Anchorage mayor kills economy, puts people on more welfare with 'vouchers' - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Anchorage mayor kills economy, puts people on more welfare with ‘vouchers’

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It’s Giving Tuesday, and the Anchorage mayor is in on the action.

On the very day when she has shut down the Anchorage economy through ordered lockdowns, Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson announced applications are open for a program providing individuals living in the municipality with one-time vouchers for certain daily expenses such as groceries, diapers, medication, and gasoline.

It’s just like they do in Cuba with coupon booklets.

The $1 million program is funded through the CARES Act and was authorized by the Anchorage Assembly as a way to provide direct economic relief to Anchorage residents.

The program is administered by the municipality’s Business Boutique and will provide vouchers of up to $200 per individual or $400 per family.  

“The pandemic has left so many in our community struggling,” said Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson, blaming the virus for the economic condition that is resulting from her lockdowns. “This program will provide relief to residents who need it the most.” 

The vouchers are non-transferable gift cards that can be redeemed for things the municipality sees are eligible daily expenses from Carrs, Fred Meyer, Natural Pantry, or Red Apple, the municipality said.

Eligible recipients will receive one voucher per address, except for those who live in a residential program that requires sharing a physical or mailing address. As with EBT cards (food stamps), recipients will not be allowed to purchase tobacco or alcohol products with their voucher and will not be able to receive cashback with their vouchers. 

Eligible applicants are residents of the Municipality of Anchorage who meet certain income limits or receive any of the following benefits: Alaska Temporary Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Food Stamps, Pandemic Food Stamps, Medicaid, Denali Kid Care, Social Security/Social Security Disability Insurance, or Unemployment Insurance.  

Applications are open until 11:59 p.m. on December 13th, and residents may apply online at www.muni.org/assistance. Translation assistance is available for those with limited English proficiency. For more information, residents may contact the Business Boutique at [email protected] or call 907-764-0909. 

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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

  • I can tell you a simple solution for the mess caused by the Assembly and the Former and Current Mayor. Open the city completely back up no restrictions and let the people go back to work. The lockdowns are killing the city not the Virus.

    • Of course that would be the logical thing to do. The mayor is not interested in a solution. This is about power and control and getting as many people dependent upon government as possible.

    • That is the dumbest “cookie cutter I can’t think for myself” answer I’ve heard.Seriously, why don’t you give a solution instead of just some stupid blanket statement that’s been told a hundred times over. You people actually need to give constructive criticism and come up with solutions instead of whining and crying about somebody supposedly taking away your freedoms

      • SOCIALIST

      • “Supposedly”?

        When considering solutions, it would be wise to follow the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm”. But I guess you, like many others, would prefer to act in blind and kneejerk fashion, never, ever taking into account or even contemplating the potential and actual costs, consequences and secondary effects of those actions.

  • WOW(!!!), a complete shutdown // lockdown based on what?
    When does true leadership kick-in and prevail on this issue?
    When does logic, reason, and common sense kick-in and prevail?
    When do folks stop acting like sheep and demand freedom?
    Just imagine if something serious happened in Anchorage … Alaska or the USofA, something that required true leadership, logic, reason and/or common sense?
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    God Bless!

  • Liberals are destroying Anchorage. Everybody just stands around and watches. Good luck with that.

    • Unfortunately they don’t just stand around and watch. They race to the polls (or mailboxes or neighborhood vote harvesters) to ensure that Anchorage remains firmly a progressive wasteland. Anchorage voters brought this on themselves. Now should smile and wallow in it.

      Of course if there ever again is an honest election all that could change.

      Don’t bet on it.

  • Let’s admit that if the virus hadn’t got out of control to the point where these measures were deemed necessary, they wouldn’t have been enacted. The virus doesn’t respect politics or spin, it just does its thing. We could let it run amok and see what happens, but if we were to do that, it would determine what happens.
    So, are you feeling lucky?

    • The lockdowns will make no difference to Covid rates as they do not address the real causes of increased transmission. Covid is not transmitting in gyms, retail locations or in restaurants. Destroying these businesses only puts more people out of work and dependent on government services. But alas, that is what the mayor wants. Power and control. How’s that koolaid tasting 😏?

