Mayor Dave Bronson has vetoed the ordinance hastily passed by the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday that orders all within Anchorage to wear masks when indoors in public places.
The Assembly immediately scheduled a special meeting for 5 pm on Thursday to override the veto. The meeting is to take place at the Loussac Library in the Assembly chambers for consideration of overriding EO the veto of 2021-3, the compulsory mask ordinance.
“I have reviewed the emergency ordinance and heard the Assembly’s justifications for and against the same. The Assembly introduced and passed this emergency ordinance [EO 2021-3], on the same night, effectively shutting down public testimony on the issue of mask mandates. They blatantly ignored the people’s right to petition their government. The Assembly openly displayed their scorn for the public process, which is fundamental to self-government and self-governance,” the mayor wrote.
Bronson went on to describe the trickery involved on Tuesday.
“The Assembly’s decision to impose a mask mandate, after assuring the public here would be continued public testimony, and under the cover of darkness is, at its core, ignoring the fundamental right of citizens to participate in a meaningful way on matters of community interest and importance,” he said.
The Assembly ignored data that demonstrates a significant decrease of Covid-19 cases in Anchorage and misrepresented to the public their ability to weigh in on the issue that affects every citizen in Anchorage,’ he said.
He was referring to the lie that the Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance told the public on Monday and Tuesday, that they would be able to continue testifying on the mask ordinance on Wednesday. Instead, the Assembly majority wrote a new ordinance, duplicating Anchorage Ordinance 2021-91, but made it an emergency ordinance and moved it without a hearing.
“Alaska’s constitution expressly provides the right of the people to privacy, a right that shall not be infringed. Our right to privacy is expressed, and its protections are broader in scope than those implied under the federal system,” Bronson wrote.
“The reasons Alaskans wrote the right to privacy into our constitution, and ratified the same by overwhelming vote, is our home’s longstanding tradition of respecting privacy and individuality. At the core concept of Alaska’s liberty is the notion of personal immunity from government control and the right to be let alone,” he said.
Bronson said the Assembly was stoking widespread fear to frighten the public into submission.
The Assembly has 36 hours to override the veto, which would take a vote of nine of the members.