Assembly overrides mayor’s vetoes, says LGBTQ groups and Alaska Black Caucus must be funded with ARPA funds

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The Anchorage Assembly met in a special meeting midday on Thursday to override the mayor’s vetoes of select projects the Assembly had chosen to fund with American Rescue Plan Act funds. The Assembly opposed the veto based on the Assembly’s LGBTQ and Black-Indigenous-People of Color guiding principles.

The Assembly leadership laid a last-minute memo on the table at the beginning of the meeting describing its disagreement with the mayor over the projects.

The memo essentially calls the mayor a racist for vetoing the Assembly’s chosen projects.

The meeting was disrupted constantly by technical issues that made it difficult to hear the participants. The Assembly’s attorney Dean Gates was unintelligible while he described why the veto override was appropriate. But the Assembly leadership’s override memo said, in part:

“The mayor’s vetoes single out regional projects and projects for marginalized communities, such as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) Alaskans, LGBTQ+ Alaskans, new immigrants, and people facing homelessness.

“The elimination of funding for these projects goes against the Assembly’s guiding principles to invest once-in-a-lifetime ARPA funds in long-term projects that aid populations that need it most; address current, historical, and geographical inequities in our systems that have intensified due to COVID-19; and have a fair and positive impact across the municipality. Not only do the mayor’s vetoes undervalue these community-driven projects and invalidate the Assembly’s collaborative work, the mayor asserts that this valuable funding opportunity should be directed towards one-time municipal costs (where other alternative funding options are available) instead of impactful investments that will shape the community for years to come,” the memo read.

The memo went on to say the Assembly priorities focus greatly on LGBTQ and the Alaska Black Caucus’ “equity center.”

Assemblyman Chris Constant dramatically read an email into the record that he claimed was sent to the head of the Alaska Black Caucus from a member of the Anchorage community. The email said blacks are lucky to live in Alaska and not in Africa “chasing meerkats,” and Constant said there are obviously still “dark impulses deeply in our community” such as the letter writer.

The letter Constant made a part of the public record follows”

From: Stefan Kozma
Date: August 5, 2022 at 10:37:28 PM AKDT
To: cghodge—-
Subject: White Privilege Card

Are you seriously stupid enough to think that a Filipina was able to avoid a ticket because she showed the cops a joke white privilege card? This is the problem with your kind, always in victim mentality mode, always a chip on the shoulder and always super UPPITY. This is why nobody wants y’all living next door, or in the same classroom or even the same country. You live in Alaska due to the white man, you use white man’s technology on a daily basis and you have no idea how lucky y’all are not to be back in Africa chasing meerkats with sticks in loin cloths like y’all’s great great grandpappys. Show some respect and appreciation for god’s sake, y’all would have a lot more success in life with that attitude.

However, the letter from Stefan Kozma appears to have come from a man who actually resides in Alberta, Canada, not from Anchorage, as Constant was presenting. In fact, there is no such person registered to vote in Alaska under that name.

Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel asked that sections of the veto be separated out so that she would be able to vote on the majority of the override. She has a conflict of interest since she leads the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, which skims money from the city to talk about homelessness, yet provide no services. Led by Zaletel, who makes over six figures, ACEH stands to gain from the veto overrides.

Assemblyman Kevin Cross argued with the Assembly leadership memorandum, saying the racist inference by the Assembly leadership is disingenuous. The Black Caucus is getting ARPA funds for a second time, he said, while the Assembly had not funded projects for the Polynesian community, for example. He also reminded the group that the parameters set by the Assembly included directions that no group that had previously been awarded ARPA funds would be awarded them again.

“I don’t think we should be funding studies,” he said. Rather, the Assembly needs to fund shovel-ready projects.

He also didn’t think more grants to push Covid vaccinations were needed.

“The pharmaceutical industry is making $98 million a day off the vaccines. They can pay for their own advertising. They don’t need us,” said Assemblyman Cross, adding that $250,000 to advertise vaccine availability would not make a dent.

Assemblywoman Austin Quinn-Davidson noted the “awkwardness of a bunch of white people talking about which groups of color ‘deserve’ or should get these funds. I find it personally very awkward and it’s a reminder to me why we need to diversify this Assembly and I will do what I can to continue trying to recruit members and candidates who reflect the diversity of our community.”

Quinn-Davidson supported the reelection of white Forrest Dunbar over challenger Stephanie Taylor, who is black. Quinn-Davidson also supported the election of freshman Assemblyman Daniel Volland over Stephanie Taylor for the new downtown district that was carved out by the Assembly to increase liberal strength on the body. Both Dunbar and Volland are white middle-aged males.

“Also, I’m just so tired of us all fighting all the time and I think we don’t need to pit groups against each other. You know, we can acknowledge that there’s so much money, we made our best decision collaboratively, we all compromised and what we ended up with was a package that didn’t include everyone. And that doesn’t mean we can’t go find funds.”

