Dear neighbors,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe as we continue to battle the public health crises of COVID-19, racism, and police brutality. It’s important we’re there to support each other, even as we practice social distancing.

Today’s newsletter reflects on the evolution of how we celebrate holidays, and includes important information about child care partnership grants the state is currently offering.

Rethinking Our Holiday Celebrations

The weather is beautiful, and July 4 is approaching. Many of us long to gather our family and friends to celebrate with barbecues, camping trips, and fireworks displays. Unfortunately, we’re also experiencing another surge in new COVID-19 cases, which puts public health at great risk.  That’s why health officials are advising us to fight that urge to congregate and stay home instead.

Dolores Huerta stands to the right of a podium, microphone held at her left side, and right fist raised in the air. Next to and behind her colorfully dressed people are gathered and appear to be shouting in support. Part of a Latino Legislative Day sign is visible in the background.

Dolores Huerta speaks at a rally at the Washington State Capitol on March 18, 2019.

This is a good time to reflect on what holidays mean to us and how they have evolved over time.  In Washington state, we’ve recently added Cesar Chavez Day and Dolores Huerta Day as observed holidays, and currently legislative efforts are underway to make Juneteenth a legal holiday, which would make it a paid holiday for most state workers.

This represents a departure from the holidays traditionally observed in our state, which largely commemorate war efforts, and still include Columbus Day and Marcus Whitman Day.

COVID-19 has affected our ability to celebrate holidays as we usually do, and we’re in a historical moment that is open to including holidays that reflect the true ethnic and racial makeup and history of our country. This seems like a perfect time to reevaluate the importance of our holiday celebrations.

For many of us, holidays are cultural expressions that focus on the importance of pause, reflection, community and celebration. As we resist the urge to go out and party in large groups, it’s time to consider how we can achieve these things without increasing our risk of infecting others or becoming infected with COVID-19.

Click here for some tips for celebrating as safely as possible if you choose to leave your home.

Child Care Partnership Grants

Small child surrounded by colorful toys holds out a transparent green cup being grasped by an adult hand.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is offering grants to local partnerships to stabilize and expand child care capacity in our communities. Organizations that are eligible to apply on behalf of a collaborative group include Washington nonprofits, federally recognized tribes, and local government entities (including school districts and educational service districts).

There will be two application rounds with deadlines of July 13 and September 11.

Click here to learn more about requirements, important dates, and more.

My office welcomes your thoughts and concerns, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what issues are important to you and your community.


Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

Contact Information

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