Long-time Alaska campaign volunteer Stephanie Taylor is a candidate for Anchorage Assembly, challenging incumbent Forrest Dunbar.
Her website went live today after she filed for office for the local District 5 seat. The election is next April.
Taylor was an active and reliable volunteer on the Bronson for Mayor campaign. She began her political volunteerism in 2010 with the parental consent ballot initiative, which won statewide. A mother of five, she has for the past few years been volunteering as the director of Teen Pact Alaska, affiliated with a national group that runs leadership seminars for youth.
Taylor said that in addition to wanting to work on basic services for Anchorage, such as road maintenance, snow removal, and other essential aspects to making Anchorage more livable, she is very concerned about policies that have crushed small businesses in Anchorage, and with the previous mayor’s policies that have made homelessness a crisis. Rather than coddling the homeless, she would rather see faith-based organizations take the lead again, because they have better success getting people to change their lives for the better. Government has a poor record in this regard.
“It wasn’t Covid that decimated our city, but it was the response to Covid,” Taylor said, mentioning the business shutdowns and the impossible position businesses were in when told they had to limit to 50 percent capacity. It was not reasonable, and it was unfair that the Assembly then spent much of the CARES Act money on poorly vetted plans for homeless shelters that never materialized, rather than help businesses survive.
She knows the city well, and has seen Anchorage decline in the past six years, ever since Mayor Dan Sullivan term-limited out of office. Taylor said she thought long and hard about the sacrifice it would take to run for local office, but ultimately, guided by faith and family, she made the decision a few weeks ago.
As a resident of Anchorage for 50 years, she has lived in East Anchorage most of that time, although grew up in South Anchorage and attended Dimond High School.
Taylor is a back-to-basics candidate, concerned about the increase in taxes over the past few years, the serious decline of the downtown business district, and she observed that some members of the Assembly are not listening to the public.
Taylor doesn’t talk about incumbent Forrest Dunbar much, other than to say that he sees the world through different lenses. Dunbar sees more taxes as the solution, while Taylor said she has managed her household of seven on a single income for decades, saving money all the while. She has lived the fiscally conservative life.
“This was no easy task. The incumbent looks for new taxes to solve budget problems instead of spending cuts or modifications. From property taxes to sin taxes—he votes ‘yes’ for them all. Families don’t have that luxury. The Assembly needs a different approach to the city budget. As your Assembly member, I’ll work to end the frivolous spending and put the dollar where it belongs—in your pocket,” she said.
Taylor said she would begin walking door-to-door, as she did for Mayor Bronson when he was running for mayor this past Spring. She said she has a large number of enthusiastic people who have volunteered to go with her and she plans to knock on 100 doors a week starting Monday.
Dunbar lost his bid for mayor to Bronson in a runoff election in May. He has served two terms on the Assembly for the East Anchorage seat and the April election would be for his final three years. Many believe he planned to run for higher office, due to the fact that he ran as a Democrat for Congress against Congressman Don Young in 2014.