Contrite: Assembly member apologizes to rabbi for offensive comments


Assembly member Chris Constant on Wednesday took a moment of privilege to apologize to Rabbi Yosef Greenberg for offensive comments made 24 hours earlier.

In an apology, during which Constant removed his protective face mask so his expression could be seen, the Assembly member from downtown Anchorage told Greenberg that the words Constant had spoken were ill-advised and did not convey what he meant.

Constant had on Tuesday asked the rabbi to comment on a proposed idea to round up the homeless and put them behind a fence, something Constant had read aloud from an email received by the Assembly members; the idea was repugnant to him and he wanted the rabbi to react. But the way Constant portrayed the letter, it made it sound like the rabbi had written it, and the way he interacted with the rabbi came across as hostile.

What Constant didn’t apologize for was using the rabbi as a prop so that he could score a point against those opposed to the mayor’s plan to spread homelessness, vagrancy, and drug addicts throughout the neighborhoods of the city, so that Constant’s downtown district would not bear the brunt of the blight, as it currently does.

“To everyone who is assembled here and to the world who is listening, I do express my humble apology,” Constant said, while Greenberg stood at the podium before him.

Rabbi Greenberg accepted the apology, reading from a prepared written statement; the event was choreographed at the beginning of the meeting, which then went late into the night with other testimony.

Hundreds of people attended the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings in person, on the phone, and on the internet and all spoke passionately against the mayor’s plan to divert funds granted by the federal government for COVID-19 relief to set up homeless hotels and drug rehab centers.


  1. I actually think the idea of housing the Anchorage homeless behind a fence on the old native hospital fence has merit. It could be set up as a military camp in tents and with portable facilities for sleeping, dining, showering ,medical care and toileting. Of course there would have to be a security presence and perhaps a holding facility. Everything needed for physical needs could be provided there with the concept of Submission to authority brings safety , security and provision. Of course no drunkenness, fighting etc would be allowed. From there they could be transported to some kind of training school or work arrangement by bus. Of course the city would have to enforce a strict no vagrancy or panhandling law but that could be done.During the depression young men gladly submitted themselves to CCC work camps to work for a dollar a day and everything was provided them in CCC work camps. For those of us who have been in the military we found those conditions to be tolerable and we were volunteers not forced to be there.

    • There are many places with plenty of room and beds for the homeless already, the point is they wont go there!
      Because Mr. Thunderbird and Smirnoff aren’t allowed to tag along.

    • I agree. The problem with not being able to remove people and their camps is because there isn’t anywhere else to go. So provide that secure-all-in-one-place camping area. If they refuse to go there, to treatment, or other housing/shelters, then they will be arrested. But they should not be allowed to camp on other’s property be it city property or private. I have personally known homeless people who prefer to live outside, have been placed in multiple housing situations only to get kicked out. They openly talk about how it is OK that they are moved every 30 days or so because they have trashed the current place (which our city has to clean up), they don’t mind moving on to another camp. I don’t know when the vagrancy, no camping or loitering, no public drunkenness laws got repealed, but why are they not enforced if they are still on the books? Tough love is the answer. They simply cannot be allowed to just do whatever, wherever. It is actually inhumane and cruel to allow the mentally ill to fend for themselves on the streets.

    • I’ve known a gal who was a chronic inebriate. She flat out told me that they stay in homeless camps because if they go to a shelter, they can’t have their booze/drugs. You could open all the shelters you want, but the inebriates don’t want to go there. They don’t want to give up their booze. There is room at various places for those who want to get straight, but they won’t go. You and the other “feel-good” people are gonna have to accept that one of these days.

  2. Oh bullcrap! He said it, now when scared he want a do over. That’s not how it works. We are supposed to turn the other cheek, but today’s political climate changes all that. I won’t play that game. He has been targeted now.

  3. He can walk it back all he wants, it’s still his position, shows him for what he is. I would guess all who voted for him support his blathering too.

  4. I don’t believe Constant. He did that for public opinion. The Rabbi is very gracious to accept. Berkowitz should have been working on the homeless plan for the last 8 years now he wants to spend 22.5 million on buildings, I say wait and let the new mayor decide. Plus how many MOA resources have already been spent on this new far fetched homeless plan. Time and appraisals etc. Plus when buying property with federal funds there are many more items that need addressed. Let the special nonprofits do this bbn project because you know if he were to buy the buildings he would then yen them over to the nonprofits to run. Anchorage citizens, run away fast from this project.

