Dear Rep. Lekanoff | Letter

Rep. Lekanoff,

When visiting the Swinomish Casino recently we got into a conversation with one of the bartenders about whether the casino recycles. She said, “No (a vague reference to various management objections),” “so much of this stuff I have to throw out,” and “It just kills me.”

I realize that the state has no jurisdiction over the tribes, and so I can’t possibly expect you to legislate on this matter, but I can’t even imagine the volume of recyclables that one casino’s bars generate, still less the entire place. Multiplied by the number of tribal casinos within the 40th district alone, plus that of all of those within the state.

I had hoped that as a member of the Swinomish tribe and as a legislator that this might concern you and you might be able to direct any influence you may have toward this matter. I don’t understand how preserving the sacred lands of native peoples, and those that have become sacred to those of us who were born and raised and live here, too, is compatible with this practice.

Melissa Mortenson

San Juan Island