Former equity officer publishes statement with image depicting KKK firing him - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Former equity officer publishes statement with image depicting KKK firing him

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Clifford Armstrong III, hired as Anchorage’s first chief equity officer by former Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, posted a cartoon on social media that appears to depict him being fired by three hooded persons, presumably members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Armstrong, who was hired in April out of Tacoma, Wash., was making $115,000 per year in a position that was at the discretion of the mayor. He came out of a social justice background as a community organizer. The Anchorage job was created by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and approved by the leftist Assembly by an ordinance that appears to say he can’t be fired without the Assembly’s approval. Mayor Dave Bronson replaced him anyway.

Read: Bronson hires new equity officer, releases Tacoma man

Uluao “Junior” Aumavae of Anchorage is the new chief equity officer. Armstrong had, according to MRAK sources, rarely been seen at City Hall since Bronson took office July 1.

Armstrong released a statement to his LinkedIn professional page that explains his perspective on why he was replaced. He topped the press release with the cartoon drawn by Mike O’Meara, ostensibly for the Homer News. In his statement he says that he, unlike any other member of the administration, competed in a nationwide search that was a “free, open, fair, and auditable application process like what most governments do to attract the best, most qualified, workforce for their organizations.”

He said he was hired for his technical competence, not his political allegiance. Nowhere in his statement did he insinuate that his race was a factor — that was inferred by the cartoon he used to illustrate his press release.

Armstrong’s statement in full:

“I’d like to inform the public about my understanding of my involuntary separation, or firing, by the Bronson administration on Thursday October 7th, 2021. It is my hope that with the information I’m providing, most of which is already public information, the public can make informed decisions about how they’d like to defend the office and work they fought for in 2020.

“Many folks have inquired about why they think I was fired. I cannot give you a definitive answer as no cause was given. However, based on the circumstances, several factors seem to have come into play.

“The first reason, which has been the most focused-on, is the Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) Summary Report that I delivered shortly before I was terminated. I, in collaboration with others, produced a report which identifies hiring and personnel action disparities at the Muni. The report recommends specific actions to be taken between now and February of 2022, which is when a formal report and plan is due. The administration has claimed that the report and it’s [sic] implementation will continue to be worked on in my absence. I request the public demand to know by whom and how that individual would know what to do considering the Muni hadn’t addressed any of the issues I wrote about within the memory of any staff whom I consulted.

“The second reason is that it became abundantly clear that I was not like the other executives in the administration who, with few exceptions, did not compete in a national free, open, fair, and auditable application process like what most governments do to attract the best, most qualified, workforce for their organizations. I was hired for technical competence and not political allegience. And in performing my duties, my obligation was to follow the municipal code. You will have to decide for yourselves whether technical competence and legal compliance are valued by this administration.

“The third reason is related to the budget process. Without my consent, the 2022 proposed budget shows the Office of Equity and Justice (OEJ) without the connection to the Assembly that was placed there originally. Also, there were about 4 different municipal code or policy & procedure changes that I drafted specifically to improve the organizational processes related to equity and justice. In particular, drafts related to Language Access, Section 3, the Affirmative Action Plan, and the OEJ and Chief Equity Officer roles and responsibilities. This included additional staffing to do the work well. The administration categorically denied advancing on any of these proposals.

“The fourth reason is related to political commitments. In a public forum, the Mayor said he viewed my office and position as unecessary and something to be removed upon winning the election. That obviously didn’t happen and he has since named someone else, significantly less technically qualified than myself, to hold the office. The administration is clearly engaged in a political squabble with the assembly and my position and office were convenient pawns in a larger dispute unrelated to my ability to perform my job.

“I am disappointed to have lost my position under these circumstances. If offered, I would welcome the opportunity to once again serve the people of Anchorage.”

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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

  • He’s appears to be a racist, good riddance if that’s the case.

  • With a racist response from Armstrong like that, it appears getting rid of him turns out to be good equity initiative.

  • This clown’s reaction to his termination shows clearly the Mayor’s decision was correct!

  • When you can’t make a cogent argument, cry racism.

    This in itself is proof Bronson did the right thing by dumping this clown.

  • Can’t help but wonder how often in a disagreement he calls white people racist? I suspect a lot.

    Can’t be that someone has a different option or POV. Or that they might have valid criticisms. Or the accuser in question isn’t needed or good at their job.

    It can only be…….”racism”.

  • It’s also worth pointing out people who go this crassly this quickly are revealing their own character.

