Citizens testifying at the Anchorage Assembly meeting read aloud the list of businesses in Anchorage that have died due to the shutdown orders that have continued for the better part of a year.
In protest of extending the emergency authority of the mayor, members of the audience also help aloft cardboard tombstones, each with the name of a business that failed after the municipality shut down the city repeatedly.
Three police officers were stationed inside the Assembly chambers, in an unusual move by Chairman Felix Rivera.
The Assembly did not listen to the public, and instead extended the emergency powers of the mayor into April, unmoved by the stories of those who have flocked to the podium week after week, pleading for relief from the anti-business policies.
The final decision on Tuesday means the Office of the Mayor of Anchorage will have emergency powers for over a year. For now, that authority rests with an acting mayor who took over after the disgraced Ethan Berkowitz resigned from office in October.
Under the current emergency orders, restaurants and bars may open at 25 percent capacity, while indoor gatherings are subject to a six-person limit, and outdoor gatherings are restricted to n more than 10 people. The emergency orders make exceptions for religious and political gatherings, day cares, classrooms, and “indoor special shopping events.”
Originally, the purpose of the order was to flatten the curve. Now, the city health officers say it’s to ensure that 70 percent of the public is vaccinated.
The list of businesses that have been crushed in Anchorage was also posted on various Facebook groups’ pages, such as Save Anchorage, Taking Back Anchorage, and Open Alaska.