    • What if China had done the right thing from the start, that ship sailed a year ago, what’s done is done. So here we are and it’s either we follow the California/NY/OR/WA etc model or we reasonably decide on something less draconian and pragmatic. The one thing these states and our current MOA have in common is “feeling” that shutting down select businesses will actually make a real difference rather than backing it with factual data or seriously considering the worsening unintended consequences – of which we’re seeing hard evidence there are many. And yet they pontificate about listening to the “science” while ignoring their own hypocrisy. That my friend is what they call a credibility problem and why many of us are fed up with our current leadership; never depend on an attorney for what to do unless you’re prepared to live with the consequences.

    • No Greg, not feeling Lucky because of policy carried out based upon feckless arguments like yours.
      Open it up full throttle. In 1968 this country faced the Hong Kong Flu. Killed 100,000 people in short order fashion. No lock downs and School was open. Oh, and no Government Program to reward Hospital for every infected death. Know what? We survived the virus. What we cannot survive is nitwit policy like we now have in place.

    • What makes you think the virus can be controlled? We did everything we could, yet it still spread. The only result of those actions was the destruction of livelihoods across all sectors of the economy, which spells trouble for everyone’s health and wellbeing. When all that started, a minority of people pointed out that once the restrictions get lifted, the virus is going to spread anyway. So all we’ve done is prolonged the inevitable. Face the music, rip off the bandage, and MOVE ON with life. Get our kids back to school and our families back to work NOW!

      • So basically screw the healthcare workers? This is only happening because there’s no room at the hospitals. Healthcare workers are at their max at this point. How would you feel if you or your loved ones needed medical care and there was no place to go but a huge gym with jus a cot and you couldn’t get the medical care you need like you would in a hospital?

        • Stop hyperventilating and get a grip on reality, Karen.

          My rights do not end with your fear and hysteria begin.

      • Does being this ignorant hurt? Put on a mask and stay home as much as possible.

        • My rights do not end where your fear and hysteria begin.

  • This is a long term plan with these people, in order to achieve the great reset. Make us all dependent on them, then we are expected to submit. I think I’d rather spend the next 8 months with Twerky back, than put up with Felix the Cat’s Stunt-Mayor. She’s just awful.

    • Exactly. I’m wondering if (Twerky) Berkowitz’s exit was engineered.

      • Hard to say this, very hard. But former Mayor Berkowitz is looking good in comparison to acting Mayor Quinn Davidson. Kind of like how Stalin looked pretty good compared to Hitler. It’s all relative. The fact is both Berky and Q.D. are indeed bad, one just worse than the other.

  • “…blaming the virus for the economic condition that is resulting from her lockdowns.” begs the question, “Do you think she would have enacted these measures in the absence of the virus running out of control?” If so, why?

    • The virus is being used as an opportunity. Anchorages numbers have been diminishing. The virus is not spreading in gyms, restaurants, or retail stores. Bars maybe as they lend themselves to close lengthy social contact. There was no need to do more devastating colonic damage. It is about power and control and getting more people dependent upon government.

  • What do you suggest the city do to help those that need help? What suggestions do you have for protecting people from contact spreading? Not wanting to criticize those that are trying to help other would like to know what you are proposing?

  • “But, Mayor Awful Hyphen Davidson, the Anchorage peasants are out of work, desperate and starving.”

    “Let them eat Twinkies!”

  • As expected from your average leftist.

    Cause a problem, then spend taxpayer money to “solve” the problem you created.

    • “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.”

  • The fact the Natural Pantry is on the list, and not Walmart, tells us what?

    • Spending five times as much as one needs to on a given basket of groceries will save one from catching the Wuhan Flu. Obviously.

    • Well, when you are on the dole, it’s more important than ever to get the absolute least bang for your buck. No New Sagaya on the list? Horrors!

  • CoronaCommies never rest, do they? Neither does socialism.

