Citizen Cannon blasts Anchorage Assembly chair for 'belittling comments' - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
HomePoliticsCitizen Cannon blasts Anchorage Assembly chair for ‘belittling comments’

Citizen Cannon blasts Anchorage Assembly chair for ‘belittling comments’


Dean Cannon was not happy with Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera. After he had left the regular Anchorage Assembly meeting on Nov. 17, the chair of the Assembly, Felix Rivera, disparaged him and his comments on the record. During the following Rules Committee meeting, Cannon put his displeasure with Rivera on the record:

“I would like to address belittling remarks make of me in my absence by Felix Rivera, chair of the Anchorage Assembly, at a regular Assembly meeting on 17 November, 2020.

“He insinuated I lacked basic human decency,” Cannon said.

“My testimony referred to public comments made by our acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Daidson, a public figure. Her comments were that Anchorage was a mostly progressive city. I disputed that assertion and provided testimony about my reservations about the progressive ideology. And about places where that ideology is prevalent,” Cannon continued.

Cannon said his concern is about the accumulation and concentration of power, and he thinks Assembly members are not interested in the well-being of citizens.

“I did not single out any individuals for attack. During and after my testimony I asked that if anyone had any questions, they could address me. After answering one , I waited. There were no more,” he said, during telephonic testimony.

Cannon learned publicly via social media that Rivera had singled out his testimony at the conclusion of the Nov. 17 meeting.

“He publicly identified me as ‘this individual’ in an attempt to shame me,” Cannon said. “He did this after I left and I was not able to defend myself. Again, he mentioned basic human decency, but his belittling comments have left me open to public shame.”

Cannon wasn’t ready to let it go:

“I think it is outrageous that a public figure can belittle remarks made by a citizen in a public setting, and face no repercussions. If the chair has such contempt for what the public are thinking, how can that person be trusted to affect the public’s will?” Cannon asked.

There were no comments from Rivera after Cannon completed his remarks.

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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

  • These elected officials are shameful human beings who seem to think winning an election gives them license for boorish behavior. The assembly people from Eagle River/Chugiak are respectful and principled.

    Another obvious reason to support

    • I live in Anchorage and I support You should get out since you can. I know there are budgeting issues, but whatever. Get out. You’re helping provide a voice of sanity in our assembly but I’m not selfish. Our assembly and municipal attorney are running things like facists. I hate throwing that term around, but it’s a proper description of the criticism of their behavior. Liberal facists. Some say that might be redundant, that liberals are facist. But I have higher hopes that liberal Americans don’t need to be so recklessly progressive that they have to behave like “compassionate dictators”.

    • EagleExit a nice idea until you realize the cost of creating let’s see a short list. Police, Fire, city charter, land use zoning, elections for those zones, building code development and enforcement, animal control, solid waste services, a court system of some type or at least come to the agreement with the state on how that looks. The public input for creating all of these will be a huge amount of $. Not to mention the overlooked things like stormwater management, flood zones, tax code with the most likely creation of a sales tax and someway to keep businesses there.

      The MOA wont just hand over AWWU to you (For a host of regulatory issues and $) or the schools since the tax burden is city wide (unless you purchase the property from MOA or some other agreement that also would need a TON of state and fed / public input) and they just can’t remove the equipment and repurpose is like they can fire and police staff and equipment. None of the existing MOA provided services would stay including snow removal or the $ to pay for McKenna to plow. Think of the huge tax burden of that. IF and that is a huge IF ER/Chugiak did try to vote out I would say its a 4-5 year process to slow roll and correctly do all the work needed.

  • The sentiment of the assembly is that the rules that apply to us do not apply to them. If they do not follow their own rules, and the city charter, then their authority is corrupt and baseless.

  • 1-Anchorage is a progressive community, based in its voting records. You voted these clowns in.

    2-Cannon is right about one thing. The Assembly doesn’t give a damn about any of you unless you fall into a useful category. Like homeless, gay/trans, or a left of center protestor.

    • We were asleep at the wheel.
      Lesson learned.
      Help us get our city back, and send these arrogant idiots packing.

    • Agree totally. Do not complain about Anchorage being progressive when we keep voting progressives to the Assembly and Mayorship.

      Here’s a tip to everyone upset with the Assembly. Start paying attention. Elections matter.

