The Anchorage Assembly rushed federal ARPA grant funds out to the couple now accused of fraud — before Mayor Bronson took office


During the time when the Municipality of Anchorage was awash in money to hand out to just about any entity in city limits from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, Austin Quinn Davidson was acting mayor.

She had ascended to the position after the hasty departure of former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in October, 2020. The leftists controlling the Assembly refused to hold a special election, as required by law.

There has been finger pointing from the left, with Democrats and their media lapdogs saying it’s Mayor Dave Bronson’s fault that the House of Transformations was not properly vetted before it received a $1.6 million grant.

But a look at the facts shows that Bronson was not even mayor at the time the appropriation was made.

In the spring of 2021, the Assembly was rushing to get more than $50 million appropriated before Mayor Dave Bronson took office. The check for the House of Transformations, $1.6 million, was issued in August under Bronson, but only because the appropriation had been made on May 18, 2021, and Bronson was sworn in on July 1. He was required to issue the checks to the organizations chosen by the Assembly and former acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson.

In May, when the Assembly approved the funds for House of Transformations, Felix Rivera was the acting chair of the Assembly, and it’s his signature that is on the appropriation resolution.

That same resolution approved numerous other appropriations, including $437,000 to the Alaska Black Caucus so it could buy an office building.

Some of the other grantees included in this first large tranche of ARPA funds were:

$300,000 to Shiloh Community Housing to provide accessible, affordable, and quality housing for young adults 16-24 years of age. Funding will support their transitional housing program for young adults experiencing homelessness who also experience employment barriers.

$500,000 to Choosing our Roots to acquire a multi-unit dwelling, to be used to temporarily house for transgender and gay youth ages 18-24 awaiting host home placement.

$56,000 to Northern Culture Exchange to produce a targeted economic impact study, ecosystem assessment, and set of strategies and policy recommendations to reignite the creative economy and ancillary businesses in Anchorage.

$150,000 to SALT and Northern Compass Group to continue work on the Roadmap for a Vital and Safe Anchorage for the another 18 months.

$100,000 to the Business Boutique, owned by Jasmin Smith, to communicate funding opportunities to BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) owned small businesses.

House of Transformations was just one of many grants that are listed in the nine-page resolution passed by the Assembly. Rosalina Natazha Mavaega, 41, and Pastor Esau Malele Fualema Jr., 44, now stand accused of using those House of Transformations funds improperly and obtaining the funds through fraudulent business practices. The entire list is linked below:

The Anchorage Daily News has pivoted its news coverage to reveal, breathlessly, that Mavaega was appointed by Bronson as a member of the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, and is on the city housing and homelessness committee. And the newspaper makes the story about how Mayor Bronson won’t fire her from these commissions, which is something he doesn’t have the authority to do on his own.

But those are distractions compared to the $1.6 million grant that federal authorities now say is improper, and that came with the blessing of Austin Quinn-Davidson, Felix Rivera, and the other liberal elected officials running Anchorage, grants that were hastily made in an effort to spite the incoming, more fiscally conservative mayor.


  1. Probably should check bank deposits for Felix and Austin I’m sure these two had to PAY $$$ respect for those who got them the money

  2. Of course they did. Anything non-white and/or heterosexual and, in accordance to pandering to every self-victimized class within a stone’s throw, is just what this assembly does. What THAT does is cause division – something Obama promulgated as if he was crafting a painting for the Louve. And, as the Masked Avenger would so aptly put it: Anchorage voted for it and, Anchorage can get in the bed that they made. It’s a cluster beyond recognition. As someone born and raised here, I don’t recognize much of anything (politically) here anymore.

  3. So I am curious…Just who was the sugar daddy who pushed the money through?? Was it the Former acting Mayor Austin Quinn Davidson or was it current assembly member Felix Rivera? A little investigation ought to reveal the relationship that was used to sweeten the pot….

  4. Maybe the feds can determine the gain in net worth of our public servants during this time period. And maybe the amount of contributions made to other nonprofits by the questionable recipients, as well as campaign contributions. The small businesses that a lot of this money was supposed to be for got very small relief and only through a lengthy process. As I recall, only one million of it was distributed to small businesses but could be wrong. The assembly decided on the distribution while they closed the doors on most businesses except for the grocery stores and pot stores.

  5. Anything and Everything(!!!) associated with this MOA Assembly, has and continues, to smell like willful-intent criminal fraud. Anchorage Taxpayers continue to get fleeced by this Donny-Brook Group.

  6. Quinn-Davidson, Rivera, and Constant plus the other liberal assembly members at the time of the award need to have their names added to the legal action against Rosalina Natazha Mavaega, 41, and Pastor Esau Malele Fualema Jr., 44,
    They should all be part of the indictment without question.
    Anything less than going after the assembly members shows the “fix is in”
    Quinn-Davidson and others need mug shost shown to the public.
    There’s something really dirty going on here that involves some high rollers in Anchorage.