  5. Constant does this BS all the time, making blanket statements, baiting people testifying in front of the assembly, making extremely offensive remarks about someone’s intent, only to later, when all that has gone into the public domain, uttering platitudes when the public get in his face about it. He is the problem with homelessness in Anchorage because all his action perpetuate it. His outrage at Nick Begich last night at the very suggestion that homeless people should be held responsible for illegal acts is a glaring example of how he views the homeless as entitled to whatever they can steal. He is a useless article on the assembly.

  6. I may sound cold hearted but Why are they spending COVID 19 funds for the homeless? Weren’t the those funds allocated to help businesses to recover from this pandemic.?

  7. C. Constant is disingenuous at the least .

    Now this is a stretch even for him : “To everyone who is assembled here and to the world who is listening, I do express my humble apology,” Constant said

    When the conservative voices started to vastly outnumber the liberal sheep in the comment sections, this gutless “News” organization decided to take their ball and storm home.

    • No real surprise. KTUU generally reports the on the weather and puppies. Oh, and any other pre-packaged, politically-correct stuff provided by NBC or ProPublica.

    • Yeah, I caught that. Didn’t realize it was all of them, certainly anything I, as a Conservative, wanted to comment on. I usually won’t read or watch news that I can’t comment on because it means it’s propaganda.

      • They run a daily Covid-19 scare propaganda story that if leaned any further left, would fall over.

    • KTUU isn’t worth your time, they’ve been following the liberal playbook for years now and KTVA isn’t much better. Our news choices in Alaska are very limited these days.

      • Well that’s exactly why it’s so fun to comment on there, and as censored907 points out, that’s why they pulled the plug on comments. I guess we were having too much fun and making too much sense!

  9. That so called “apology” is NOT enough.

    Let’s stick with leftist standards and get a boycott going. Maybe demand he don a hair shirt and grovel while resigning!

    But lets stop right there….there’s been too much “destructive unpleasantness” already.

  10. If anyone heard the comments of the public at the meeting which was televised for all to hear and see, remember, that every person on the assembly has helped “Bullhorn” Berkowitz with the worst of the worst in any and all planning. This project as well. The public comments and testimony was given by people who work as a lifelong commitment to to better the lives of the sick and homeless individuals on the street. The testimony was informed, experts with history and workers of our state that have a sincere desire to make life better. None of them agreed with the assembly and Berkowitz. “Dummie Dunbar” grilled the public like a criminal court. Constant was extremely obnoxious and crude. Rivera didn’t like the comments of the witnesses so he would butt in during the testimony, to destroy the testimony. The rest of the assembly gave no reason to accept the public testimony until Allrad finally spoke up and started asking question for the benefit of the future planning. The crux of the problem is that the work of Berkowitz and the assembly, is absolutely obnoxious and ill-planned. Anyone who objected to it was put on the chopping block by each assembly member in order to protect the promised future of the assembly and the mayor. Berkowitz is trying to work it so he has a job when his term is over and some on the assembly see that as their future as well. Spend, spend, spend COVID-19 money fast and furious as possible no matter the consequence. Covid-19 money is the property of all in the borough and state, not just a few for their gain. So far, nothing of merit has been done with the Covid 19 money. Absolutely nothing.. Time for Constant to go….. This man is so personally sick of himself. He can’t stand it when any person makes suggestions that he doesn’t approve of. He and Rivera show a disdain for others that should leave a person wondering what next and who is safe from the creepy twosome.

  11. Doubtless Hiz Honer, felt his grand reach for the CARES Act funds were slipping away and had Assemblyman Equality issue his stirring apology. I think the Rabbi was VERY gracious in accepting the apology at face value, and in offering to help with the homelessness situation.

    I also think that Assemblyman Equality actually could give two hoots about the homeless population or that he offended the Rabbi and his congregation. It was the politically expedient thing to do.

  12. What, no resignation?

    No demands for resignation?

    Or are they just not permitted to be spoken of in liberal media?

