A grassroots group of Anchorage residents who have become alarmed at the mayor’s many restrictions and prohibitions will gather at the Loussac Library on Tuesday evening to protest.
The protest begins at 4:30 pm, before the Anchorage Assembly will arrive to discuss several major issues — all out of sight of the citizens, who are not permitted into the building, per the orders of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
“Take a stand. In 20 years, I will not tell my children that I watched their basic human rights being stripped away and I did nothing. I will tell them I stood up and showed up and gave it my all,” wrote organizer Elizabeth Welsh, who is the co-founder of Open Alaska, a group that started on Facebook and has 7,000 members.
Welsh says she doesn’t know how many will show up, but expects at least 500 based on the strength of the response she’s gotten.
Among items on the agenda for the Assembly is the $22.5 million in expenditures requested by the mayor for the purchase of four buildings to create a network of services for Anchorage vagrants and street people.
A resolution to curb the mayor’s emergency powers will be offered by Assembly member Jamie Allard.
Another resolution to allow people inside the Assembly chambers will be offered by Allard and Assembly member Crystal Kennedy.
Resolution No. AR 2020-296, a resolution of the Anchorage Assembly requiring the Assembly Chambers to accommodate individuals wishing to testify on public hearing items or in audience participation at Assembly Meetings, Assembly Members Allard and Kennedy. (Addendum.)
The package to purchase and renovate the buildings for Anchorage street people has come under scrutiny, as a portion of the funds would come from CARES Act monies intended to be used to alleviate economic hardships due to the COVID-19 virus. The municipality is still sitting on 85 percent of the $156 million it was given by the federal government.
Ordinance No. AO 2020-66(S), As Amended, an ordinance authorizing the acquisition by purchase, or lease with option to purchase, of real property legally described as: Lot 7a Block C Heather Meadows Subdivision (Plat 77-149) (PID 009-161-51), Lots 1 – 6 Block C Rosebud Subdivision (Plat P-224A), (PID 009-161-32, 009-161-33, 009-161-34, 009-161-35, 009-161-36, 009-161-37), Block 4A Central City Subdivision (Plat 76-245) (PID 003-241-29), the improvements on Lot 1 Block 33C USS 408 (Plat 84-374) (PID 003-073-33), and Tract C Green Valley Resubdivision No. 1 (Plat 73-210) (PID 010-193-22) (properties) with aggregate acquisition and renovation costs Not To Exceed $22,500,000, Real Estate Department, Assembly Chair Rivera, and Assembly Members Zaletel and Constant.