Mao Tosi, a leader in the Mountain View community of Anchorage says has endorsed Mike Dunleavy for governor.
“Many of you know that I am an advocate for youth, for families, for my community. I grew up surrounded by substance abuse, crime, unemployment. Playing basketball in Alaska for caring coaches like mine saved my life, breaking the cycle of crime and giving me the opportunity to go to college,” he wrote on Instagram.
Tosi is a former football player, and played defensive tackle for two seasons in the NFL, where he played for the Arizona Cardinals before being diagnosed with a spinal defect, which ended his football career.
He played basketball for East Anchorage High School and was named Alaska’s high school basketball player of the year.
In 2006, he returned to his hometown of Anchorage to raise his family and he began a nonprofit organization AK PRIDE (People Representing Integrity and Diverse Experiences), focusing on programs for youth in the Mountain View neighborhood, where he has become an iconic figure.
“I work hard, and dedicate myself to being an example for Alaskan kids, like my coaches were for me, to ensure they know the many alternatives to drugs and crime. We are all witness to the increased crime rates with little to no solutions provided over the past few years.
“I hope you will join me in demanding a safer community and support for our kids. As a father of five I will continue to demand more from myself and I am proud to endorse and support Mike Dunleavy for Governor. I met with Mike the first time almost 8 months ago. He contacted me for a private meeting, and he asked me a million questions about my work, about crime in our communities, about why I am involved, and about what I saw working.
“Mike Dunleavy understands what crime, and drugs, and unemployment, are doing to our neighborhoods, to our kids. Mike Dunleavy will prioritize public safety and jobs, Mike Dunleavy will work with Alaskans, like me, to find the solutions. We deserve a safer Alaska. Mike Dunleavy will get us there, and I will be voting Dunleavy for Governor and hope you do the same.”