By CRAIG E. CAMPBELL
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s election time again in Anchorage. This current mayoral election will determine if Anchorage has really turned blue. Who we select as our next mayor will set the stage for the next three years with the policies, budgets, and focus of our local government.
Now I want to share my thoughts about who best would serve our city; returning it to a prosperous community that believes individual freedoms are better than large government overreach and control of our lives.
There are only two conservative candidates running for mayor: Dave Bronson and Mike Robbins. While Bill Evans desires to be viewed as a conservative, his track record is not conservative. He has flip-flopped between Democrat and Republican. He has never demonstrated a long term commitment to solving Anchorages problems; serving only one Assembly term.
It is concerning whether Evans actually supports women’s rights. He was one of the first to publicly defend former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz against allegations of sexual harassment by news anchor Maria Athens. Her allegations were correct. Ethan resigned. Does Evans really believe women or does he prefer to protect the political establishment?
Most disturbing is that Evans was the sponsor of the bathroom ordinance that allows men to use women’s bathrooms. Claimed as a compromise with disgraced Mayor Berkowitz, his ordinance legalized men using female bathrooms. This opened Pandora’s box. It resulted in greater liberal advances to eliminate the beautiful distinctions between men and women. It was the first step towards transgender protections that now threaten women’s rights gained over the past fifty years.
We have already had a transgender man try to become a guest at the Hope Center Women’s Shelter, which is a safe haven exclusively for homeless women. Thank God Hope Center won their court challenge to exclude men from their residence. As our city becomes more and more sensitized toward gender neutrality, we ultimately lose our dignity as men and women. Thank you Bill.
Some consider Evans an eloquent speaker; after all he is a lawyer, and his endorsements appear impressive on the surface, but his track record shows he is not committed to reversing the destructive course this city is going, led by the Leftist Assembly. He would most probably “negotiate” with the Left to reach compromises that further degrade our great city.
Anchorage needs a mayor who will push back against the progressive socialistic Assembly. There is only one candidate running for mayor who has the tenacity and fortitude to resist the Assembly and lead our community to greater prosperity, reduce the size and cost of government, and reverse this trend of government controlling our personal lives. That candidate is Dave Bronson.
I have known Dave for nearly 30 years. He is a principled person, guided by a vison of a prosperous Anchorage economy, safe streets and neighborhoods, caring for homeless but not enabling them to continue a destructive life style, and he is a person who listens to his constituents.
He would immediately open Anchorage for business, ending the draconian emergency mandates instituted by Mayors Berkowitz and acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson and supported by the Assembly. While he would encourage people to wear face masks if that is their preference, he would not mandate masks in Anchorage.
Dave will work with the health industry to establish realistic metrics for determining the best way to manage COVID as we come out of the pandemic. He would not have a person with no medical training advising the Administration and Assembly on health issues, as is currently being done. He would replace the current Health Department director with a person who has a medical background.
Anchorage has some of the highest criminal activity in America, with a violent crime rate of 8.32 per 1,000. The United States average is 2.50 per 1,000. Dave will resist the Anchorage Assembly efforts to neuter law enforcement. He will focus police activities directly toward the most serious crimes of domestic assault, gang activities, illegal drug distribution, home invasions, and will focus on community policing. Dave will not defund the police.
Dave will establish Anchorage as a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and will resist any state or federal effort to infringe upon a person’s right to own and use firearms in any lawful manner.
Anchorage has some of the highest residential construction costs in America, burdened with excessive regulations. Dave will consolidate community development, planning, plans review, building inspections, into a single customer-friendly department to increase efficiencies and lower construction costs and time to build. We must have lower construction costs to build affordable housing. This is one of the fundamental steps necessary to provide for family home ownership and reduce homelessness.
Dave will review the effectiveness of the Anchorage Community Development Authority and establish a new business council of local business leaders to guide the Administration on changes to laws, regulations, and tax policies that hinder economic expansion of our city. We must become proactive in bringing business to Anchorage by reducing the costs and oppressive government regulations, as well as having a workforce trained to take the jobs available.
He will sell the buildings inappropriately purchased by the previous administration for homelessness and treatment centers. Instead, Dave will reach-out to the existing non-profit communities and religious and native Alaskan organizations to development a comprehensive plan; first to address the issues of drugs, alcoholism, unemployment, and domestic violence that plagues the homeless community; and then to create a network to provide services that result in solutions to the existing inhumane warehousing policies of the homeless community currently being pursued.
He will establish an Alaska Native council to guide him on creating solutions to indigenous issues so prevalent in Anchorage and he will be a strong advocate for using Anchorage as the base for economic development of indigenous communities throughout Alaska.
Polls show Dave has support from a wide cross-section of Anchorage residents. His opposition is trying to paint him as “too conservative.” That’s hogwash. Dave is a highly intelligent person, who has advocated for smaller government and greater individual liberties before the Assembly and within our neighborhoods.
Unlike many of his opponents; he is engaged with communities, walking door-to-door to meet people, answering questions, and learning about our priorities. Dave has a plan to return Anchorage to the “All American City’ we were until the socialists took control and destroyed our economy and crushed our freedoms.
I am voting for Dave Bronson to be our next Mayor. Join me in stopping the current drive by local politicians to make Anchorage another failed socialist city. Let’s bringing back a citizen controlled government to Anchorage. Please vote Dave Bronson for Mayor when you receive your ballot.
Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly between 1986 and 1995 and later as Alaska’s Tenth Lieutenant Governor. He was the previous Chief Executive Officer and President for Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He retired from the Alaska National Guard as Lieutenant General (AKNG) and holds the concurrent retired Federal rank of Major General (USAF).