    The people quickest to call claims like racism are usually projecting their behavior and beliefs onto others.

    In short, if there is a “racist” here, it’s likely Mr Armstrong

  • Stunning that a gentleman whose purpose in employment with the M.O.A. would drop a visual nuclear bomb like that on the Bronson Administration. Obviously, Mr. Armstrong is not aware of the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Or, perhaps he is, and wanted to “salt the land” as he departs from his redundant position that was quite possibly illegal in its comport.

    How can the Executive branch be responsible for wages and benefits, yet only the Legislative branch approve firing? As always, the Leftist Nine make poor decisions without consideration of the consequences of their actions.

    • The Nine have left Minas Morgul !

  • Gaslighting is in full effect for the Left

  • Aww, what a childish petty response. Did he cry too? Maybe he’s not really ready for big boy pants. But of course, none of them are.

  • And good riddance, Clifford.
    .
    Now, if we could just say “good riddance” as well to the ‘woke’ist farce that is the position of “Chief Equity Officer”.

  • Interesting, every reason he provides is based on victimhood. Not surprising, but interesting.
    .
    Curious that he did not mention that he could not be bothered to show up for work as a reason he got the ax.

  • Armstrong, this is exactly why you were the wrong person for the job.
    When you were called out for your no show, the municipality had every right to terminate you.
    You never should have been hired with this attitude.
    Thank you Mayor Bronson for terminating this entitled do nothing.
    Our city is much better off without this outsider.

  • This isn’t a Press Release coming from Mr. Armstrong. It is, however, his lawyer building a case for a lawsuit.

    • Is it racist to hate lawyers?

  • I see hiring People based NOT based on their actual qualification skills is working out swell.

  • ROFLOL…typical leftist with no common sense and no dignity. Throw a temper tantrum instead of acting like a reasonable, logical adult. Good riddance. What a stupid and useless position to invent anyway.

  • Regardless of his own politics or world view, Mr. Armstrong is not at fault in this whole debacle and it is too bad he has found himself in the quagmire caused by the Anchorage assembly. This was a position that was, and is, not needed but was forced upon Anchorage taxpayers and now they are stuck with it for the time being. MOA already has affirmative action, their staffing reflects people from all walks of life and genetic make up. Local hire, meaning Alaskans, has been a priority in our state for a long time but in this age of technology all posted jobs can be found by anyone around the world that wish to apply, hence job postings are very open, free, national, and fair.

  • To a man with a hammer, the entire world looks like a nail.

    When you hire a committed racist to a position of authority, everything that happens to him will be racially motivated. Funny thing about the cartoon, is that the KKK was the terrorist arm of the democrat party for nearly a century, not unlike what BLM / AntiFa are doing today. I don’t know of any democrats in City Hall in positions of authority these days. Perhaps I missed something. Cheers –

    • Second observation:

      We apparently have so little racism here in ANC these days, we have to hire it from out of state. Cheers –

  • You don’t come to work for over 3 months and you expect to have a Job you are an ID 10 T. Besides the person hired for the job is a local.

  • It seems to me his “cartoon” is a dead giveaway to his own racist world view.

    Good riddance !

  • First problem – the cartoon… This thing shows an attitude that makes everyone suspicious of an individual’s motives, especially in an “equity officer” role. Second problem – “I can’t do my job without additional staff”… This is how bureaucracies grow folks, because they get a fat pay raise when we hire someone to work under them – now they’re a supervisor, when we should be calling out incompetence. I would suggest that Armstrong deserved his termination – just the wrong fit for the job, and for Anchorage, or anywhere in Alaska. You can’t fight racism with racism.

  • We need to down size the government, not grow it. I think the position should be eliminated, period.

  • This is precisely the problem with the cancer that is Social Media.
    .
    Something happens in your life, and you rush to post about it with the expectation that all your iFriends are sitting with their iDevice, frantically hitting “refresh”, hoping against hope that you’ll publish something, ANYthing, to give their empty lives meaning. So they can drop what they’re doing and spend the next 30 minutes absorbing and critiquing the nuance of your words and the horrors of your experience. And then they can ponder the injustice, the TRAVESTY you describe, and savor the aroma of the delicious Outrage Porn you provide.
    .
    Do they actually go to the sites or read the source Muni documents you recommend, so they might be fully informed, perhaps to discover you possibly misunderstood something? No, that’s too much work. Taking your words as Gospel, they summon their fury and shaking their tiny index fingers at the sky, text what you wrote to all their little iFriends, hoping to garner some attention of their own.
    .
    Dude. You got fired. The job wasn’t guaranteed. Suck it up. And lay off the KKK theatrics. Nobody’s been lynched in America since Justice Kavanaugh.

