Protecting Vital Public Services
It is necessary to maintain vital community programs to help bridge the divide in lifestyles and services seen across our vast state.
Each year, budget cuts consistently impact essential services in our state and I have seen firsthand how these dramatic reductions have affected Alaskans. Funding for programs like Community Assistance and Power Cost Equalization is too vital to our communities to be used to fill the budget deficit. Now, more than ever, Alaskans deserve reliable and responsible funding for essential programs and the increased cost of living.
Supporting Public Safety
You deserve to feel safe in your community and home – qualified law enforcement and tribal partnerships will ensure it.
I believe increased funding for quality training, equipment, and housing for Village Public Safety Officers is one way the State of Alaska can show its commitment to reducing crime in our communities. Law enforcement presence is just one aspect to safe communities. Partnering with Tribes, empowering Tribal courts, and transforming rehabilitative processes to culturally and locally relevant solutions will reduce recidivism and create better opportunities for communal and familial healing. I will support any legislative change that will allow our people to heal through partnerships with Tribes.
Funding Meaningful Education
Equipping schools with the necessary funding to provide our children with a quality education is a top priority.
As a product of the rural public education system, I understand the importance a school can have within a community. Schools have become cornerstones of our communities, providing gathering spaces, educational resources, and critical community centers. In many schools, staff and faculty teach our students significant life lessons, such as how to skin ugruk (bearded seal), cold-weather survival techniques, and fundamental social skills. Public schools are the heart of our communities.
Many of our schools are small and outdated, with some even facing the imminent threat of climate change. Electing a representative that will fight for capital funding to increase access to broadband, school meals, and after school programs is crucial. Additionally, continuing to invest in vocational programs and the University of Alaska will ensure a qualified and educated workforce.
Finally, I will fight to protect funding for programs like the Technical Vocational Education Program, which ensures our local educational institutions, Iḷisaġvik College and Alaska Technical Center, are funded at a level where they can provide meaningful and comprehensive educational programs and workforce development.
Sustainable Resource Development
For decades, responsible resource development has provided revenue, jobs, and critical infrastructure for Alaska.
Developing Alaska’s resources for the sustainability of our great state is especially important for our district, which leads in responsible development. From oil fields on the North Slope to the Red Dog Mine, these companies, not only self-impose strict safety and environmental guidelines, they promote shareholder and local hire which has brought thousands of jobs to our residents.
We have witnessed an exciting global shift with renewable resources. This shift presents an opportunity for Alaska push the envelope when it comes to exploring and expanding renewable resources. Our land, water, and clean air can power our communities; and it is time we start investing in such solutions. Alaska must be ready and equipped with alternative energy solutions.
Fostering Tribal Partnerships
Today, we are faced with new challenges and I believe the State of Alaska needs to foster productive, meaningful, and equitable partnerships with Tribes to solve them.
Our people have lived on these lands that are House District 40 for thousands of years. We had complex social and economic systems that allowed our people to adapt and overcome many challenges. Solutions for education, public safety, and many other issues could be solved by establishing these partnerships. Protecting subsistence rights for our people, which enable them to provide for their families is vital. The State of Alaska can play an important role by partnering with communities and tribes to support efforts to revitalize language. Through creative and community-based solutions, efforts like increasing Indigenous place names and providing culturally relevant curriculum in local schools can be achieved.