By LOUIS IMBRIANI
If you haven’t already heard, Assembly Members Zaletel and Peterson of the Anchorage Assembly introduced a new “Public Health and Safety Measures” ordinance (2021-91) at a special assembly meeting at City Hall on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.
This ordinance, if passed, would mandate that everyone 2 years of age and older shall be required to wear a mask or face covering any time they are in an indoor public place and tells business that they “shall deny admittance to any individual who fails to comply with this Ordinance and shall require or compel removal of such individuals from the premises.” Finally, it says that this ordinance will remain in effect for as long as and whenever Anchorage is in “high alert” status.
The ordinance is seven pages in length. I can foresee that there will be not only an “S” version presented, but that there will also be multiple amendments and amendments to the amendments made when this item is up for discussion.
It will be up for public testimony and discussion at the next regularly scheduled assembly meeting this upcoming Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, at the Loussac Library at 5 pm.
There are a few things that we can expect at the meeting. We can expect Assembly Members Constant, Zaletel, Quinn-Davidson, and Dunbar will reference a recently published study conducted by Stanford Medical and Yale that was published on September 1st, 2021. This study looked at ways to promote mask use and its effectiveness in rural Bangladesh. It relied on the participants voluntary participation; the participants truthfulness in answering the questions, questions that were not measurable; and participants submitting to a blood sample to test for COVID antibodies. Of which less than half participated.
This is the same study that Assembly Member Kennedy referenced during the discussion on AR 2021-303 where she keenly pointed out that in this study the recorded impact was negatable at best. The assembly voted 8-3 passing the resolution requesting that Mayor Bronson mandate face coverings for public indoor areas of municipal buildings. Members Allard, Kennedy and Weddelton were the three no votes.
There was limited discussion by the assembly about the Stanford Medical and Yale study, but you can bet that they did their research and will be ready for a much longer discussion at the upcoming meeting.
We can also expect the same group of assembly members to reference the various closed-door meetings they have had with nurses and doctors working the frontlines in the hospital, as well as the testimony that we heard at the last assembly meeting where a hospital administrator said that they needed more qualified staff.
Yet, these hospitals that are so desperate for staff are still threatening termination, and in some cases terminating the employment of the very medical professionals we need because they are choosing not to opt-in to getting the jab.
I have no doubt that the nurses and doctors working at our three local Anchorage hospitals are under an unimaginable amount of pressure and strain. What is happening to them is not their fault. The lack of resources is not their fault. The lack of staff is not their fault. The burden that they are bearing is not their fault. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those medical professionals.
I know that this has been a long 19 months for everyone, but I am calling on you once again to please come out and testify at the public hearing on Tuesday Sept. 28, 2021.
You do not need to sign up for testimony unless you want to participate telephonically. If you want to testify over the phone, please go to the following link and select “Public Testimony Form”
This is the same place that you can submit written testimony that will be added to the record.
We can understand the gravity of the situation at our local hospitals and also stand up for our rights as United States citizens and Alaskan residents. We have already seen that if we give an inch, they will take a mile and we may never get it all back. We need to stop going along to get along and we need to stand our ground.
We need to let the Assembly know that we will not stand for any of their mandates, and we will not comply with their unconstitutional and unenforceable ordinance.
This country was founded on the sovereignty of the individual. We will not be conditioned to think that standing up for our rights is selfish. It is our duty to stand up for our rights.
Please join me on Tuesday and share your voice. Be heard and let them know that we will not stand for this.
Thank you all and I hope to see you on Tuesday.
Louis Imbriani is an Anchorage resident and civic activist.