  • Yeah, take away the ability for a person to stand on their own, then throw them a piece of bread. Comes right our of Stalin’s playbook. A dictator can do anything he wants to “the people,” so long as the people believe he is the source of their survival. These useless tyrants running the city are the source of it’s demise.

    • Yes. Keep them, us, dumb, drugged, and dependent. Strategy of the left.

  • The Mayor did not kill the economy. The economy is and will be suffering until we get the pandemic under control. Implementing measures to control the pandemic, even if those measures are temporarily burdensome, is the only way to get the economy back on track.

    • The economy would not be suffering if little wannabe dictators didn’t forbid people their God-given RIGHT of freedom to make a living, GUARANTEED by our Constitution. True Americans need to stand up and fight these despicable tyrants with lawsuits for violating citizens’ rights. Anyone who is fearful of contracting a virus with a higher survival rate than the seasonal flu, is free to mask up and / or stay home.

    • “The Mayor did not kill the economy.”

      I don’t think this is true. Without City mandated closures many businesses would still be soldiering on, contributing to commerce.

      “The economy is and will be suffering until we get the pandemic under control”

      Maybe, but that’s a separate statement/issue.

    • The virus here is government—or at least the incompetents who advise our rulers and cannot admit the legitimacy of dissension. Absent intervention, this virus may eventually kill the host organism. You are an absolute moron.

    • The Mayors, both Berkowitz and Quinn-Davidson, have done immense damage to the economy. Quinn-Davidson said not long ago that she believes the economy will not recover as long as the pandemic persists. The problem with that statement is that it’s completely disconnected from reality. One need only look at the community response to Kriner’s Diner to see the level of support people have for those in the service industry. They weren’t lining up and waiting hours because they were scared, rather the opposite. The Mayors, and their ridiculously out-of-touch Assembly cohorts bear this responsibility. The WHO came out weeks ago advocating against lock downs saying they’re doing more harm than good. But Quinn-Davidson, like Berkowitz before her, won’t listen. They believe they’re our betters. It’s easy for an attorney who has never had to make payroll and who can work from virtually anywhere tell us all to suck it up. She’s not suffering from being underemployed so in her mind it’s not her problem. So much for that vaunted ’empathy’ she was lauded with before the Assembly chose her as our leader.

    • Go educate yourself. Go to YouTube and type in U.S.S.R Communism and search out Russian soviet peoples video stories about communism see how ignorant, illiterate, and blind you are to what is and has been happening around us for decades

    • Tara, all the measures being taken to supposedly “get the pandemic under control” (and by what evidence are they doing so?), along with all the corporate-media-induced panic and hysteria over this virus, are in the end going to do MUCH more damage, and take many more lives, than the virus itself ever could. All the wild overreaction to the Wuhan Flu, both official and individual, are analogous to chopping off one’s arm in order to avoid being stung by a bee.

    • Shutting down businesses will not control the pandemic. There was no need to do that. The private sector is our economy. When you destroy private sector businesses we are damaging our economy. The acting ‘mayor’ , not elected, is damaging our economy further and for no good reason.

    • But I bet you blame Trump…

    • It’s been since March.

    • Thank you

  • This is a great idea. In Venezuela the regime began to supply free flour and other essentials to everyone. It did not take long for the supply chain for those goods to completely collapse. Search “Venezuela food crisis”. I am confident we can do as well here. Viva de Mayoria! Viva socialismus! Viva Presidente Biden! Personally, let’s quit messing around: I want Stalin.

    • 😆😆😅. Well said……yikes

  • Anchortown has to take its assembly back or this will happen again and again. And letting the left have mail in voting has made that very difficult. They are going to need to
    Mobilize and insert themselves into the voting system at every juncture to prevent the fraud any reasonable person knows has gone on to get the make up in these bodies you have now.

  • What do you know about Business Boutique? From what I know about this organization, there is no way she has the skills and abilities to administer, in a professional manner, a program like what the acting mayor has trotted out. Let’s just say that attention to detail is not her strong suit.

