Anchorage masks could go from order to ordinance - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021
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Anchorage masks could go from order to ordinance

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The Anchorage mask mandate, now an emergency order by the acting mayor, will be considered by the Anchorage Assembly as an official law — beyond just an emergency order.

The proposed ordinance and three others will be introduced at Tuesday night’s Anchorage Assembly meeting.

In addition to making masks mandatory by ordinance, the Assembly is being asked to consider revoking its plastic bag ban, and putting curbside pickup for alcohol and marijuana into ordinance.

In 2019, the Assembly made single-use plastic bags illegal in retail stores. Now, they would be legal again, per the ordinance change.

The face mask ordinance could relieve the political pressure on Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, but also make it more of an issue in the upcoming mayoral race.

One of the leading candidates for mayor, Democrat Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar, is on record supporting the mask mandate, while at least one other, Republican candidate Dave Bronson, not currently holding elected office, is in favor of personal choice and responsibility. Surely the proposed ordinances will become a debate point between the candidates.

If a candidate is elected as mayor who does not support the mask mandate, his or her hands will be tied by the ordinance, as the only way the mandate could then be lifted would by via a change voted on by the Assembly.

Assembly members John Weddleton, Meg Zaletel and Suzanne LaFrance are introducing the ordinances, which won’t be voted on during Tuesday’s meeting. Ordinances require public comment periods, which require legal notices.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Biden has said the entire country should be wearing masks for another 3 months so if enforceable, expect him to sign that presidential order.

  • Past time for civil disobedience in Anchorage!

    • No civil disobedience required. Mask mandates are easily bypassed by medical exemptions. Check CDC guidelines for exceptions like anxiety, stress, etc…. all of these exceptions make these mandates/laws inapplicable to citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under these protections no business can deny you service for not wearing a mask. Violations can result in a $75,000 fine, regardless of the offending vendor (yes the local/ state/ federal governments are subject as well). Here is a brief synopsis:
      1) Requires reasonable accommodations for anyone unable to wear a mask for medical reasons
      2) You cannot be forced to disclose any medical condition. SCOTUS recognizes your constitutional right to privacy
      3) Your right to privacy is further protected by the 5th amendment and HIPAA

  • Nope! Civil disobedience people!

  • Not wanting to be a broken record here (for those of us who remember “records”), but masks are the new Burka. Its a symbol of submission and loyalty. If you don’t wear a mask it means you are a rebel and not adhering to the cause. This has nothing to do with health, its all psychological. Next could be clothing or some type of marking on your skin (vaccinations leave a mark). Juneau will follow, our original 30 day mask mandate is approaching one year with no end in sight.

    • Exactly correct. Some sort of mask and/or face covering is here to stay forever. Yes, forever. This is because of the fact the virus is also here forever and the vaccine DOES NOT prevent spread. Strange how the flu vaccine prevents spread but not C19.

    • Absolutely. Just look to wealthy Saudi women, they board their private jets in Riyadh fitted out in an abaya, and deplane in London wearing Levis, heels and a tight top.

      I think Suzanne has a picture of Berkowitz at the assembly meeting, whispering in someones ear, minus mask. It’s all BS, virtu signaling and social control in one form or another. Biden proved this, on his first day in office, at the Lincoln Memorial.

  • “Quick! Let’s make our opinions law before we lose power because of our opinions”!

  • The people of Anchorage must be on crack or just stupid to allow these communists to be their leaders. I mean, Wow!

  • NOW will someone in Anchorage sue this out of control Assembly?

    Probably not since Anchorage has proven itself to be populated by compliant sheep.

  • An ordinance is the not a law…..Period. It is just more of the socialist agenda to force you to conform to idiocy. If this garbage continues it will come to a time when those will get in their face and no mask will stop that.

  • “What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target reconnaissance of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, cathouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Cameras go on at the first sign of a mask infraction. Your fugitive’s name is Forrest Dumbar. Go get him camera toting citizen journalists.” #sansmaskorpants

  • Communicated with John Weddleton on this one, and there is a logic behind it.
    By codifying the mask mandate into the Muni law, it will remove it as a tool the Mayor can use under the emergency order. If I read the AO correctly, that removal will be permanent under the current EO. If this goes into Muni code, the mayor cannot alter the mask mandate, or re-instate it if the Assembly decides to remove it from the Muni code.
    The intent is to put the revocation of this mandate on every Assembly agenda, instead of leaving it the whim of the Mayor.
    While I understand the logic, I do not agree with the application. The Assembly has clearly demonstrated they prefer the choice that limits personal freedom. They have consistently voted that way since the EO was first passed. There is no reason to assume this mandate will be removed from Muni code at any time.

  • The “emergency’ orders should be of limited duration and should be superseded by ordinances enacted by the Assembly. The ordinances should be based on public testimony and factual information. The great risk with the Anchorage Assembly is that they will enact a permanent and complete masking requirement that may never be repealed and we will be required to wear masks until the mid-2030s. Many in government have figured out how to impose mandates but few have thought about how to undo the requirements and the reasons for ending them. The Assembly will undoubtedly make multiple mistakes in the process.

  • There will be a lot of folks like me who won’t come to ANC to shop because of the mask mandate… I’ve had my vax – both doses. Vote the commies out!

    • Definitely time to get out of town. To make it a law that the people of a city have to wear something no matter what it is just shows tyranny ams dictatorship! The last time I checked this was the USA!

  • HALLELUJAH !! It’s about time!! Should have happened last spring!

    • Gale, seriously? What type of masks? Any exclusions? No thought expended as to what masks if any are actually effective and if so for what period of time? Given the absence of the above, isn’t this really just about compliance? Masks have not been effective in stopping the spread of anything, Gale. In fact there is evidence that masks promote several unhealthy issues, including giving people a false sense of security. I think that mandating the wearing of the color purple might be more effective. How about little yellow stars?

  • Oh gosh! I hope not! Facial covering by law will only make travelling around the city more challenging than its already traveling unmasked. I’m thinking the people not for masks aren’t really serious about not wearing them. I sense everyday I am 1 out of 10 Anchorage people still running around maskless, it’s getting a little lonely. I just don’t care about the mask, I never cared for anything worn on my head. I’d like to be respected for my choice as I respect a child refusing putting on coat on a winter day before leaving for the car because they aretoo hot, despite being told wearing it is for their good. Some people just don’t like wearing things on their head. My grandmother’s generation will think it’s okay, they wouldn’t have forced me to wear a hat, scarf, sunglasses, scarf, or a mouth-facial covering over my head. I want to be respected for the old ways I learned from growing up around my grandparents. Is that too much to ask?

  • Time the names and address of every assembly person was post that votes on this to show them directly how Alaskans feel about their tyrannical overreach. And when Anchorage is done with Rivera they will be next.

    Time we send them all scrubbing the toilets for a living just like Rivera, get “RECALLS” started on everyone of them and real soon their political carriers will be coming to an end and their sanitation jobs beginning !!!

  • Hedging their bets….
    It appears that certain elements on the assembly fear that there may be a new sheriff in town before long and in order to keep the “people controlling elements” they have to be codified in municipal law and with that come fees and fines for non-compliance. However making it law, makes the implementation directly attributable to each and every assembly member and their vote. No more hiding behind the mayor.
    Mask wearing should be left to the individual. If you feel vulnerable, wear one, but leave the rest of us alone.

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