2019 Endorsed Anchorage Municipal Candidates

Oliver Schiess

District 2 – Seat A – Eagle River/Chugiak

One of my key campaign issues is regarding education. Making sure our children have access to a high-quality education increases their likelihood to participate in the democratic process and act in an environmentally friendly manner. If elected, I plan to support Anchorage’s Climate Action plan and promote policy which facilitates clean air, water, and fisheries. Anchorage’s mail-in ballot has been a successful move forward in bringing in new members into the democratic process. I plan to support this program and work to improve it and expand voting access and education across the city.

Kameron Perez-Verdia

District 3 – Seat D – West Anchorage:

I am running for the Anchorage Assembly because I want to make Anchorage a great place to live and work. This is my home. It is where I am raising my children. I want to ensure that we are on a path to building a safe, economically strong, and culturally vibrant place to live. I want my daughters to be able to feel safe walking home from school, to be able to fish for salmon like I did growing up, to enjoy clean air, and to feel engaged in their community.

These are big goals, but I believe that together, with a diverse strategy, we can achieve them. Public safety is the number one issue I am hearing during my door knocking, phone calls, and in my life as a father and community member. I believe the Mayor and Assembly are on the right track to addressing crime in Anchorage, but as important as increasing the numbers of police and fireman are, it won’t alone solve our crime problem. Crime is interrelated with homelessness, mental health, prison reentry, poverty, and addiction, among other issues. And we cannot address one without addressing the whole–we need a comprehensive strategy that tackles multiple social and systematic issues.

I am looking forward to working with the Assembly, the Mayor, partner community organizations, and community members to improve our infrastructure and provide thoughtful and practical solutions to our most pressing problems.

Meg Zaletel

District 4 – Seat F – Midtown Anchorage

My top issue is building safe connected neighborhoods. I believe it is essential that we build strong neighborhoods that foster community connections among residents as well as physically.

As we plan for Anchorage’s future we must envision the Anchorage we want to see 50+ years from now, one that is resilient, sustainable and connected.

We cannot sacrifice our environment for short term goals. We need an Anchorage that protects its resources to make them available for future generations. We need Anchorage to be a place where residents not only live but thrive.

Forrest Dunbar

District 5 – Seat H – East Anchorage 

My two overarching goals are improving public safety and protecting quality of life. For Anchorage to be prosperous, healthy, and sustainable, we need to create a community where folks feel safe to go outside, to raise their children, and to live, work, and play (yes, I know that feels like a cliche phrase, but it’s true). That means good schools, fully-funded police and fire services, housing options for the less fortunate, and innovative strategies to encourage infill development.

That last one might be the most controversial, but it’s also where a Municipal government has the most direct power to effect change. A livable, bikeable, walkable city is what many folks, both young and old, desire. We can’t do that if we don’t start building up, instead of out, and prioritizing people over automobiles. Anchorage is losing more and more population to the Matsu Valley, and every car or truck on the Glenn Highway is contributing to climate change.

Proposals like up-zoning for increased density, tax credits for housing, or Accessory Dwelling Unit liberalization are sometimes portrayed as attacks on the “character of neighborhoods.” But think about them instead through a different lens: especially when it is close to employment centers, increasing housing stock means more young folks can live in an area without driving for long distances. It means families without generational wealth can settle in an area they were previously locked out of. It means more seniors can age in place. It also means that we can have some room left over for the parks, trails, and green spaces we all value so much.

One last point: I authored and passed the first ordinance that requires indigenous names to be considered when (officially) naming public places. I also fought to see that our new park at DeBarr and Muldoon acknowledged the original name of the nearby creek (Chanshtnu). Anchorage was built on Eklutna Dena’ina land, and I have been working with the Eklutna people on a variety of projects since I was elected. Continuing to recognize and deepen Anchorage’s connection to indigenous culture is both the moral thing to do and makes economic sense; every year, tourists list indigenous culture as one of the top things they want to experience in Alaska during their stays here.

Again, all of these things are part of an overall strategy to create a vibrant, livable, Northern city, that attracts and retains folks of all ages and backgrounds with a shared sense of community and a high quality of life. I hope the Alaska Center will work with me to achieve that goal.

John Weddleton

District 6 – Seat J – South Anchorage

I have been a long time advocate for land use laws that use our land efficiently and protect the natural environment. How we develop has great impacts on air and water quality. I will continue with that. I was very involved with the new stream set back requirements. Those did not go as far as I would have liked towards stream protection but we improved what we had and I expect they are stable. We are just now starting work to codify the ‘Hillside Conservation Subdivision’ guidelines. I have been for many years working to make our transportation system useful for all modes. We have seen great progress over the decades but there remains plenty to work on. I am actively working on the way we prioritize federally funded road projects so they focus on our community goals beyond just moving cars fast.

There is a lot of mistrust of our political system. That makes us weak. I do my little part towards repairing that by answering every email, returning every call and reaching out to people impacted by Assembly actions.

Help us build a just and sustainable future for Anchorage and Alaska. With your support we can elect candidates that share our values.

Build a Brighter Future for Anchorage

Paid for and approved by The Alaska Center, 921 W 6th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, Alaska 99501. Susan Klein, Chair. The top contributors to The Alaska Center (Anchorage, AK) are Tide Advocacy Fund (San Francisco, CA), League of Conservation Voters (Washington, DC), and Sixteen Thirty Fund (Washington, DC). This notice to voters is required by Alaska law: We certify that this literature is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.