  13. A heartfelt and sincere apology was a foolish move. My President never apologizes. He’s smart. If our President says something people criticize, he counterpunches. He hits back viciously and strongly. The President will point out that the people who complain about him are huge losers. Or worse. So if Constant wasn’t so weak he would have announced that anyone who was offended by his comments obviously hates America and should go directly to Israel. Be tough — make America great again. Don’t wear a mask. Protect the a Second Amendment.

  14. “The mayor’s plan to divert funds granted by the federal government for COVID-19 relief to set up homeless hotels and drug rehab centers.” COVID-19 relief. That is the issue, the misuse of these funds to fund pet projects. One of the crazy things about this Pandemic is how it is not affecting the homeless who do not practice any precautions. The cost of this project is not a one time cost but will have to be funded every year.

  15. Publicly house our homeless community by all means. While housed, they receive training from/with the numerous “Publicly Funded Municipality of Anchorage Departments.” When (and only when) they “graduate” their MOA vocational training, they keep their Public Housing and move onto “Unpaid Internships” with MOA. At this point they become eligible for “Public Employment with MOA” effectively head of the line.
    Let’s stop giving these MOA Public jobs to out of state nitwits from the lower left coast. Let’s give our local community first dibs, get our indigenous community into the workforce.
    I’m sure you guys could fine-tune this idea, have at it!

  16. Seems like Constant’s gaffe is small potatoes compared to Trump’s claim that some of the Charlotte neo-Nazis were “very fine people.”
    At least, Trump didn’t apologize. Whatta man!

  17. Constant is “really” sorry alright. Sorry he was busted. Typical democrat. Talks the talk but doesn’t ‘walk the walk’. If left unchecked, fools like Constant will be the downfall of Alaska/ America. It’s obvious he isn’t worried about paying his ‘fair share’. Must be a public employee, along with a “representative” of Anchorage residents. Disgust is not a strong enough word.
    Right now, I’m really happy I don’t live in Anchorage. That hard left turn will destroy Alaska’s largest city if left unchecked. At the voting booth.
    November is coming. Conservatives need to “walk the walk”, not just complain. The entire country is at stake.

  18. Constant’s comments and apology are just his way of making his points without any responsibility or penalties. The public and especially the assembly should demand he resign for his deliberate racist attack on the Honorable Rabbi. He believes what he said and has done this act before. The people most offended in Anchorage are the Democrats for revealing just how low their handpicked Representive can sink. Don’t you think that every Democratic and Undeclared voter will be thinking if they want to be a part of such behavior and racism when they vote. Only fleas on dogs would want to call him their Representive on the assembly.

    The Mayor shows his weakness for not speaking up and demanding Constant’s resignation. He stains them all except Jamie Allard.

  19. I think the mayor had better check with the feds, because there is no way that his plans for the COVID funds fall in line with what they are for. What he is proposing is illegal as heck and the city could end up paying for it later once the feds want an accounting of what was done with the funds. Just like the states/hospitals who are padding their COVID numbers so they can get more funds….sooner or later there will be an audit…and heads will roll. It is not worth lying to steal that money.

  20. Chris Constant the crusader for the vagrants has a conflict of interest. Divert money, ruin a good neighborhood and profit off the operating of treatment centers. From his muni bio. Somebody has to run these facilities. Follow the money.

    “ Professionally, Christopher is a licensed real estate agent as well as a Grants and Contracts Director for a statewide nonprofit substance abuse and behavioral health treatment provider.”

  21. Buying buildings to move the situation to other locations is not a solution – only a quick way to spend federal dollars. The solution to this noble cause will be as varied as the people in the homeless population. Homeless veterans have talked about a community of ‘tiny houses’ instead of a barracks-type environment, homeless women with children want a safe neighborhood close to schools and the opportunity to be retrained for the workforce, the elderly want somewhere to age in place, Alaskan Natives need solutions that incorporate cultural values (i.e. working with the non-profit arm of their native corporations), etc. Those needs are far different from the needs of those who are addicted to drugs/achohol. And the needs of the mentally ill are more diverse. The Assembly needs to slow down making this decision to include more planning before making meaningful changes and decisions on how best to serve the homeless community and the permanent residents of Anchorage.

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