On Tuesday, Nov. 8, elections will be held for U.S. House and Senate, Alaska Legislature and the Alaska governor.
To help inform voters, the Homer News is spotlighting local races. Last week, we introduced the southern peninsula candidates for House District 6 and Senate District C.
This week we are featuring House District 6 candidates’ answers to a group of questions. Incumbent Sarah Vance, R-Homer, is being challenged by Homer residents Louie Flora and Ginger Bryant.
1. Suppose you are governor and you have a majority in the State Senate and House that would support you on a budget. How would you craft a budget (including an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend) in the face of shifting revenues from petroleum and permanent fund earnings? What options would you consider, such as new revenues (income or sales taxes), cuts in services, or adjustments to the dividend? In other words, how would you solve the issue of a long-term sustainable fiscal plan?
My first move would be to assemble the best economically savvy minds Alaska has to offer. I would ensure all my policy proposals came from rational well examined options set forth by that braintrust. With the best off my knowledge today, the most immediate and beneficial alternatives I see are:
Ending Oil Companies Tax Subsidies worth 1.2 Billion dollars in Alaskan revenue.
I support a PFD that is figured on the Percent of Market Value. 50% for our common needs. 50% shared with all Alaskans.
I think the Permanent Fund Corporation should be encouraged to find options for investing in Alaska first.
2. How will you vote on Ballot Measure 1, the question of if Alaska should hold a Constitutional Convention? If you support a convention, what would you change or add in the Alaska Constitution?
I vote No: This is idea is playing with fire. Once a fire starts, I don’t care what your original goal was, it will not be what you envisioned.
3. Name three issues affecting District 6.
Deaths of Despair
Lack of skilled workers & Housing for them
Deliberate fracturing of our sense of Community & Democracy
4. How would you solve those issues
Empowerment, Healing and Renewed Connections is how I would solve these issues.
When district 6 comes together in a circle, there are many who are in various stages of despair. If we are honest, few of us emerged unscathed from the pandemic.
The first things we need to do is heal. Get the counselors trained the VRBO geared up for winter therapy groups and let the healing begin.
Other countries have medical tourism. Let’s grow our healing tourism industry and become the place people come to heal. Rehabilitation centers are profitable and sustainable. Veterans, Addictions, Adult Survivors of Boy Scout or Priest abuse, Outward bound style treatment, Detox Centers, residential treatment centers for our youth. The kinds and variety of healing center needed are vast. This requires an investment in our Colleges and Universities, to get the skilled staff ready and in the que.
Empowerment is the next way I would solve our issues. Who needs the most power in our circle? I believe it is the young women. Let us focus on a supercharged AVTEC, (Alaska Vocational Technical Center), campaign to recruit young women to earn and learn a vital well paying trade, while they have an old fashioned Alaskan Adventure. Their training projects can be state funded and focused on learning how to make tiny to medium off grid houses. They can live in them as they learn, then set them up in communities where they go for their apprenticeships. Let’s figure out how to keep them safe as the lean into the Alaskan lifestyle.
We can train Women to work as troopers then send them in triads of three into the villages; hopefully, with one team member that is indigenous. The Homer Docks were exploding this summer with women taking the lead, this women empowerment trend is already underway, we just need to fan the enthusiasm. Let’s make the pendulum swing the other way and be 10 women for every man.
The third issue of connection ~ I will continue to strive to stay in community with those around me. I will work at taking off my blinders. My education, my faith, my American upbringing, my innate sense of right and wrong, all tell me the same thing. We are all in the circle together. This is truly my core belief and how I will approach work as an Alaskan Legislator.
5. If an incumbent, cite three accomplishments you’re proud of during your tenure. If a challenger, what do you think the incumbent didn’t do and what would you attempt to accomplish if elected?
I do not believe that Representative Vance held up her commitment to respect and protect the rights of all Alaskans. No matter how you gender wash it, the bill she personally sponsored: HB 302 “An Act prohibiting abortion after detection of fetal cardiac activity or fetal heart contractions”; takes away women’s rights.
I will work to ensure our Alaskan Privacy remains Sacrosanct, and continues to include all of our “2am decisions”. A smart Alaskan keeps all their tools close at hand. Options are tools. Alaskans don’t take each other’s tools away.
6. Name a book published you read or listened to in the last year that impressed you.
Tomorrow is Growing Old: Stories of the Quakers in Alaska. By Arthur O. Roberts. Newberg, Oregon: The Barclay Press, 1978. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 July 2009
I read this book as part of a Quaker work group that was honored with being Accountability Partners for the, First Alaskans Institute’s, Tribunal and Summit events regarding: 1) Boarding Schools 2) Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives. This book and these two multi-day events transformed my personal path.