The vetoes passed 8-3 for the section Zaletel was not able to vote on, and 10-2, and 11-1 for the rest of the vetoes.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I talked to a person from a 3rd world country that came here. I told them about the American Black Experience and all the rest of the victim industrial complex keep em’ on the plantation scams. (reference Candace Owens) The person said that even with all of their problems, most that are imaginary, they should be glad to be here! BTW, they got a job pronto and are making it as I write this.

    • Exactly!!! They should be THANKFUL that they get to work, live, and reside in our beautiful state and that we aren’t driving them out after all the BLM riots. They got enough loot in the riots, they don’t need these funds.

  2. …so does Constant misrepresenting a document read into the official public record constitute a “breach of the public trust?”… maybe he should be removed from office for that apparent transgression… just sayin’… what’s good for the goose and all that…

    Just goes to further demonstrate that liberals often accuse others of doing what they themselves are in fact doing… “hypocrisy” is what I believe that is called.

  3. And when the Feds want their money back because it wasn’t used according to the regs. Are the Asemblyholes going to pony up???

    • This is “theft by conversion” Taking property of others a nd using to your own purposes our” brilliant attorney” Dunbar has probably heard of it at some point. There is another name for it…Embezzlement!!

  4. Why does this assembly keep having issues with technology? Do they not want to show their true behavior? They do not believe in two sides. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! They act like two year olds!

  5. Bolsheviks gonna Bolshevik. At some point people need to ask themselves how much longer they are willing to be serfs to the Gay Junta.

    I left for Juneau years ago. One of the best decisions I ever made. I do miss Wendy’s, however.

  6. Yes Constant needs to be removed for attempted misdirection of the public with that lie. He keeps demonstrating how worthless his voice is.

  7. So.

    The assembly engages within racism, singling out a supposed race to benefit from funding at the disallowance and payment through taxes of all others.

    The assembly engages within sexism, singling out certain self- identifiable individuals to benefit from funding at the disallowance and payment through taxes of those that do not so self-identify.

    The assembly promotes the allowance, encouragement, and financing to exist without personal responsibility of one’s life so as to be supported through taxes of those that are self-responsible, whilst declining to offer realistic solutions for those that truly require the help of the community as they cannot help themselves.

    Got it.

    Why are they there, again?

  8. Slippery Slope ! I’m not the best at politics! But can them funds be refused! ? If not agreed upon? And a heck no?

  9. I am an Ostrogoth, where is my representation in this Covid money pie? Seems like all I do is work and work and never do I get any notice from the Anchorage Assembly. Such disrespect!

  10. Earn a salary over six figures to talk about homelessness but not provide a service? I would do it for half that price!

    “Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel asked that sections of the veto be separated out so that she would be able to vote on the majority of the override. She has a conflict of interest since she leads the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, which skims money from the city to talk about homelessness, yet provide no services. Led by Zaletel, who makes over SIX figures, ACEH stands to gain from the veto overrides.”

    Nothing to see here, move along.
    Hope that the federal auditors from the US Treasury don’t audit the Assembly’s drunken spending spree and find out they have been spending it on ineligible projects/minority groups, etc.

    ‘https://www.nlc.org/covid-19-pandemic-response/american-rescue-plan-act/arpa-local-relief-frequently-asked-questions/#eligible-uses
    What are eligible uses for funding?
    Municipalities are granted flexibility in choosing how they will spend their ARPA funds. As outlined in the Final Rule, funding MUST fit into one of the following categories:

    1. Responding to the public health and negative economic impacts of the pandemic
    2. Providing premium pay to essential workers
    3. Providing government services to the extent of revenue loss due to the pandemic
    4. Making necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure

  11. AQD wants “diversity” for something as irrelevant as skin color. What REALLY matters is diversity of THOUGHT. That, she will not abide.

  12. This assembly thinks they speak for black voices just because they do everything to validate fears of racism by amplifying what shouldn’t be amplified. Oh, ya, they care more about minorities living in peace and harmony with success in America than about their self righteous egos… sure.

  13. Let me see if I have this right.
    They want to spend another $250K advertising the COVID vaccine? To who? Why?
    Is there a single human being alive that does not know about the vaccine? The tribe living on North Sentinel Island is sick and tired of hearing about it.
    That is fraud, waste, and abuse. It should be illegal. Anyone supporting it is simply giving money away to a friend. I cannot imagine any excuse for it.

  14. Once properly laundered, these moneys will turn up in the form of campaign distributions and ultimately in the pockets of the assembly members who are pushing this agenda. Just like most of “non-profit “ organizations that are multiplying like cockroaches. I believe it was Sharen Jackson that tried to introduce a bill years ago, 80-20, that required that non-profits must directly use 80% of their moneys on the people that they are supposed to be helping, the remaining 20% going to administrative costs. This would have put a halt to the problem. Evidence is in the high salaries that these organizations are paying themselves at taxpayer expense, all in the name of “doing good “ for our community. One of them is even on the assembly, they have been so blatant.

  15. Where’s my special interest group funds?

    This is what they mean when they say they’re going to “decolonize” Alaska in their land acknowledgment pledge.
    Its a racist trope aimed at defunding and defrauding YOU, the tax payer.

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