    • This gets my vote for best post of the year!

      • Mine too!

  • Yeah because if you get fired for not showing up to work it’s racism, yo.

  • This is a version of Godwin’s Law; the first moron to bring Hitler into a debate loses. If the KKK was after him, the police his ideological buddies want defunded would be cutting him down from a tree. Sorry, there is no KKK here, and there is no need to fight slavery in Alaska. What we need to fight is addiction and homelessness, and that doesn’t mean enabling it.

  • Administration jobs should be filled by the administration. Period. Giving Falsey $50K isn’t going to change that.

  • When you’re a racist, everything is racism.

  • This racist cartoon just proves Bronson made the right decision in firing him as “equity” officer (whatever the heck that is).

    By the way, why the heck do we even need or want a bureaucrat running around trying to impose identity quotas and equality of outcome (not opportunity)?

  • Equity” is hogwash.
    “The government cannot measure equality of opportunity, but it can measure equality of result. If the results are not equal they wrongly assume unequal opportunity. Ingenuity, inventiveness, entrepreneurial skill, determination and most important effort are extremely difficult to measure, but those are usually the key factors in creating result.
    Until the government figures out how to measure those factors, “equity” will never be properly measured.”
    Thomas A.Murphy
    The position should be eliminated entirely. It represents left wing virtue signaling and is a complete waste of money. You notice in his comments he talks about adding staff.! This is on top of an EEO and Ombudsman’s office. Then people wonder why the Assembly meetings get so rowdy. You elect clowns and you get a circus.

  • Geee, the mayor took his “No Show” job away from him. Doesn’t the mayor know this man is “Connected” to the Democrat Machine, maybe even on track to be a “made” into this machine? Who does the Mayor think he is?

  • Ain’t buying what is being sold here. Not our facts. Lies for sale. I learned a long time ago not to believe what others are telling me. Did “they” say to you “we’ll take care of you” etc? When someone is asking you to move lock stock and barrel across the country to do something (unsavory) for them be careful; things are not always what they seem. Very costly.

  • These people can’t seem to stop oppressing themselves. It is as if they are trapped within a prison of their own mind. I see comments painting patriots as Nazis, when it is the patriots standing up for their own freedom. We are in a pandemic crisis of mental illness.

  • The world’s tiniest research would have delivered to you the information that the authors of the new position were greatly unpopular in the city and the temp Mayor was not even properly elected. She was evidently using “you” in a vain attempt to buttress herself and force the city in a direction it has no intention of going. You bought the sandwich from the temp, unelected Mayor. You can only receive the cookies she had. She and the assembly created an unacceptable position. The guy occupying the position is an Alaskan hire now. We like that. He will be able to help. The current Mayor reflects the will of the community. There will be some other organization improvements now that the public is permitted to assemble for the chartered, Constitutional purposes. The elected Mayor sees to it the people’s will is executed by the public servants.

  • Try becoming a resident first before you say or do anything! What a loser anybody with any sense knew this was coming along with playing the race card.

  • I hope his post stays up for his entire career. No doubt he’ll have a hard time getting hired anywhere else with this attitude.

  • What exactly does a community organizer do every day? Do they organize “protests”, like those in Portland and Minneapolis? Is this a degreed field? Is there some sort of certification required? Is there a professional organization of community organizers? How do they measure their successes? What does an organized community look like?

    The fact that after Bush we endured an 8-year reign of terror by another self-appointed community organizer and yet we still don’t really know what they actually do, says a lot.

  • Mr. Armstrong should go back and read his statements through a different lens. Just as he expects the world to view his existence through “his” lens, he should take a look at not only the optics of his “press release”, but his verbiage.
    .
    “free, open, fair, and auditable application process like what most governments do to attract the best, most qualified, workforce for their organizations.” I, for one, would like an audit of this free, open, fair, and auditable application process. I’m guessing since everyone involved in this process was a Berkowitz hack, it will reek of unfairness and flunk an audit.
    .
    “the public can make informed decisions about how they’d like to defend the office and work they fought for in 2020”. I’m sorry, Mr. Armstrong, but we did not fight for this office and work in 2020; therefore, it does not need defending. This was a hammer job from the Assembly and disgraced Berkowitz from the start. The actual public never asked for this position. I’m guessing the person that has replaced you isn’t long for this world either.
    .
    “The administration is clearly engaged in a political squabble with the assembly”. This is so laughable I can hardly contain myself. Who is in a squabble with who, Mr. Armstrong?
    .
    And, it has long come to the attention of anyone with free thought, that your implication of racism is bogus and tired. You’ve joined in the watering down of the true meaning of racism by claiming such whenever you don’t have a legitimate argument.

