House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Alana Greear, elementary teacher at Kachemak-Selo School, joins the race for the District 6 seat of the Alaska State House alongside Anchor Point-based candidate Dawson Slaughter and incumbent Sarah Vance. Greear filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Division of Elections on April 5, and is running as an independent.

Greear has a master’s degree in elementary education and has been teaching between K-Selo and Razdolna Schools for the past 10 years. She was considering getting her Ph.D., but was urged by others to pursue office instead, she told Homer News on Friday, April 12.

“I’m very invested in my community and in the education of our future generation. I take a great interest in multilingual, gifted and rural learners,” she said. “I was (recently) at a conference with state and district leaders from across the nation, and during that time the governor vetoed the bipartisan education bill.”

Greear said that, in speaking to other conference attendees about the veto of Senate Bill 140 and about pursuing a doctorate, she was told that a more effective way of helping the Alaska youth population was to run for office instead.

“I put that in my heart and I thought about it, talked to friends, peers and my family,” she said. “And I decided it was time.”

Greear moved to Alaska from California in the mid-1990s. She said that during her time in California, she was “really proud to be in a purple state, where people work together to solve issues,” rather than being driven by partisan ideology. This influenced her decision to run as an independent candidate.

“Over the last (few) years, people have gotten so into this idea that ‘this is my party, my life, who I am,’” she said. “As Alaskans, we are more complex than that. We all face more common challenges. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed — as a representative, I want to talk to everyone in the district, find out how everyone feels and do what’s right for all of us.

“We have to come together to solve our problems,” she said.

One of Greear’s main focuses lies with Alaska’s education system.

“Education is my wheelhouse. Not only have I raised a lot of children in our public and private schools and in home-school, but then I became a teacher, so I have that side, too,” she said. “That is my focus. I’m very disappointed in how the quality of public education in our state has gone down. The opportunities that (my children) had compared to what’s available now is heartbreaking.”

With her experience working in the villages, Greear said that she’s also concerned with fishing and with the state’s conversation on renewable energy, particularly “working away from forms of energy that are costing our communities so much money.”

“We have to really start looking for replacements for natural gas,” she said.

Greear would also like to focus on youth and young families in the community.

“We can’t survive as a community if we don’t find ways for young people, for young families, to survive here,” she said. “I want to keep working toward (a safe, healthy community) being our vibrant reality on the ground in the lower Kenai Peninsula.”

In her campaign, Greear plans to take a more hands-on approach, taking opportunities to “go out and do things.”

“It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m having such an interesting time and meeting people I’d never get to meet (otherwise),” she said. “I hope to bring that enthusiasm with me through this process. We have so much more in common than we have disagreements about. I just think it’s really exciting.”