Mayor Bronson launches ‘Project Anchorage’ task force

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Mayor Dave Bronson announced the creation of a task force of business, civic, and community leaders who will help devise strategies and ideas to make Anchorage a more attractive place for tourists to visit, businesses to invest, and residents to live.

The 11-member “Project Anchorage,”  task force will play a critical role in developing policy recommendations that will help enhance Anchorage’s economy and livability in the years to come, his office said.

“The creation of this taskforce – Project Anchorage – comes at a critical point in Anchorage’s history. We can’t go down the path of being a declining oil-boom town,” Bronson said. “I’m compelled to help create an Anchorage that is thriving, dynamic, and growing – a place where our children want to live when they get older. We must implement forward thinking and positive polices that attract talent, increase business investment, and enhance the quality of life for our residents. I’ve charged this taskforce to think big and put all options on the table. We want the 2020s to be Anchorage’s decade!”

The task force will be comprised of the following organizations and entities:

  1. Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
  2. Anchorage Downtown Partnership
  3. Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
  4. Visit Anchorage
  5. Anchorage Parks Foundation
  6. Alaska Hospitality Retailers
  7. A member of the Assembly
  8. Eklutna Inc.
  9. Girdwood Chamber of Commerce
  10.  Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce
  11.  Anchorage Community Development Authority

The task force will rely on the work done by consultant Roger Brooks, who conducted an in-depth survey of Anchorage from the perspective of an investor, visitor, and citizen. AEDC and other organizations brought Mr. Brooks to Anchorage, to help inform leaders on how to make our city, and downtown in particular, a better place for visitors, businesses, and residents.

“Downtown has incredible potential to be a vibrant, connected hub of activity that draws tourists and future residents,” said Assembly Member Daniel Volland. “As an Assembly Member and downtown business owner, I’m excited to work with the Mayor and other stakeholders on envisioning a downtown experience that befits our northern city of the future.”

“As a long-time Anchorage resident and business professional, I look forward to contributing to the taskforce by creating recommendations to improve our community,” said Bruce Bustamante, President & CEO, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. “Now is the time to take action with both short-term and long-term initiatives to improve transportation, connect trails and create wayfinding. I am pleased to be invited and to involve the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce as this effort is critically important to the future of our community.”

“Our city’s ability to generate new investment is directly dependent on our capacity to attract and retain a growing and skilled workforce,” said Bill Popp, CEO, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. “As one of the lead partners that brought Mr. Brooks to Anchorage to assess our city’s approachability to workforce, visitors, and investors AEDC is excited to be a part of this task force the Mayor has formed that will lead the effort to implement the recommendations presented. This effort will be an important part of our success as a city in the coming years that will make our city an even better place to live, work, and play. 

“I want to thank the members of the taskforce for helping our city move forward into a bright future,” Bronson said.

Mayor Bronson has requested the taskforce present recommendations and policy initiatives by the end of 2022, to provide time for evaluation and implementation prior to the 2023 building and tourism season.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Visitors will enjoy seeing well fed and unemployed people with nice teeth working together to trash the once serene areas living in tents. Attractions could be passed out drunks or raping or murdering females. No matter what the mayor does the city’s trail system is dangerous.

  2. I’ve got a solution. Let EagleExit happen, rename the new borough Anchorage, rename original Anchorage to South Anchorage.
    Problem solved, just don’t go to South Anchorage.

  3. A noble goal. To avoid becoming “a declining oil-boom town,” Mayor Bronson will have to overcome economic trends that are very concerning. The economy of the state of Alaska has been struggling since we decided to give oil and gas companies massive tax cuts a decade ago. Since then, we have had one of the worst performing economies in the country, while the economies of other west coast states (Washington, Nevada and California) have been booming. Too many Alaska born and raised kids leave the state because job opportunities are better elsewhere. To bring in businesses that will employ future Alaskans with high paying jobs, we need to look beyond oil and mining and invest in education. Companies looking to expand look for places with a workforce of educated and trained workers. They won’t move operations to Alaska if we don’t invest in educating and training our kids. But our governor has been decreasing funding of our state university system since he was elected. While the oil industry may be providing good paying jobs today, the number of those jobs has been steadily shrinking as oil majors such as BP exit the state. And whether you believe in climate change or not, most Americans do, and the country is going to move to green energy technologies in the coming decades that will lessen the demand for oil and gas. The oil and gas industry is not going to be a growth industry in the long term. Years ago we decided to cut taxes on the oil and gas industry, in the belief this would spur economic growth. That hasn’t happened, and Alaska’s economy has suffered as the legislature and the governors office fight over how to allocate an ever smaller budget. We need a fresh start with a new group of leaders who can chart a course to the future for Alaska. Until then, there really isn’t much Mayor Bronson can do to spur new economic growth here, other than making Anchorage a more attractive tourist destination.

  4. Well! For a start take down those dumb ugly ‘you matter’ road signs, it rubs the community’s faces in suicide everyday, we’d be thinking about suicide from morn to
    night. Its not a healthy thought.

