Will the Anchorage Assembly name the Port of Alaska after the late Congressman Don Young, who was Alaska’s sole congressman for 49 years? Or will it take a pass? The decision could be made during Tuesday night’s regular Assembly meeting, after it was postponed in September. There are several leftist members of the Assembly who have taken a hard line against the late congressman.
Young, who died March 18, 2022, was one of just 44 Americans who have ever been laid in state in the U.S. Capitol. Even President Joe Biden went to his service. Young, who was bipartisan Republican, was instrumental in the designation of the port as a “commercial strategic seaport” in support of national defense. He wrote the law requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the port each year, and he pushed through hundreds of millions of dollars for the intermodal expansion project, known as the Port of Alaska Modernization Program.
Now, radicals like Assemblywoman Karen Bronga say the late congressman was unfit to have a port named for him: “The naming of a volcano after him is, in my opinion, way more fitting.”
But the city’s naming panel, made up of Jim Jansen, Gail Schubert, Amanda Moser, and Aaron Leggett, held public hearings last summer and advanced the name for approval by the Assembly.
A motion is on the agenda to reconsider the matter, should it pass on Tuesday. That reconsideration may take place next month:
“If reconsideration passes, it is the intent of the Chair to ask for postponement to the meeting of February 27th. Ordinance No. AO 2023-81, an ordinance of the Anchorage Municipal Assembly adopting the Public Naming Panel’s unanimous recommendation to name the Port of Alaska as the Don Young Port of Anchorage; and amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 11.50, certain other sections of the code and Anchorage Municipal Code of Regulations accordingly, Mayor’s Office. Assembly Memorandum No. AM 585-2023. Information Memorandum No. AIM 150-2023. (PUBLIC HEARING WAS CLOSED 9-12-2023. REFERRED TO THE NAMING PANEL 9-26-2023. PUBLIC HEARING WAS RE-OPENED 9-26-2023. PUBLIC HEARING WAS CLOSED 12-19-2023. POSTPONED INDEFINITELY 12-19-2023. MOTION TO RECONSIDER TO POSTPONE INDEFINITELY AO 2023-81 WAS GIVEN BY MR; RIVERA 12-20-2023, SECONDED BY MR. CONSTANT. MOTION TO RECONSIDER IS ON THE FLOOR.) Information Memorandum No. AIM 233-2023.”
Comments can be sent to the Anchorage Assembly at www.muni.org/testimony.