Mike Robbins doesn’t shy away from his wild Spenard youth. In fact, he leads with it.
On the Must Read Alaska Show, Robbins said that from the moment he considered running for mayor, he knew transparency would be his strength.
“One of the things we don’t see in our politicians right now is transparency,” Robbins said. “Everybody thinks that you’ve got to be perfect. Everybody thinks that you can’t have any blemishes, and I really feel like it’s the things we go through in our life that shape us and make us into who we are.”
Robbins has been married for 18 years, and has three children. He is a practicing Christian, and a business owner who has been through Anchorage’s boom and bust cycles. But he persevered, paid his debts, and was proud to be able to retain most of his employees, even when things were really tough.
Adversity “gives us our character, and gives us our ability to handle situations,” he said.
Raised by a single father in what was the rough-and-tumble Spenard, he started his first business at age 17. He now runs a marketing and advertising business, and recently exited the radio business, selling his two remaining stations.
He said he loves Anchorage and wants to make it a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous place. “I love this city, I really do. I feel like it’s given me the opportunity to build a life I could not have built elsewhere,” he said.
Robbins got his interest in politics at a young age, reading the biography of President John F. Kennedy. He’s been a Republican his entire life, but reading about JFK inspired him.
As an owner of a radio talk show station up until last year, he was exposed to politics constantly. But he never got involved in the political fray until 2016, when he jumped onboard the Trump campaign and decided he needed to be part of the solution. He gave it his all.
He’s excited for Anchorage’s future, and says addressing crime is a big priority for him. His business has been the victim of crime three times in the past 18 months, and he wants a safe city that supports its police, one where petty crime is prosecuted, and prosecutors have manageable workloads.
On Day One of his administration, Robbins plans to open the city up and get the economy going. The emergency orders have to end. “We can pay attention to science, we can take care of people. We can be very safe about this. We have the best medical care in the world. It’s important for people to know, and not these fear tactics.”
A concern he has is the policies that went into effect during the pandemic drove so much local commerce to Amazon, cutting out the retail sector in Anchorage. It’s a hidden effect of the pandemic. “It’s very very hard to get them back. It’s the city’s fault. they kept these oppressive orders in place for too long. I know from being in the radio business and marketing business, it’s tough to get customers back once you’ve lost them.”
As for homelessness, Robbins believes that Anchorage under the current leadership has simply not shown the will to stop the spread of encampments and vagrancy. Instead, the city has showed enabling behavior.
Anchorage spends $52,000 every year on every single homeless person, he noted.
Hear Mike Robbins talk about the economy, the homelessness problems of Anchorage, and why he is the best person to compete against Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar for mayor, at the Must Read Alaska Show.