  • This is not why I moved to Alaska and is the reason I moved out of Anchorage. I feel bad for the Anchorage folks in some ways, and not others, on the other hand. They voted for the scrum that runs the city.

    • Not Eagle River and Chugiak we have Assembly Members who understand Economics and the Constitution.

  • World is full of conservative idiots like the one who wrote this headline, thinking of no one but themselves‼️

    • Get a job Frances.

    • Yes, one does tend to think of oneself while one is trying to stand up for and retain their freedoms.

    • Huh? Wanting to get back to work and open up our economy isn’t idiotic, but thanks for the attempted insult. Freedom for the rights we hold under the Constitution is hardly “thinking of no one but ourselves”. These rights apply even to you, Frances.

    • Frances, I have found in my 50+ years that those who complain the most about others “thinking only of themselves”, are themselves generally thinking only of themselves.

  • “The pandemic has left so many in our community struggling,” ……..that is a bald faced lie.

    It’s politicians like herself, with their idiotic and anti science lockdowns and mandates who have left many struggling.
    Democrats are nothing if not psychopathic liars.

  • I do glad the Anchorage citizens got to vote this acting mayor into office…… Oh wait we didn’t!

  • It’s wonderful that you can provide a one time voucher. But those of us who own a business are also hurting. Being a business owner does not make you wealthy. Yes it’s a serious virus that will become an endemic. Which means it never goes away. So do the business owners in the community need to sell their business and livelihood to qualify for relief? A one time voucher that won’t feed a family of four for a month.

  • Maybe Anchorage businesses should consider relocating to Mat-Su where they will be appreciated and respected. Anchorage leadership, or lack thereof, clearly demonstrates they take private businesses for granted and will continue to do so. Mat-Su has consistently been the fastest growing area of the State for more than the last decade, even in times of economic hardship. With well over 100,000 residents (and growing) Mat-Su has the population base to absorb displaced Anchorage businesses.

  • An employee receives more working a job than collecting 400 dollars a month. Even working and collecting 400 every two weeks is better than waiting for a monthly check. Starting with those parking their butt standing in the early voting line, these communist leaders whether they are aware or not of what they are doing are grooming the population for a communist government. This is why I waited until my poll station, there is no way I was going to be a fool and stand in a long midtown line like a U.S.S.R resident when I still could go to my poll station that had no line! Now, through a temporary voucher application, people are standing in line once again for necessary goods like a U.S.S.R resident.

  • At least a job earning one 800 dollars per month won’t run dry like Public Assistance as long as the employer has a job for you

    • True, but when you’re old and broken, or you have children that will get into trouble without an adult, even a little money doesn’t make it worth the risk.
      It’s scary to have people want to feed you, but not want to give you cash to pay your bills. Even if you get the discount for being on medicaid (20.00) off of your
      phone bill, it is not enough pay everything.
      GCI and MTA should be given care money. Many parents are struggling to keep their kids plugged into learning.

  • Maybe you could stop by any of the ERs at any of the three hospitals in Anchorage and do a story on how the virus isn’t creating any problems. Interview some of the bored and underworked staff there. Get some pictures of the empty rooms with no COVID patients. And you can show how your immune system will take care of it by not going to the hospital and not taking up space and ventilators if you get sick. Then those darn liberals won’t have a leg to stand on.

    • And how much busier are those emergency rooms and hospitals right now, CC, compared to this same time during a normal flu season? Twice as busy? Maybe even three times? And how do those numbers compare to the overall population at large?

      My point is that you and others are purposefully being led by corporate-media-induced fearmongering and lack of perspective. If we end up saving an accumulated 50 life-years of COVID patients in Alaska, while destroying 500 or 5000 life-years among all the entire population affected by the lockdowns, will that effort have been worth it and justified, in your eyes? Again, like most simplistic-thinking statists, you ignore all the consequences and secondary effects of your one-size-fits-all policies and mandates.

  • These Progressive Democrats may not look like the U.S.S.R Communist party, but their choices surely resemble the destination that destroyed every country who thought the policies would make their country prosperous. What happens when the small and big businesses arent producing the wealth needed to give government finanicial assistance to those standing in the line prevalent in a communist country?

