Human Rights Commission upheaval: Stewart is out as executive director - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, October 14, 2019
HomePoliticsHuman Rights Commission upheaval: Stewart is out as executive director

Human Rights Commission upheaval: Stewart is out as executive director

The Alaska Human Rights Commission today voted 4-3 to remove Marilyn Stewart as executive director, after she had only spent two weeks on the job.

Stewart was hired by the volunteer board after the previous executive director was fired for harassing a worker who had been doing contract repairs on the building where the commission is located.

The three men on the commission voted to retain Stewart, while the four women on the commission voted to let her go. No further information has been released by Chairwoman Debbie Fullenwider.

This story will be updated.

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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

  • SHE PROVED TO EVERYONE SHE WAS NOT RIGHT FOR A HUMAN RIGHTS JOB!
    GO FIGURE!

    • Roberto: did you flunk intro math?
      The vote to remove was 4 to 3.
      That’s a fat piece removed from proving to “everyone” that she wasn’t the right person for the job.
      Get going on a remedial math class or get a grip.

      • Joe, I think this is the best thing I have ever heard you say!

  • Perhaps it is time to review vetting process used by the curry administration from bottom to top.

  • Someone at MRAK said she was “easy on the eyes.” Apparently, the four women on the Board didn’t care for that sexist comment…….but, it could have been a simple case of jealousy. Can we get some pics of the other four women board members, please?

    • Yeah, show us the pics. I can only imagine. The three guys who voted to keep her probably read MRAK.

  • Shut the whole thing down !

    • I’m with you Ed. What does this Commission do anyway? Nothing as far as I can tell except make headlines. If there are ever any egregious human rights issues I’m sure there are other avenues to get them resolved than this state waste of money. Marilyn is a quality person. I wonder what went down this time.

      • Given obvious goofball antics and Alaska’s fiscal situation, using administrative order to transfer enforcement of existing statutory provisions regarding housing and employment discrimination should be transferred to Attorney General’s Office and eliminate existing commission and most staff.

        • Thank you, Joe!

  • Why is Alaska wasting money on a “human rights commission”?

    • The post-’64 Earthquake Legislature took time out of its real work to create the HRC. Human Rights Commissions were all the rage in the Great Society days. About all it has ever done is provide sinecures for well-connected minorities and cause trouble for businesses and Republican Administrations.

      • Like you would have had any knowledge of the 64 Earthquake Legislature, Art! Come in a dream??

        • The Yank is the oldest old fart posting at MRAK. About 90? Yip yip…
          ……yip yip.

  • Mr. Yankee: why the snarky comments about Art Chance’s observation? I think all Art was conveying was that the commission was started in ‘64 and by inference that 50 some years later it might be time to reevaluate whether we can do better with enforcement without the cumbersome commission model.

    • While you may think that was Art’s conveyance Joe, if it were he would have said that IMO. One thing about Art Chance is that he says exactly what he means, or means what he says (your choice).
      Nobody need read between the lines IMO.

  • I was shocked and sadden to read that Marilyn Stewart, the newly appointed executive director of the Alaska Commission on Human Rights has been terminated after only 2 weeks on the job. The decision to terminate her employment was made by the all-volunteer board of directors of the Commission on Wednesday. It was not a unanimous decision.
    Marcus Sanders, Co-Chairman of the Commission, has written a letter laying out the events at the meeting. Per Mr. Sanders’ letter the proceedings seemed to be abusive, capricious and not up to the expected standards of a commission dealing with human rights.
    I have known Marilyn Stewart professional for several years and her background will confirm her administrative and managerial expertise.
    She was the first African-American woman to hold the position in the 55 years of the commission’s history. Before joining the Alaska Commission on Human Rights she worked for Gov. Michael Dunleavy as director of outreach.
    She came to Alaska with the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Richardson. In 2012, she was awarded the Freedom’s Sister Award by Ford Motor Company for her community outreach. Previous recipients included Myrlie Evers-Williams, Barbara Jordan, and Rosa Parks.
    She is the former director of the Office of Equal Opportunity under Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, small business development program manager at the Alaska Department of Commerce, deputy director of community relations for Gov. Frank Murkowski, and constituent relations aide to Gov. Tony Knowles.
    Stewart was the co-founder and first executive director of Bridge Builders of Anchorage, and president/CEO of the Alaska Black Chamber of Commerce.
    It appears that a review of this situation is need by the Gov. Dunleavy.

    David Morgan

    • In other words, she was eminently qualified, beyond the existing board member’s qualifications. She didn’t have a chance!

    • Well written sir!

  • Thank you, Joe!

  • I really liked this lady. Apparently, she wasn’t liberal or Lefty enough for the Commission.

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