Sean Murphy: ‘Eagle River Exit’ is about popular sovereignty, republicanism, and federalism

We need your involvement to form our own self-governing city

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By SEAN MURPHY

Two years ago this month, I joined Eaglexit after reading an article on how large our municipality had become. It explained how representation in other communities within the municipality were underrepresented. The article also explained how our school district in the Municipality of Anchorage was one of the largest in the country yet ranked at the bottom when it came to proficiency. The sheer size, school board members elected at large, and lack of accountability were listed as the main reason for its difficulties. Our school district and the current municipality has lost the ability to provide schools and services that reflect our communities’ values.

The solution in the article spoke directly to my heart. It talked of self-governance of my community. 

I was for Eaglexit before I even knew what it was. For years I have picked up friends and family at the airport in Anchorage, drove to my house in Eagle River, and as I drove, I would explain to them that communities from Girdwood to Eklutna were all under the control of the Municipality of Anchorage. They were all in shock. Where is the representation in those outlying communities?

As an early American history teacher for a period during my career in education, I went back to the basic principles of our Constitution. There are seven: Popular Sovereignty, Republicanism, Federalism, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Limited Government, and Individual Rights. Most of us are familiar with the last four, but I would like to visit the first three. 

Popular Sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chosen by election to govern or to represent must conform to the will of the people. It has been a while since I felt our current assembly was conforming to the will of the people in our communities. We do have two assembly members from Chugiak, Peters Creek, Eklutna, and Eagle River, but they are not able to achieve maximal support to our residents as they are often overruled by the Anchorage majority on the Assembly. In essence, we have taxation without adequate representation.

Republicanism is a theory of government in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and exercised by representatives they elected either directly or indirectly. Republicanism also believes a republic is the best form of government. A republic is a form of government where the citizens conduct their governing affairs for their own benefit rather than for the benefit of a ruler or rulers. I do not believe this principle is being practiced to its’ full potential in our communities that are not being governed at the maximum local level. 

Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern. In Alaska we have our state government, boroughs, and municipalities. In the communities of Assembly district 2, we should have more than two representatives on a soon to be 12-person assembly. Our combined communities of over 50,000 people have the potential to govern ourselves in matters of local concern. 

I do not believe that these principles are being practiced in the governance of our communities to their full capacity in our current Municipality of Anchorage and Anchorage school District. These are nonpartisan principles of our U.S. Constitution and our Alaska Constitution. 

This can’t be a conservative or a liberal cause. This a community cause for maximum local self-governance.

Our Constitution had a nickname: a “bundle of compromises.” This was because the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had to compromise on numerous difficult key points to create a new Constitution that was acceptable to each of the diverse states.

Our community should practice that same sense of compromise as we move forward in exploring the detachment and incorporating of our hometowns. We need to listen to each other, not cancel someone’s opinion because we don’t agree with them. Let us concentrate on the process and will of our communities to be self-governing.

Eaglexit is dedicated to getting the petition drafted, finalized, and submitted to the Local Boundary Commission in the next six months. It will take money for media, polling, and perhaps most costly and important legal assistance. Please consider supporting the creation of the next new municipality in Alaska.  As anticipated by our Alaskan founders, when communities grow and are ready to become independent, it is right that they do so.  

It takes all of us:

Time – Help draft the petition and charter, get signatures

Effort – Share with friends and neighbors 

Analyze – Review the potentials and decide a course of action

Money – Donate at www.Eaglexit.com

Thank you for joining us in this effort,

Sean Murphy came to Alaska in the Army, met his wife and moved to Eagle River in 1999 with his family. He is a retired Anchorage School District educator and administrator. He is active with his community council and is the new chair of Eaglexit.  He can be reached at [email protected].

17 COMMENTS

  1. Another way Alaska fails the US Constitution: because of a state policy of demanding areas be incorporated into a near city in this case Anchorage gobbling up everything surrounding Anchorage and the village being obliged to be meddled with by a series of uninterested narcissistic hedonists overly thrilled about ascending to power like the Assembly Assembly. Anchorage’s surrounding areas developed to less than primitive early settlement status get bullied, budgeoned, and shoved around by recently arrived playboys of the western world. If the the state would let them be unincorporated villages which is what they are they could compete for development money like other locations away from Anch and its budget affectations. Perhaps “Alaska” could develop.

  2. Thank you Sean. What i suggest in the interim, from petioning, to winning our own regional governance is for THE ASSEMBLY TO ROTATE MEETINGS FROM GIRDWOOD TO PETERS CREEK and all communities in between for each meeting. Any knowledgable governing person or group already has this practice. Our current assembly always meets in the same comfortable place where the ghosts of ancient arguments hang like a cloud overall. Again, an efficient and knowledgable assembly should be meeting in the communities it represents. Each community does have a building to accommodate Assembly meetings. How could it be possible for our Municiple Assembly to ever make intelligent decisions for our city if you do not travel throughout? Again, meet each Tuesday evening in a different community THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSEDLY REPRESENTING.