  • This “headline” is childish, made-for-Facebook clickbate, inflammatory, anti-science nonsense. Relax Suzanne! Or perhaps not…seems like making a career out of outrage is fulfilling for some.

    • I bet, HMM, that you have not had your own small business, built upon many years of hard work and effort, destroyed by the lockdowns and public overreaction to all the corporate-media-induced fearmongering, nor found yourself in despair and even contemplating suicide as a result of having your livelihood and life’s work destroyed, as I and many others have. Your ignorance is matched only by your profound heartlessness.

  • Almost a year later, and here we are, and some people are still on board with shutting everything down with mandates. Exactly when is this continuous supposed shutdown cure going to actually take affect and work.
    Oh hell, why not, let’s give it one more year maybe two and see. [sarcasm]
    Come on people enough is damn enough with their commie reset games.
    Not only do we need to get back to where we were before all this, but we need to take back what was taken long before through the years. Roll back being over taxed for their bloated uncle Vinnie pocket stuffing budgets, abolish primary homestead property taxes, and undo our nanny state government. If you want someone to take care of you, then don’t move out of your parents basement where all your video games were, but don’t ask me to through our government. Exactly why does a city, state, or country need so many government employees.

  • We must do something! Even if it’s wrong.

    I saw this creature on TV news trying oh so hard to make it sound like it (or whatever the “preferred pronoun” is) [LOL] was on the verge of breaking into tears.
    GMAFB.

    • That is a face that only a soulless bureaucrat could love, or have.

  • When you take the $1 million and divide it into stacks of $200, you can send it to 5,000 individuals. How many corvid caused unemployed are in Anchorage?

    • That’s right, grumpy old man. Blame the ravens! Damn birds flying through 5G zones and spreading disease.

  • So this governmental body distributing tax dollars uses a Gmail address? Last I remember no communication through that portal is secure.

    • Don’t worry, it’s totally safe — it all goes through Hillary Clinton’s private server.

  • I just don’t understand how so many people can be living in cities and still railing against “government.” If you don’t want a government, go off into the woods and stay there. You want roads to drive on, but you complain about gas taxes. You want other people to educate your children, but you complain about property taxes and vote down initiatives to make repairs to schools. You want doctors and nurses to treat you, but you defund the university. Seriously, go away because the rest of us are trying to have a society here!

    Anchorage is shutting down because our hospitals are extremely taxed. The enemy is not the acting mayor; it’s the people in most of the comments on here, too paranoid to condemn a GOP that is happy to let people and businesses die without any financial concessions to prevent it. America has 20% of the covid deaths in the world and is only 5% of the world’s population. And we know our death total has been undercounted. It’s stupid! The whole world is laughing at us, and all this anti-science, small government hogwash is the cause.

    • You chose the handle “MadLib” wisely, as you are demonstrably mad.

      You statists are like childen in the shallow simplicity of your thinking (such as it is). You make and enforce reactionary, blanket, one-size-fits-all onerous mandates and laws, without EVER stopping to consider or factor in all the consequences, costs and secondary effects of those laws and mandates.

      The longer this insanity of a so-called pandemic has gone on, the more and more clear it is to me that 1) the official and overall public responses to it have been kneejerk overreactions, out of all proportion to the actual risks of the virus, and 2) the corporate media (whom I am assuming, MadLib, you implicitly trust) have been wildly overhyping this so-called pandemic, purposely and calculatingly instilling hysteria, panic and unreasoned fear in the population, as a fearful population is an easily controlled and manipulated population. Well, MadLib, I am over the fear and the hysteria, and the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I see the propaganda for what it really is.

      Yes, there is a real Wuhan Virus, and yes, it is infecting and killing people. And so does the annual flu, in somewhat lower numbers. But neither one is a justification for destroying and fundamentally and permanently changing our society and our way of life, as the power-mad sociopaths directing the propaganda campaign surrounding this virus are increasingly demanding.

