Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson today announced his veto of AO 2022-69, the ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly to take over the supervision and appointment process to the Youth Advisory Commission.
“It has become apparent that this ordinance that passed has become a vehicle for attempting to silence the voice of youth in our community. The primary effect of this ordinance is to enable the Assembly to bypass the Youth Advisory Commission and select a Youth Representative who has not been selected by the youth of Anchorage,” Bronson said in his statement. “It is sad, that the ordinance was introduced to the Assembly without the Assembly first consulting the Youth Advisory Commission or even advising them that it was coming. Democracy is government by the people, and in this great nation, the people are able to act through representatives elected by them. Our youth, however can’t vote and so they have limited opportunities to participate in our democratic institutions. Anchorage’s Youth Advisory Commission serves this problem by giving the youth in Anchorage a meaningful voice and opportunity to participate in government. Diminishing the role of youth and stripping them of the few powers that they have is simply unacceptable. The Alaska Supreme Court has instructed that government should guard against tyranny in the form of unchecked aggrandizement of power and preserve our constitutional framework enabling citizen participation. Accordingly, I am compelled to veto AO No. 2022-69.”
The Assembly Leftist majority passed the ordinance last week over the objections of the youth and the mayor. They Assembly has the votes needed to override the veto, and it’s unclear if the mayor has an argument to make to the courts about separation of powers.