    Please just go home – wherever that might be. I feel a little bad that you fell for the prior administration’s “wokeness” and actually thought you were an important cog in their wheel. If you think the current administration doesn’t value your superior ‘technical competence’, I guarantee the past administration didn’t give a rats about it either. I’m afraid you were always a pawn – regardless of the color of your skin.

  • Maybe I just need more coffee, but nothing in what he says indicates why he was fired. What I read was that he did a proposal and no one followed his proposal.

  • When ya got no game and everyone knows your background, and you lose your job, you got one thing left…….
    scream……..RACISM!

  • Grow a pair and move on.

  • Let us pray Mr. Armstrong finds the strength to overcome his fears of those things living under his bed and in his closet. Especially those living in his head.

  • Bronson should have abolished that position entirely. No need to codify racism. By filling the position with someone else he has exposed the City to a potential discrimination lawsuit.

  • How hard is it to figure this one out? The person serves at the pleasure of the Mayor. For me, this is just another bloated position we don’t need. Equity can be dealt within the Human Resource Department.

  • If the Mayor and his administration is so demonstratively racist, why on earth would he want to go back to work for them?

    Logic is not this racist fellow’s strong suit.

  • They should take him to court for slander

  • This man should have never been hired. I had an email exchange with then faux-mayor AQD pointing out that she was simply a place holder and should leave filling this position to the new administration. Her response in essence said that she was helping the new administration and her posting this for people to compete was the right way to go about it. I am convinced it was to set up this scenario and tie Mayor Bronson’s hands.
    Any person, who supposedly is to promote “equity”, posting a cartoon like this, is revealing his bias and ill will toward others, not in agreement with him. Playing the victim because your ideas are not universally loved and adored, speaks of a vain and immature mind. I hope the administration has records showing how many days he was not present.
    I agree with comments here and suggest that this office be combined with the ombudsman and the EEO to share staff and during the next budget cycle more streamlining should occur.

  • Apparently Mr. Armstrong is a racist as he’s not in agreement that Mr. Aumavae, a Polynesian American, is replacing him and willing to look past the fact that Aumavae was raised in Anchorage. Armstrong has also shown that he’s without a leg to stand on by immediately playing the Race Card. How convenient for him. I agree with Craig in that the position should be eliminated. When it was first created, I wrote to Weddleton and asked “Equity and Justice for who? Everyone who isn’t a white heterosexual?” Just a matter of time before our fair and balanced assembly starts pissing up another rope by spending time on another non-issue.

  • Has he filed a grievance with the National Butthurt Alliance yet?

  • Perhaps they should just make the position strictly volunteer, and if it does any good they could consider making it a part time paid position. 20 hrs per week at around $25 per hr sound good? This guy would be gone in a heartbeat.

  • 115,000 a year for doing what now? No showing and being an a–. Good job.

  • Dummy.. Instead of ghosting the office and not showing up to work, you might be employed today. But you decided to play the race card instead.

  • Few things sorrier than a whiny loser. A racist whiny loser is probably one of them.

  • Race-baiters should have no voice in government. Great work taking out the trash Mayor. Keep up the good work.

  • Good Call Mayor, keep up the good work.

  • If you got caught up in anybody’s politics, it was Berkowitz and AQD’s.

  • Exactly, why did they hire someone from Tacoma, over an Alaskan in the first place?

  • The projection is strong in this comment list.

  • Respectfully disagree, Madam Editor. This is simply depicting three totally mask-mandate compliant individuals confronting a non mask-mandate compliant individual.
    .
    You’d think they would be the Assembly’s poster children for their Mask Mandate, the picture pasted on city buses to educate the masses, that sort of thing.
    .
    But apparently not.
    .
    Confusing, no?

    • Ha ha! Reminds me of the compromise equality flag from South Park.

    • So..that isn’t a drawing of Cliff from Tacoma being thrown out of Barnes and Noble for not wearing a mask??

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