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May 16, 2021

ACLU: Assembly Cannot End Testimony

Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska Foundation submitted a letter to Ernie Hall, Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly on Friday. Mittman cites the Municipal Charter,  Assembly Practice, and the rights inherent in public fora to state that any Anchorage citizens still waiting to testify on Ordinance 37 at the end of Monday’s meeting, must have the right to do so, and the Assembly must schedule another meeting for further public testimony. Hall had stated that testimony would be cut off at 11:00pm on Monday, regardless of whether citizens remained in line wishing to testify. Earlier in the…

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AO37 Testimony Still Going Strong

After 15 combined hours of testimony, the line of people waiting to address Assembly members stretched to the back of the room, and the auditorium was more than half full. It was 11:00 at night on a Wednesday. There is no doubt that the issue of Ordinance 37, which would radically alter the collective bargaining rights, and benefits of city workers, has hit Alaskans close to home. Longevity and performance bonuses, the right to strike, binding arbitration, and who exactly will decide the outcome of contract negotiations all hang in the balance. For the last week and a half, the…

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3/8 Steele for Assembly

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Open Thread – Puppet Show!

  Please remember this at the ballot box if you live in West Anchorage! We don’t need another Sullivan puppet on the Anchorage Assembly. Please consider donating to, and supporting Tim Steele, even if you live outside the district. He’s got the backing of former Assembly member (now House Rep) Harriet Drummond, and many of Anchorage’s top education professionals. There are only 11 Assembly members, and the decisions they make affect ALL of us, so do your part to get good people there! Tim Steele for Anchorage!

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I love my city, and I love my job

“It’s starting to feel like a rock concert.” I agreed with the anonymous voice drifting over the mass of people, packed like sardines into the lobby of the Assembly chambers. Bright lights were on, TV cameras set up, and people were fanning themselves with folders, and papers. Everyone was here to testify on Ordinance 37, the mayor’s attempt to take advantage of the current makeup of the Assembly to push through a law that would restrict workers’ rights, and curtail collective bargaining for public unions. The turnout was impressive. I wasn’t sure if anyone had shown up to testify in…

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2/26-27 No on 37!

You may be hearing conflicting information on when to testify before the Assembly regarding Mayor Sullivan’s gutting of collective bargaining, and other rights of municipal workers. There may be deliberate obfuscation happening. It’s been done before. The rules of the Assembly say they cannot change the date of public testimony without two weeks notice. There has not been 2 weeks notice. So, show up, and sign up to testify on Tuesday. The “all call” is still out for Wednesday, but there is the possibility of shenanigans on Tuesday. Ernie Hall is quoted in the paper saying one thing, and Sullivan…

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R’s with Cold Feet Avoid Constituents (PHOTOS)

  During a day of passionate activism, and constituent engagement, it was interesting to note which elected officials showed up to listen, and which did not. At the Loussac Library in Anchorage, the troops were out in force. It was a rare moment. Because Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is not on the road system, it means to to look your elected officials in the eye during the legislative session requires a $400 plane ticket, and a day’s worth of travel time. Many are irked by this arrangement of geography and politics, so when Anchorage legislators come to town to hear testimony…

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Socialists? Marxists? No – Republicans!

I want to be a Republican and I want a time machine. Oh, I’m not going all Lindsey Holmes on you; I need a time machine to find the Grand Old Party. I have to thank Mayor Dan Sullivan for starting me on this quest. A few weeks ago, at five minutes until closing time, the mayor announced a plan to roll back more than four decades of labor policy in Anchorage. It wasn’t the first shot in his war on working men and women in our town — but this was the nuclear option. I take it as a…

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Tuesday Testimony for Ordinance 37?

Despite confusion from the Administration, Public Testimony on Anti-Worker Ordinance 37 is officially scheduled to start TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH sometime after 6:00 pm. This ordinance would freeze Muni employee pay and benefits forever, gut collective bargaining rights, and sets up “managed competition,” in which city employees would bid against private contractors for work. There has been conflicting information circulating about when public testimony is supposed to begin. Assembly Chair, Ernie Hall announced to a Working Group held last Friday between the Assembly and the unions that the testimony would begin on Wednesday, February 27th. Mayor Sullivan repeated that same announcement…

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Mayor Misrepresents Student Performance

I look forward each week to Sunday’s Alaska Ear column in the Anchorage Daily News, as penned by formerly-anonymous reporter Sheila Toomey. For many years I considered it purely entertainment, until I got involved with the fetid swamp known as Alaska politics. It was then that I discovered the accuracy of The Omnicient Oriface’s information. So it was with great interest that I read this tidbit from Sunday’s column: “. . A couple of weeks ago earwigs reported our new school superintendent, Jim Browder, walked out in protest while Mayor Sullivan made a presentation at some big public meeting. The…

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