  3. It is long past time for the much more grounded and sane residents of Eagle River and Chugiak to withdraw from the toxic and statist politics of radical leftist Anchorage. Eaglexit cannot happen quickly enough!
    .
    And I will predict that the usual radical leftist trolls will come out here and belittle, disparage and mock this rational effort at gaining local political self-control. And when they do, I ask all readers here to note that they will invariably offer NO logical reasons or arguments to object to this move — because they can offer none. But they will vehemently attack it anyway, and do you know why? Because statists cannot STAND it when their victims remove themselves from their control, or even make the attempt. Our collective misery is their happiness.

    • I think it would be fine for Eagle River to go it alone. Let them work out the kinks with their various utilities, law enforcement, emergency services, um, public school education, library, should they survive, etc. etc.
      What could possibly go wrong?
      But don’t come sucking up to Anchorage for support when you jettison them.
      Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. Do you really want to join up with the losers?
      Think carefully. This could be a long term solution to a problem you might not have.

      • Um, there are very few potential or possible “kinks” in Eagle River and Chugiak seceding from Anchorage, Homo. Which you would know if you knew anything about the inequitable taxation by Anchorage of Eagle River & Chugiak residents vs. services thereby rendered by the municipality.
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        Did you know that Eagle River and Chugiak ALREADY have their own fire department, parks department, and road services? Did you know that out of 700+ police officers in the municipality, only SEVEN are allotted to Eagle River and Chugiak? And do you realize that a large percentage of municipal revenues are consumed by bloated Anchorage bureaucracies that Eagle River and Chugiak would neither need nor want?
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        No, for you radical leftist statists in Anchorage, Eaglexit will not be fine, as you will be losing a valuable tax base while gaining effectively nothing. I therefore fully expect the Marxist Nine Anchorage politburo, and their radical leftist bedfellows in state government, to engage in every form of underhanded trick, scheme and manipulation to fight this municipal secession.

        • Excellent response Jefferson, and accurate. We do have most of the infrastructure in place. Homo was only restating past political rhetoric. On this subject I recall my father and his friends back in the 70’s bemoaning the fact that the Anchorage borough gobbled up surrounding communities and when Eagle River tried to succeed and won the election, a judge deemed it unconstitutional, and Eagle River has been treated like an unfavorable adopted child only provided a cheap meal for their labor. Dad and friends were extremely disappointed when put under the MOA’s rules and taxation. That was nearly 50 years ago.

  4. I do wish you the best of luck. We lived in Eagle River for over 20 years. A community that is so content that we only ever had 2 police officers on duty at any given time and one fire house. The only reason why the fight will be gruesome is because the MOA needs your money. Removing that tax base from Eagle River to Eklutna would decimate Anchorage and frankly, IMHO will never happen.

  5. One might ask Sean the educator how Eaglexit will happen and take with it none of the rot that made Anchorage’s education industry what it is today.
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    Should Eaglexit happen despite Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in ballot scheme, it seems reasonable to ask whether New Eaglexita will return to traditional voting.

    • Morrigan, the success of Eaglexit has literally NOTHING to do with the wishes of Anchorage voters nor of their Marxist Nine-controlled politboro. Nor would their corrupt lackey Bab Jones, and her corrupt mail-in voting, have any relevance to the public plebiscite to secede from Anchorage, as that vote would be both conducted, and voted on, by the residents of Eagle River and Chugiak themselves, with NO involvement by any Anchorage municipal governmental officials.

  6. Asking progressive Anchorage to finance Eaglexit is not Republicism, or stopping Federalism. If Eaglexit wants popular sovereignity pay for it yourself.

    • Hey Frank! Good point, but we’ve been paying for Anchorages services for nearly 50 years, some payback helping us leave is well deserved.

    • Frank, nobody is asking REGRESSIVE, degenerate, dysfunctional and dystopian Anchorage to fund anything. In reality, the situation is exactly the reverse: Eagle River and beyond residents are subsidizing your toxic and descending-into-madness city of Anchorage. Which is why the Marxist Nine politburo, and all you radical leftists who support that cabal, will fight this succession tooth and nail.

  7. Thank you Jefferson. Somebody had to tell the ignorant population the situation. Ignorant, in that, they haven’t done research. All living things leave their host if living conditions become intolerable. Even grass leaves your lawn if it isn’t nourished.

  8. Sean,

    You forgot religious freedom.

    My kin who were the founders & first settlers of BCA generally came for “religious freedom.”

    Not saying that all the issues you mentioned are not a part of the overall picture.

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