Beast mode: Fundraiser set to raise cash for Open Meetings Act lawsuit - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, October 1, 2020
HomeAlmanacBeast mode: Fundraiser set to raise cash for Open Meetings Act lawsuit

Beast mode: Fundraiser set to raise cash for Open Meetings Act lawsuit

A fundraiser at LaMex Restaurant from 5-7 pm on Tuesday will raise money to pay for a legal team that will take forward a lawsuit against the Anchorage Assembly over numerous violations of the Alaska Open Meetings Act.

During the month of August, the Anchorage Assembly has locked the doors to the Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library and prevented the public from participating in meetings in person. The meetings are broadcast and testifiers can call in their testimony, but the public cannot see what is going on inside the room itself, as the camera shows a very limited view and no member of the public is allowed in to ground truth the government proceedings.

While this lockout has occurred, significant legislation has been considered by the Assembly, including the controversial Ordinance 2020-65, which is an affront to the free speech of certain professions. The ordinance makes it unlawful for therapists to discuss gender confusion issues with minors in any manner other than to fully support their interest in homosexuality. The Assembly also voted on use of federal CARES Act funds, while protests went on outside.

Even while limiting testimony to telephones or emails, the Assembly said on its website that it was simply “limiting” the number of people allowed in the Assembly chambers based on “guidance” from authorities. In fact, it was keeping the public outside a guarded door.

Leading the lawsuit effort is Eagle River Assembly woman Jamie Allard, who has protested many times on the record that the public was not being allowed to come inside the meeting hall. Allard will have to find plaintiffs to stand in because she is, in fact, suing the body that she sits on.

Donations Welcome

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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.

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