Dear Friends, 

Each year in early September we take time out of our lives to remember the tragic events of September 11, and we reach out a hand to those around us as we continue to honor the lives lost.


I want to take a quiet moment to remember those who lost their lives, the first responders who worked tirelessly to save lives, and our communities across the country who stood together in the face of adversity on September 11, more than two decades ago.


The first responders who ran in to help those trying to escape have earned our respect and thanks countless times over, and no matter how much time passes I will always hold their sacrifice in my heart each year as we remember their selflessness and dedication to help those who needed it most.


We must all link arms and reach out a helping hand to our neighbors as we look to the future, just like we did for the families that lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. When we do this, we will emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.


Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy” 
Rep. Debra Lekanoff


This Week’s Events


This past week, I had the pleasure of attending a number of great events and supporting some great candidates running for public office! I have mentioned several of these in previous updates, but I want to take some time today to highlight these important people and organizations.


First, joining State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti at the Boundary Bay Brewery!


It was a pleasure to sit down with Mike and meet with so many of you this week. I’m grateful for the perspectives you all shared with me, and I hope we were able to express to you how grateful we are for your continued support as we work on your behalf in Olympia.



Mike has been a tremendous treasurer for our state and I look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish. He has fought against financial fraud and government waste, ensuring that your tax dollars go where they are supposed to – places that improve our communities and our state.


Next, supporting Bonnie Bowers as she runs for re-election!


We have talked about Bonnie several times in the past, and I hope she can count on your support. It was wonderful to see the community come out to hear her discuss the important issues facing Anacortes, and I am grateful to count her as a friend and colleague.


Bonnie was raised in the Skagit Valley, attended the FBI National Academy, and worked for 33 years in law enforcement – including as the Anacortes Police Chief!


She was elected to the Port Commission in 2019, and has worked to support our communities through sustainable industry and commerce. She has had an incredible impact here in the 40th LD, and I am proud to support her as she runs for re-election!



If you are interested in supporting Bonnie as well, campaign signs are available by emailing [email protected].


For more information on her and her campaign, check out her website here.


Finally, thank you to the Whatcom Democrats for hosting an incredible evening at their Eleanor Roosevelt Gala – the first one that was in-person since 2019!



Guest speakers included Attorney General (and 2024 candidate for Governor) Bob Ferguson, Washington State Democrats Chair Shasti Conrad, and Manka Dhingra, Deputy Majority Leader of the State Senate (and 2024 candidate for Attorney General).



The whole evening was magical, and I am always humbled to see so many dedicated public servant standing up and expressing their passion for the people.


Thank you again to the Whatcom Democrats for this wonderful event. I am already looking forward to next year!



Bob Ferguson for Governor


Friends, while we’ve talked about his first steps into campaigning for Governor, I am happy to let you know that Attorney General Bob Ferguson officially announced his candidacy last week!


Bob help three events last week to officially kickoff his campaign, and he was joined by current Governor Jay Inslee, who endorsed Bob to succeed him in Olympia.


“I’ve worked closely with Bob Ferguson and watched him work to hold powerful interests accountable and defend the core freedoms, including reproductive freedom, of every Washingtonian,” Governor Inslee said. “He knows how to win and deliver for Washingtonians. I enthusiastically endorse Bob for Governor because he’s a proven leader ready to take on our toughest challenges and put the people of Washington first every day.”



It has been a pleasure to work with Bob as Attorney General and I am so grateful for his ongoing support as I have served in the People’s House.


Now, I am thrilled to return that support as he begins this journey into the next phase of his service to Washington and Washingtonians! I hope you’ll consider joining him as well.


To learn more about Bob and his work, click here.



Examining Our Troubled Past 


Friends, we have talked several times about former Native boarding schools in the United States Canada, where generations of Indigenous children were taken from their families in an attempt to assimilate them into American and Canadian culture.


These schools are horrible blights on our history, and we need only look so far as the survivors of these schools who walk among us today to understand the deep, traumatic impact this policy has had on our Native communities.


Now, I want to share with you a new interactive map that shows the locations and histories of these schools.



The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition has spent years building this database, and the interactive map now contains dozens of previously unreported schools that were operated without federal support by church institutions.


While it hurts to do so, we must always look back at the awful things this country has seen and done. By furthering the public understanding of these schools, both their operation and their impact, we will create a world in which such abuse is impossible.


Thank you, to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition for your incredible work on bringing to light the true history of our country.



Thank You, Orcas Island! 


Next, I want to take a moment to extend my thanks to everyone who helped make last weekend’s event on Orcas Island so special!



Thank you to Dave Turnoy, Chair of the San Juan Democrats, for everything you did to help put this event on, I am always grateful to have your continued support as I work to help the San Juan Islands, the 40th LD, and all of Washington State.



I also want to send a big thank you to Judy Scott for her kindness and for always taking the time to attend events with me. It is always a pleasure to see you, and I look forward to the time we are able to spend together.



Finally, thank you to the Tide Pool Café and Yarn Shop for hosting me – I’ll be stopping in whenever I can to say hi! Check out some more photos from the great event below.






New Environmental Protections 


Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it is canceling oil and gas leases on 365,000 acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protecting more than 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.


“With climate change warming the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, we must do everything within our control to meet the highest standards of care to protect this fragile ecosystem,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said. “The steps we are taking today further that commitment, based on the best available science and in recognition of the Indigenous Knowledge of the original stewards of this area, to safeguard our public lands for future generations.”



Read more about this incredible step here.


Our work today must always center on the next seven generations to come, and paramount among our goals must be leaving a beautiful, healthy, hospitable world for them to inhabit.


This is an incredible step forward towards those goals, and I am so grateful to Secretary Haaland and the Department of the Interior for protecting this pristine part of our planet for generations to come.



Updated COVID-19 Vaccine 


Finally, this week Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Mandy Cohen endorsed the recommendation made by the agency’s committee of outside vaccine experts, approving a new COVID-19 booster shot that is recommended for everyone 12-years and older.


As we move into the Fall and Winter, it is important that we take these steps to protect ourselves and others. Updating our COVID-19 vaccines, and getting annual flu and RSV vaccines, is a strong way that we can help keep ourselves, and those around us, healthy.


Friends, by now we all understand the impact that each of us can have on preventing the spread of COVID-19 to those around us. Getting vaccinated remains the most powerful way that we can protect our communities.


For more information, click here.