Open meetings group gathering funds for pending lawsuit against Assembly - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Open meetings group gathering funds for pending lawsuit against Assembly

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A new group called Alaskans for Open Meetings had its second organizational meeting and fundraiser Tuesday at La Mex restaurant in Anchorage.

Organized by activists Christine Hill and Frank McQueary, the meeting attracted over 50 Anchorage residents on a bright and balmy autumn evening.

Craig Campbell, a former member of the Assembly who serves as a spokesman for the group, said in his years on the Assembly and subsequent observing of local government, he had never seen the public shut out of the process as it has been this year.

During the shutdown, the Assembly passed several controversial measures, while the public was held at bay outside the building protesting the closed process. A security guard barred the door.

Those controversial measures include: Passage of a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” within city limits, the willful laundering of CARES Act funds to purchase hotels and other properties in Anchorage for homeless and vagrant services, without a plan for how to pay for the proposed services, and hiring of an “equity officer” in the mayor’s office.

Mario Bird, the attorney for the group, explained how the lawsuit to be filed against the Assembly will be based on the Alaska Open Meetings Act, and that it secondarily will ask the court to void the actions taken during the meeting shutdowns this summer.

The use of televised meetings does not substitute for public participation, Campbell said; the televised option is supposed to augment transparency, not replace in-person meetings.

The mainstream media did not cover the Alaskans for Open Meetings gathering. Normally, the news media is very interested in government transparency and usually leads the charge to ensure the public — or at least reporters — have full access to all governmental operations.

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Written by

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

  • Disappointed, but not overly surprised that local media didn’t cover this meeting. They’ve shown time and time again they’re fully supportive of the liberals currently leading the MOA.

    We must turn over the leadership of Anchorage!

    • You can sue him. Look at my comment below.

  • Where can we donate?

  • This is overdue. Extremely overdue.

    I could not care less if the Assembly passes a resolution naming a street corner after some prominent Anchorage resident, or recognizes National Egret Day as a city holiday without public input. However, this year… WOW! Locking the public out of the Assembly chambers, then passing laws that have severe adverse impacts on tens of thousands of Anchorage residents is going too far.

    Yes, we have a COVID panicdemic happening. That is not a justification for denying the public a say. If what you are doing is so well justified, it should be able to stand up against opposition.

    And, we need to start voting these people out. Right now, Suzanne LaFrance seems to think she has a shot at the State House. Her record of enabling the leftists should disqualify her from holding ANY public office. This Assembly has clearly demonstrated they are not working in the best interest of the Anchorage taxpayers.

  • I am 100% tired of all the COVID 19 BS. If you are an educated adult you should not be falling for this. Zero deaths, zero hospitalizations, no one is sick beyond a few days. These are the facts. We need to get our towns, cities, counties, municipalities, states, etc back. COVID 19 is the best thing that ever happened to the Liberal Democrats and they will keep it alive forever. Time to stop being a sheep and embrace independent thought. Bring back our freedoms, and most importantly, our businesses. We don’t have time to spare.

  • Everyone needs to sue Berkowitz for the illegal mandates that he’s called against this state of Alaska on the basis that Dr. Fauci’s coronavirus patent was found it illegal by the supreme Court from 2003 to 2015. everything that is attached to the patent of the coronavirus will be illegal which includes the mandates, the executive orders, the shutdowns, and anything else attached to the patent and it being illegal will be summed up as illegal itself. They’re looking at a lot of money they owe us! Using the tort reform you can sue Mayor Berkowitz and Governor Dunleavy for these acts or I should say crimes against humanity!

  • When citizens ask the court to rule that a witness is not needed to vote an absentee ballot, the MRAK readers say the judiciary is making law. Liberal judges and all that. Apparently that view is irrelevant for lawsuits filed by conservatives. Right wing litigation is appropriate. I get it.

  • I am going to see if I can get into the group suing the city. Any action that pulls back on the throttle of the current insanity in the assembly chambers has my support. The actions they are taking are going to add millions to the cost of government and it is all going to fall to the tax payers to pay for all the idiocy. Using a media created hysterical response to a virus has become the new liberal club to beat us over the head with and further remove our individual rights and this needs to be opposed, as strongly as possible.

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