Marilyn Stewart is new leader of Human Right Commission - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Marilyn Stewart is new leader of Human Right Commission

Marilyn Stewart is the newly appointed executive director of the Alaska Commission on Human Rights. The decision was made by the all-volunteer board of directors of the commission on Friday.

Stewart most recently ran for the House seat occupied by Rep. Matt Claman, representing District 21, Anchorage.  For the past several months she has worked for Gov. Michael Dunleavy as director of outreach. She starts on Monday as the first African-American woman to hold the position in the 55 years of the commission’s history.

Stewart is originally from Alabama. 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.

She was a volunteer on the re-election campaign of Gov. Sean Parnell, and ran for State House in 2016 and 2018 against Rep. Matt Claman, losing both times to the incumbent Democrat.

The position of the executive director of the agency opened up after the former head of the agency posted a note on a man’s truck telling him to remove it from the agency’s parking lot because of its “Black Rifles Matter” decal.

[Read: Human Rights director was regulating what she thought was “hate speech.”]

Marti Buscaglia was disciplined and suspended from her job, and then resigned in April. At the same time, several board members resigned and the staff’s enforcement officer also resigned. The governor has been able to appoint several new board members in the brief time since the scandal took place.

[Read: Human Rights Commission vs. First and Second Amendment]

[Read: Human Rights director resigns]

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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

  • Fair, balanced, smart, easy on the eyes. Two thumbs up.

  • Ted: The bit about “easy on the eyes” reflects an attitude based on a belief system that might give anyone dealing with discrimination pause , including the new Executive Director. Check your default settings.

    • Oh, for heaven’s sake, lighten up.
      Check your victimhood.

      • I checked. I’m not. Grow up.

    • The fact you ignored the “fair, balanced, and smart” to focus solely on the “easy on the eyes” coda says more about your issues than Ted’s.

      There is absolutely nothing untoward in noting that (gasp) attractive people are attractive, particularly when you also (and in this case first) acknowledge their more important characteristics.

      To reduce his statement to merely “easy on the eyes” is both duplicitous and puerile.

  • Joseph, why weren’t you on stage with all of the other Democrat “victims” and “miserables” two nights ago? “Easy on the eyes” is a loving expression of complimentary design, that is, unless you’re a hateful Left-winger who hides in the bushes waiting for any opportunity to instill more hate and division among the masses. Are you THAT person?

  • Mikey and Paula: I’m a long-standing registered Republican with experience dealing with clowns who base appointments according to goofball criteria like “easy on the eye.”
    Grow up.

    • Joe, its grand leap to assert Governor Dunleavy appointed the lady on “goofball criteria like easy on the eye” when that was nothing more than a comment posted hereon. You seem to be engaging in extreme virtue signalling. A decidedly leftist trait. Claiming Republican status is a hollow defense; no one proves their conservative principals to register as such. In fact, some leftists actually get elected as Republicans. Lisa Murkowski for example.

  • Joey Boy: now THAT’S an insult!

  • Great pick!!!

  • Marilyn is perfect for this. She’s smart and dedicated and fair. Good choice.

  • She is a goose stepper.

  • Congratulations on her appointment . She is bright talented and works well with difficult people. Good choice

  • Interesting! I’d call this more political BS! Interviewed Friday and in the job Monday morning! And this was a classified job!

    • I call it punctuality, Del, and yes…..she is easy on the eyes.

  • How about stopping all the BS and acknowledge that she is an excellent choice.

  • 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 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

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