Crime town hall report: 115 attend to speak to Dunleavy - Must Read Alaska
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Crime town hall report: 115 attend to speak to Dunleavy

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CRIME WAS ON THEIR MINDS AT THE LOUSSAC LIBRARY

When candidate Mark Begich held a crime-focused town hall meeting on Monday in Anchorage, five people attended to speak to the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee. It was a disappointing night for the state’s top Democrat.

But on Tuesday, more than 115 people came through the town hall meeting held by Mike Dunleavy, who is clearly the leading candidate for governor.

The crime victims in Anchorage have figured out who the next governor is going to be and came to tell him their stories directly, without the filter of a controlling moderator. This was raw heartache being spoken into the microphone.

Anchorage residents told their stories for two hours at the Wilda Marston Theater in the Loussac Library — stories of how they don’t go to the mailbox anymore without a firearm. Stories about children sleeping in their beds, while drug-addled homeless people lingered 45 feet from their bedroom windows. The city tells parents that the homeless people “have rights too.”

The stories included one from a woman whose boyfriend was murdered, and then her son was later killed in cold blood in downtown Anchorage. She’s still waiting for the trial.

Another story came from a man who had his jet ski stolen in Big Lake, only to be told by law officers that these types of crimes are never solved, even though police know who is doing them.

Dunleavy listened, took notes, and occasionally responded to pointed questions, such as the one posed by Butch Moore, father of a young lady who was killed by her boyfriend, and whose name is now attached to a dating violence prevention law known as Bree’s Law.

Dunleavy said he is trying to understand how policies that sound good on paper affect real people in Alaska.

Laws like SB 91 may have been built on the smooth advice of Outside consultants, but Dunleavy wanted to hear from people who experience crime every day, and how unintended consequences of laws like SB 91 are changing the way they live.

There were no stilted forum questions, no “yes or no” paddles from moderators — just Dunleavy and the people.

One woman described how while having an alarm system installed in her house, thieves tried to steal the security company’s van that was parked in her driveway.

Don Jones, a former candidate for House, said that when he had been going door to door in his district, five out of 10 residents had had their cars stolen in the past few months.

Another woman described a detailed timeline of crime in her Muldoon neighborhood, and another described the devastation she felt as a mother when she was driving through a Muldoon business with her 15-year old daughter, who witnessed someone shooting up drugs in broad daylight.

The evening came to a close before the stories were all told. Dunleavy closed by saying that he wants immediate action when he becomes governor. Although he admitted not having all the answers, he said that after two years if the situation was not improved, he’d consider it a personal failure.

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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

  • Nice summation Suzanne. I attended the event. We know those stories could have gone on for hours. This was my first real exposure to our next Governor. He sounds sincere and committed to action.

  • Strengthen the economy and the out-of-control crime problem will begin to reverse. It’s not the only action needed, but it’s an important one. I’m absolutely convinced that Mike Dunleavy is the best choice for Alaska’s future.

  • No other governor in the United States today owns any state problem nearly as much as Walker owns this Alaska crime problem. If it wasn’t tragic and alarming it would be funny: “One woman described how while having an alarm system installed in her house, thieves tried to steal the security company’s van that was parked in her driveway.” Clearly this town-hall meeting was a great and needed event. Thank you for reporting it.

  • Dunleavy may be a little wet behind the ears but I am confident he will have a great group of advisors (such as myself) to MAKE ALASKA GREAT AGAIN!

  • The fact that Walker/Mallott can’t or won’t even dismiss the asst DA that gave a plea deal to the man who almost killed a woman recently that resulted in no jail time whatsoever. This should prevent anyone interested in protecting the public from violent crime from voting for them. Dunleavy is committed to ending the reign of terror we’ve all been living in. It will require creative solutions and we need leadership that offers solutions other than more of the same. Dunleavy has our households votes.

  • Dunleavy was absent from the candidate forum at the Performing Arts Center. I was hoping to see how he would engage with the other candidates, and explain how his budgetary claims can specifically be achieved. I always appreciate Suzanne’s perspective.

  • Thank you Mike Dunleavy, you will be a great Gov for our State I and thousands of
    Alaskans are backing your Nomination we need a real leader to run our great land
    Alaska it was great talking with you at the State Fair supporting our 4-H Auction
    for all of Alaska you will make our State great again thank you.

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