    • They were voted in because they have an impressive amount of experience being people that are pro-government. They love government involvement and know how it works and how to use it. While the rest us never run for office because we don’t like working with the government and have no interest in using the government to impose our values. There needs to be more professional people with alternative perspectives that run for local office.

  • No surprise! Rivera,Constant, Dunbar, Zaletel, and Quinn-Davidson are more verbal in their disdain for the public. With the exception of Allard and sometimes Kennedy, the others enable their bad behavior. The public is reminded at every meeting, to be respectful and not to address comments to any Assembly member specifically. Apparently, they do not need to do the same. We are threatened with ejection from the meeting if we express our disapproval. It’s past time to standup to these liars and cowards! They have not earned our respect, just the opposite!

  • Seems to me that Mr. Rivera has demonstrated his own “breach of basic democratic norms” as if anyone on the Left ever seriously believed in them anyway.

  • Because of Anchorage’s mail-in-only-ballots does it make Anchorage appear a liberal progressive democrat city. But, its people except a few groups of people here are still strongly conservative that includes even the non voting anchorage public, people who hadnt voted for years because of their discouraged spirit watching the GOP and the progressive socialist democrats, are shocked by this progressive leaders conduct.

  • Wherever Dominion Voting Systems are used there seems to always be a paradox – the populace leans conservative, but come election time they always vote Far Left! Someone should look into that, especially after our current mess during the Presidential election. Follow the money!

  • Where are the sue-happy lawyers?

  • I am confused, I thought that Trump built a cult doing the same exact thing to people, belittling others and using loaded statements to divide and conquer.

  • I emailed Rivera on these very points and this is the BS he responded with.


    Thank you for your email. I think you and I will disagree here, but happy to have the conversation. If you listen to what I said, it had no personal attacks. I did not attack the individual at all. He had a right to say what he said. What I did was offer a critique of his ideas. I called his ideas divisive, but that isn’t an attack. I called his ideas full of fear, but that isn’t an attack. The definition of attack seems to be changing on a daily basis, which is disheartening. We used to be able to have these types of conversations without getting so upset.

    To be frank, the community has been asking for more engagement with the Assembly. That’s what I’m doing.

    This is the type of obfuscation and redirection the assembly has devolved into, while it acts counter to the benefit of the majority of the constituents in Anchorage. The most damning thing Rivera said in his little rant was to point out the “fear of change” the population are feeling. The admission that the assembly is attempting to manifestly change our society by caveat should be very telling for any taxpayer in Anchorage.

    • Wouldn’t be interesting to respond to Rivera’s email, “Funny you should say that this man’s language can be divisive and full of fear — I am a member of this community and feel that YOUR language is divisive, full of fear, and reeking of needing to assert power as an Assembly member. Your job is to serve the will of the people, not to lecture them and dissent that community member’s ideas are divisive. I cannot speak for all constituents, but I do believe that as a representative of Anchorage residents that your behavior in and outside of Assembly meetings is unprofessional and belittling and you might need a daily reminder to watch yourself, your language and your tone. You can be voted out. You can be recalled.”

  • With “Rank Choice Voting” should we think the future elected will be any better than this Assembly bunch?

  • Hypocrites… plain and simple… all of them with the exception of the Eagle River representatives…

  • It would have been nice if Felix would have expressed the same moral outrage about his handler Chris Constant’s harassing of the elderly rabbi during the AO66 testimony back in July. Constant made the front page of the ADN for that bad behavior and the only assembly member with the decency to rebuke Constant that night it occurred was Jamie Allard. Dean was spot on – the only time free speech and decency matters to these clowns is after you’ve left the building and can’t defend yourself.

  • We have organized a team to gather signatures for the recall of Felix Rivera. If you live in MOA assembly district 4 and would like to sign the recall petition, please go to Duane’s Antique Market at 1233 E 76th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99518, during regular business hours (Monday – Saturday) to do this. (It’s near Mr. Prime Beef.)

  • A few things. Elected officials should not attack any person, they are the ones who ran for office. A personal attack shows the weakness in your argument. You are known by the people who hate you.

  • Who the hell are these weirdos on the Assembly anyway? They seem like space aliens when compared to the rest of Alaska.

  • Not clear: what was the belittling remark(s)?

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