Berkowitz civil emergency extended in Anchorage - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Berkowitz civil emergency extended in Anchorage

The Anchorage Assembly on Friday extended Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ civil emergency declaration until Aug. 6. The Assembly also directed the mayor to fund the Brother Francis Shelter, which lost state funding. The 240-bed shelter has been planning to downsize to serve 100 people as a result of those cuts, beginning Aug. 1.

The city is likely to scrape funds from other programs, and take other measures that are allowed under the emergency order , which may include taxes, if the order is extended by the Assembly.

In the mayor’s justification for a civil emergency, he outlined the problems associated with the state budget cutbacks:

  • $5.8 million cut in Anchorage-specific services to homeless, resulting in a projected 800 more unsheltered homeless in our community, adding significantly to the burden of first responders and pushing vulnerable individuals and families beyond their tipping point;
  • the temporary closing of Brother Francis Shelter, forcing 240 homeless individuals to become immediately unsheltered on Aug. 1, and the dramatic reduction of services by 140 people after its reopening on Aug. 5;
  • cuts to Medicaid, senior benefits, legal services, food banks, domestic violence case management and support, and behavioral health, causing public health and public safety emergencies and the eviction of our most vulnerable residents;
  • 41 percent cut to state’s contribution to the University of Alaska, resulting in the projected loss of 700 jobs in Anchorage and projected to push Anchorage into recession.

The emergency declaration allows the municipality to provide housing or temporary structures for emergency shelters, as well as provide social services to homeless individuals and families with no immediate options available to them.

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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

  • SO NOW THE HOMELESS ADDICT PROBLEM/CRIME IS A PROBLEM IN ANCHORAGE?
    THE MAYOR DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE HOMELESS AND NEVER DID!
    HE JUST FOUND A WAY TO USE THEM TO RAISE TAXES ON THE HARD WORKING PEOPLE OF ANCHORAGE! ?

    • All caps are annoying.

  • Doubtless the liberistas, particularly the ones hanging out between Lake Otis Drive, Providence Drive, Northern Lights Blvd and Elmore Road are elated and ecstatic. Probably, even hopeful that the MOA will shift some new tax receipts towards UAA, in a misguided attempt to be the liberal utopia they seek.

    Frankly, this is another just example that liberalism is a disease. We’re on our way to tax ourselves to death.

    • Disgusted with Berkowitz! In so-called “difficult” times, those that ‘lead’ have an opportunity to really show their leadership. I haven’t seen that happen anywhere! Berkowitz, Jim Johnsen…..they have chosen to cry and whine and blame everyone else for the failures of the institutions in which they govern. Rise and shine should have been the choice. Ethan has shown what a spoiled brat he truly is. It is pathetic.

      • Garnet,
        What is Ethan supposed to do when Legislators on both sides of the aisle supported SB 21 and refuse to repeal this bill that obviously put our state in an economic “tail spin”?
        Without implementing an income tax or replacing SB 21 with a more fair (for Alaska) taxing system…residents in the city that are afforded some of the highest paid jobs in the state must pay back for the services they whine so much to obtain (like more and more police, fire…etc).
        This situation is far from Ethan’s causation but I am guessing Republicans will still complain about any tax or contribution they are asked to contribute to Society.

        • Roughly 90% of a city budget is personnel costs. When income to private sector businesses declines they lay off folks, reduce hours. or reduce pay. Ask Bernie. The muni has a lot of employees and a lot of overpaid employees. Start there instead of sniveling.

        • How about Anchorage cut back on the needless expenses. Close or privatize the library nobody uses it anyways except the ID10Ts that surf porn. For your information not all residents get the services you so like to speak of. Just like in private business when you lose revenue you cut back what you spend

  • Meld the two together: use University lands (they have a lot of land), including the Fairbanks area, and use that land for the “temporary structures and emergency shelters”. Apparently, the University isn’t doing anything else with it.

    • Better yet, the Nordstrom building is coming available, Ethan. It has a kitchen, bathrooms, and changing rooms. The city has already cannibalized the old legislative information offices for non-revenue use by the police. May as well do the same here.

  • Don’t worry Anchorage, with mail-in voting you will never be able to get rid of these parasitic Marxist politicians. They laugh at you suckers!

    • The Democrats want to make voting easy so they can stuff the ballot box and win more elections. Problem is fraud is easy. So easy that Russia or the Chinese can participate. The only solution is voting and requesting an absentee ballot in person – and showing your ID.

      • Yes let’s try to make this about fraudulent voting. You are in need of a problem for your solution IMO.

  • It’s common for liberals to claim that they “embrace change” especially if it’s some social change with no or minuscule economic change. For example, ordering that males can go into female bathrooms. They laud such stuff. 2. If change comes from something that’s foreseeable, e.g. reduced state support for other institutions or smaller governments, because state revenues are declining, they transfer the economic effect of such change to the taxpayers. Ethan, the good San Franfecal liberal and his assembly acolytes, lack or reject existing and probable economic conditions and their likely effects. Spending money that belongs to others is much more fun. Disgusting.

    • The stupid is strong here, Donald!

    • Sorry about the antepenultimate sentence. It should have read, “Ethan, the good San Franfecal liberal and his assembly acolytes, lack consciousness of or reject existing and probable …”

      • You’ve got it now, Donald.

  • $5.8 million………is that all we are talking about? Surely the “wokerati” in Anchorage could cover this tab with one fundraiser…..but that would require doing something voluntarily……….when it’s so much more appealing to hold a gun to the heads of all citizens in the form of increased taxes.

  • There are many people throughout Alaska that believe the government should have an income tax or additional sources of revenue. To all of those individuals that think the state and local government should have more money, please consider sending the department of revenue a check every month for 10% of your gross income. If you choose not to do that, how about sending your PFD checks to the government and “help” them out.
    We can call it a Voluntary Income Tax. Support additional government spending if you believe in it.
    Here is the address:
    Department of Revenue
    P.O. Box 110400
    Juneau, AK 99811-0400
    Phone: 907-465-2300 Fax: 907-465-2389
    Please submit your checks.
    Respectfully

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