  7. I knew this would eventually become a story but just didnt know when.
    If the feds hadnt charged them it may have never surfaced.
    I knew when it was reported they had gotten rid of the money by the time Bronson stepped in it would be spent like a bunch of Drunken Sailors.
    That was a lot of money to be pissed away in a very short time by Children with absolutely no accountability.
    Every single one of them that voted for this sham should be held accountable and full audits of all the recipients done immediately to account for every single penny that was gifted to these warped organizations to see how much was pocketed by the administrators/thieves.
    A full detailed accounting report needs to be done by an independent audit agency and the results published for all to see how taxpayer dollars are pissed away at the hands of selfish Democrat tyrants in power.

  8. They are the controllers of the purse strings and they make sure Bronson knows about it. It is all on them for this and possibly many other fraudelent grant funds disbursements. Vetting of grant recipients should be more than skin deep.

  9. Where are the Leftists readers who come here just to argue their lies. Again they are silent. I think the Leftist readers don’t even open such articles to read how wrong they been led about conservatives.

    Bronson is still best candidate of choice for 2024 who doesn’t want Anchorage become another collapsed democrat city where even the Leftists must move out to get away from their Leftist leadership corruption.

  10. My 2 cents worth: The Anchorage Assembly members at the time should be prosecuted and in jail for their reckless irresponsible negligent behavior and total disregard for ordinary business care and prudence, due diligence, good decision making, good judgment, along with failure to perform sound business practices, misuse of taxpayer funds causing harm to taxpayers, among other things. The list goes on…They should NOT be able to use taxpayer funds to hire an attorney to defend themselves. They should be held personally liable and responsible for the $1.6m plus any other funds misspent. They show they aren’t competent to make decisions for Anchorage yet insist all decisions must get their approval. Get your head out of the sand and quit voting for them. P.S. I want my money back (know I won’t get it though).

    • I was just wondering what happened to all the stompy foot trolls demanding that Bronson was to blame. Curiously silent from that crowd.

  11. A paper trail is evidence of who approved the funding. Fingers that so quickly pointed to the Mayor are now without credit and the focus should be in the direction of an Assembly that obviously has to answer for a few things that will hopefully educate the Citizens of Anchorage on who to vote for.

  12. Consequently, democrats typically and smoothly know best and better than the rest of us. Just ask them. “We know how you should live; We know best about faith matters; we know best about what to teach (your) children”. etc.

  13. The Anchorage assembly that approved all of this fraud should be voted out. Wow, just no words the stupid liberal antics of the assembly, and fraud they perpetrated.

  14. I did a little math and no it isn’t down to the penny and a bit subjective, but it is illuminating:
    Grants to business relief and individual households, entities for job searches, food pantries etc (including $14 mil for the Muni to pay operational costs): about $40 mill.
    The rest reads like the buddy wish list for bicycle racks, tourism, studies, a building for the black caucus and the pet program homelessness. It is of note that while the muni paid itself $14 mil, it only allotted $500,000 to property tax relief for businesses with the caveat that any funds left over by October would revert to the muni.
    Of further note should be the dates the assembly apparently set up their distribution goals, as they fall before the election in April (March 19 & 26).

  15. Trump was President when $Billions were stolen. The entire response was screwed up. It would have been far simpler and less costly to let employers lay off and pay through unemployment insurance where agencies and protocols were established

    • Oh “Frank”…

      Romantic obsession is a dangerous thing. Trump will never love you or desire you the way you do him.

  16. LOL I love it when you just know things are gonna hit the fan and then they hit the fan. Good luck you morons on the assembly, your gonna need it!

  17. The second-to-last paragraph of this story is the key. On May 26, MRAK reported on the resignation of Lisa Sauder as executive director of Bean’s Cafe without digging very deep. Ten days prior, Alaska Public Media, assisted by Outside investigative journalists, published a story revealing to the public what those in the homeless response community had known for nearly two years about their time managing the Sullivan Arena shelter. The story heavily implied that Bronson was responsible for those events, offering little than “guilt by association” insinuations. Here’s a reality check. Lisa Sauder had applied for appointment to replace Chris Birch in the Senate in 2019. The person responsible for standing up the Sullivan shelter, Kim Kovol, is currently a member of Gov. Dunleavy’s cabinet. So yes, they’re guilty of being Republicans, but that’s about it. One of the first things Bronson did after taking office was cancel their contract, which I was told at the time was for cause. Remember the accounts of chaos at the Sullivan in the wake of that cancellation? It’s easy for the MSM and establishment politicians to take advantage of the short memories of the voting public and not connect events occurring months or years apart. Has anyone asked Anna Brawley about the disconnect between some of her statements on the homeless issue as an Assembly member and her actions on the issue as a consultant in the private sector? Everything I’ve read in recent months points to solely blaming Bronson for the current state of homelessness in Anchorage. I don’t buy it. The current problem begins with the Berkowitz emergency declaration in summer 2019.

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