      • Our way of life is never going to be the same. This forced learning at home has created a new learner, a differently trained teacher and a society that has got to conform to be accepted. Our society was due for a change. What we’ve learned is that some people are resistant. And if you might want to examine why and take a look at the past. The MOA could not accept the liability of not setting mandates, it would be like openly setting an active herpes population loose in all public establishments without a mask. People want protection and are conforming.

        • Esther, our way of life is never going to be the same only if the spineless, weak-minded and conformists among us allow that to happen.

          You claim that the MOA “could not accept the liability of not setting mandates”. With no utterly evidence that any of those mandates would have the desired effects. But I would ask you: What about their ongoing and increasing liabilities FOR having set those mandates? Are you, and they, going to support me for the rest of my life due to my failed small business? Are you and the MOA going to accept — AND pay for — the liabilities that they are incurring by tearing apart our society, destroying our freedoms, and casting many thousands or tens of thousands of people into poverty, hopelessness and despair?

          When will people like you, and those radical leftist tyrants in the municipal assembly, ever stop to consider that their “cure” is far worse than the disease? Of course, we all know the answer to that: never. Because radical leftists and statists like you never, EVER stop to consider the costs and consequences of your emotionally-driven kneejerk laws and mandates.

    • Agreed, people are too militant. They want their cake and to eat it too. Our society is changing. We have an obese society who has no choice but to become lean during this pandemic. Also, we have a chance to actually be there and make a difference in our kids lives because we’re all at home together. People need to stop slamming “the government” we don’t need a bunch of anarchists, we just need people to have respect for other human beings and their differences. Also, there are a lot of mothers out there on the front line, fullfilling many roles in the home and the work place and it would help if some tolerance and understanding were in place.

      • I have no tolerance for those, like you Esther, for whom “feelings” are all that matter, rather than logic, facts and reason. And all the facts, logic and reason support the conclusion that all the mandates and lockdowns surrounding this mild pandemic are far, FAR more damaging than the disease itself, all your “feelings” to the contrary.

  • This is a ridiculous article published by a rag. When your morgues are overflowing soon… thoughts and prayers. Jesus would smite each one of you. And you know it.

  • In the US, and in less than one year it has killed seven times the number of people than the flu did last year alone. Even still, the real threat is not the immediate effects, but the lack of knowledge about long term effects. The wise thing for all to do would involve all attempts to avoid voluntarily turning ourselves into petri dishes by catching it, especially since every person who catches it, especially younger people, is another opportunity for it to become an even more virulent form, as we know has already happened once. Sure, it also helps potentially push the virus to a less deadly phase of its existence… after it finishes burning through enough victims that wouldn’t have had to die if the majority of people understood virology.

    Even if it panned out that there were no long term effects (though all current signs point to saying there are in an alarming number of those who survived the initial illness, and we can’t say if they will last months or years), it would still be the wisest course to alter behaviors for a few years as we learn more. But instead we see people bellowing about mask mandates and staging flash mobs on check out stands, like tantruming children who don’t know how to delay satisfaction. All you had to do was be patient for a year or two, but no…

    Once again, the real issue is that we’re part of a larger system that is failing us. Shut downs wouldn’t have the financial impact they do if they are offset from elsewhere, yet GOP shenanigans lead to the money being funneled away from small businesses into large ones, and the lord take the rest of us. The republicans at the top would see so many of their own voter base disabled by this virus and left with no health care at the end. It’s just sad, yet somehow liberals are the “stupid ones.”

    I’m mad FOR you, not at you. You’ve spent so long throwing fits about the government being too large, and now that it’s needed, where does one turn?

    • I can only conclude from your authoritarian-minded diatribe that you, MadLib, are part of the contemporary Death Cult that is the radical left. Your prescriptions would utterly destroy not only our freedoms, permanently, but our society along with it, as well as most of the things that make life worth living for those of us who have independence of spirit and who do not derive value from forcing our beliefs and mandated ways of life onto others. I hope you have fun in the graveyard that your policies would create.

  • My question among the list of eligibility. I don’t see “people on housing assistance”.

  • Wow, I left AK just in the nick of time.

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