathways for State and Tribal relationships. Together, we are beginning to work on a future housing project that is being carried forward by my colleague, Representative Joe Timmons from the 42nd LD.

Understanding that the ongoing work to project the Nooksack River is incredibly important for the whole of Washington, we are continuing to work towards ensuring that the water adjudication of the river carries forward in the legal process, while still finding pathways to support relationships between all stakeholders. 

Thank you for the visit, Councilmembers! If you’d like to learn more about the Nooksack tribe, click here.


Washington State Farmworkers Tribunal 

It is no secret that a priority of mine is supporting food and farmworkers in Washington – and I was honored to stand with Representative Lillian Ortiz Self from the 21st LD, and many other legislative members, who came together to honor our Washington farmworkers at their recent tribunal.

Farmworkers workers put their lives on the line working in extreme weather conditions. Whether they are working in the summer fields or the floodplains of the Northwest, they are the ones who are there before the sun comes up through the warmest part of the days. It is because of their work that our tables have food.

We can do more as state legislators to support our agricultural community, to provide better workforce protection, and to sustain an industry that provides food for homes and schools in our communities. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many lives lost within the food and farmworker communities – this tribunal was a way of sharing their sorrow, and I am honored to have been a part of it.  

This year I was able to coordinate with my friends across the aisle to ensure that our farm workers were included in important task forces and committees to show that their voices were heard. I’m honored to listen and learn and support those who are doing this important, under appreciated work.

STEM in the 40th LD

I was so surprised to run into my wonderful friends who support the STEM program in the 40th LD!

STEM is an important program that starts early on from grade school through high school, up through college. The program has evolved into providing new opportunities in our most diverse communities so we can build engineers, scientists, and doctors who look like us and sound like us.

The STEM program has incorporated equity and diversity into outreach. We know when a young person sees someone who looks like them and sounds like them in a professional field, they see that their lives have limitless possibilities. Showing that there are people just like them in all walks of life boosts confidence when they need it most.

The STEM program helps us reach for the stars!

Thank You, Chairwoman Brigham!

Chairwoman Kat Brigham of the Umatilla Tribe has been my mentor for many years, and I was a pleasure to see her this week.

The Confederated Tribes of three tribes located in Northeast Washington territory: Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla. They embrace the ancestral responsibility of taking care of the ecosystem that is shared between tribes and states.

As we work on important matters such as water quality, I look to the work that the tribes and stakeholders have done in the Walla Walla District. We have a lot to learn from their work, their understanding that each of them have a responsibility to take care of the water and to ensure water is there for generations to come.

We must sustain the needs of water today for industry, local growth, local salmon populations, and protecting the way life that’s been passed down through generations.

I am honored to learn from the Umatilla Tribe and their work on the Walla Walla District, and to be able to bring this knowledge home to share on the work we do in water quality and quantity in our 40th LD.

Washington School Retirees Association

I have such great respect for our Washington School Retirees Association.

Many of my constituents are retired teachers who gave their lives to a career that would help build the next generations of Washingtonians. They only asked for one thing – to not forget them, and ensure that they are taken care of in the future.

We are working hard to ensure that we fund their retirement, COLA’s, and healthcare needs. Many of the retired teachers who are living underneath these pension systems only have one source of income and they should not have to choose between buying groceries, paying for utilities, or to purchasing their medicine.

These three constituents are part of a broader coalition of almost 500 retired teachers, and they came down to Olympia to spend a whole day educating us to understand how important it is to ensure we are taking care of their retirement resources.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me!