  5. What is this mob but an ad-hoc cabal of 9 non-profits, 1 provably worthless “Authority”, and 1 Assembly member whose group’s contempt for voters is so well documented demonstrated.
    .
    Why not cut to the chase? Forget rampant inflation caused by runaway government spending at federal, state, and city levels. This is all about ramming a sales tax down what’s left of a productive population.
    .
    What exactly is “enhanc(ing) Anchorage’s economy and livability”? except government taking more money and giving it to a cabal which won’t have to deliver anything because nobody knows what a successful outcome looks like, nobody is personally accountable for success, nobody’ll say what the deadline is for a successful outcome after which no mas taxpayer dinero.
    .
    Who’s accountable for wasted taxpayer money when The Dream goes bust during the next 2 years of Bidenflation, or when Eaglexit succeeds taking a big chunk of the city’s tax base with it?
    .
    Hell, this group can’t even figure out what to do with the bums infesting downtown, yet they want to blow tens of millions of tax dollars on revitalizing downtown.
    .
    This group can’t even figure out how to get school-district spending under control, yet they want tens of millions more tax dollars to revitalize downtown.
    .
    Sadly, they’ll get what they want and more because Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote scheme was forced on voters to make such boondoggles happen.
    .
    But… hilariously, ironically, if Eklutna Inc., Anchorage’s largest landowner, bought or leased the right politicians, the corporation could buy most of downtown Anchorage, clean it up, open a few casinos, and the place might pretty much revitalize itself without the drag created by a parasitic colony of non-profits.
    .
    Seems improbable with an Assembly self-installed like a virulent tumor intent on destroying its host, but isn’t it a beautiful truth that enough money spread in the right places could: (a) shrink that tumor into self-consuming excreta, and (b) jump-start downtown into a place people want to visit, not avoid.
    .
    What have productive residents got to lose by courting Eklutna Inc. into making both (a) and (b) happen?
    .
    How about it, Mr. Mayor?

  6. The decent of Bronson—a self-proclaimed man of action to just another air bag. Cheers to you, Brandon, and your cocktail club!

      • J. Pistov, I take total responsibility for inadvertently misleading you into thinking that Bronson is a “decent” man! The posting should have read as follows:

        “The descent of Bronson—a self-proclaimed man of action to just another air bag. Cheers to you, Brandon, and your cocktail club.”

        Your ignorance is your own to pack in the hereafter! I certainly wouldn’t burden myself down with a heavy load!

        In sincerity, good luck to you and yours!

  7. At this point I don’t even like to drive through downtown or midtown. I don’t like to go to events at West High School. There are always bum shenanigans happening. We’ve already had a stabbing at the library. The bums can attack you in broad daylight and nothing seems to happen to them.

    Anything short of scooping up the bums and putting them in jail, tearing down the camps, and having a task force that immediately responds to and tears down camps… I don’t see anything they do to downtown attracting visitors. Waste of money.

    • Me too! Only because of my child i reducedwhere that child goes in anchorage. Not healthy for kids be around bums and seeing the poverty. Develops tensions, stress, and/or de-sensitizes their empathy emotion cause of learning to ignore
      the problems of others you know blocking and being sarcastic and callus. i try keep the child in the hillside,elmer, and abbott areas where
      The people work. Child is happier, while i travel around anchorage
      by myself doing my work, ministy and errands. The only thing to do in anchorage for kids and adults is work, work,and more work, save money, develop any artistry talent (musical instrument) so you do lose your mind and temper, and hike the
      city’s back country trails
      cause its too far for bums walking.

  8. As long as the ASSembly has nothing to do with it, it should succeed.
    The ASSembly Commie 9 are only out to destroy our city, leave them out of ALL meetings and ALL decisions and do NOT give them a any more opportunity to continue their destruction.
    Really want to solve anchorages problem? Recall all 9 at once, let the remaining three choose the replacements… it would be THE BEST THING we could do four our once great city.

  9. I am intrigued by the photo in this story. It looks like a place where humans minds are mesmerized by an alien being from War of the Worlds!

  10. Let’s see it include ALL of the ANC municipality, not just downtown, when over half of the residents live SOUTH OF DOWLING.

  11. This is a good idea, if the right people participate.
    The first thing we should do is clean up Anchorage. When I not in Anchorage I maybe in Phoenix. In Phoenix they have bulk trash day 4 times a year. The result is a very clean city compared to Anchorage. The last time we had a “real” city cleanup was under Mayor Mystrom. The results were amazing. I have written a letter to the Mayor and talked to various Assemblymembers about this idea. No reply yet but it has only been a year.

  12. As it should be. The civic-minded groups in Anchorage can call together and lead the way for residents to help clean up Anchorage, block by block. It MUST be done. Anchorage should be a jewel of the North. Our current ” Gotham City” can be turned into a nice place once again, attracting new business, new commerce, pride in the city.

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