Debra Lekanoff is an experienced, decisive, forward-thinking public servant. As the Swinomish governmental affairs director, she has approached divisive issues found common ground and moved the needle. She brings people to the table and makes sure they get heard!
She recognizes every decision today impacts future generations. She believes people have the right to individual choices about health and welfare and that communities find solutions that work best for them.
Debra is a leader on climate change and protecting the Salish Sea. She spoke at Goldman Sachs urging divestment from the Cherry Point coal terminal. She worked to phase out Atlantic Salmon farms in the Salish Sea. She was an adviser to the EPA and Region 10 administrators in the previous three presidential administrations, addressing climate change policy, water regulations and laws, and transboundary environmental permitting to vessel traffic. She has relationships with federal, state, provincial, First Nation and tribal governments. She stood with Standing Rock and is engaged with Kinder-Morgan and I-1631.
Debra hears the call to action on housing, fair wages, protecting jobs and creating our economic future. She met with the WWU Young Democrats and asked, “At what age do you think you could afford a house around here?” They answered “never.” Debra is determined to work with local, state and tribal organizations to change this harsh reality for our future leaders.
Debra grew up in an Alaska native village and made the Salish Sea her home 20 years ago. Community is her strength, and she brings that perspective to decisions on fiscal responsibility, economic development, natural resource management and justice that work for everyone. She deeply appreciates the public school system and thinks we build vibrant citizens by supporting education from early childhood through job placement and making college and technical training affordable. Mother and peer leader, she has worked with teachers, business owners and families to pass a levy for La Conner schools. Forthright and whip-smart, her energy is infectious, and her vision is of a fair, inclusive future kind to people and our earth.