Well, first, Happy New Year! The extra six pounds I’m carrying around from the holiday season seem very happy, though I’m not too happy with them. I’ve been in a big fight with them lately. I’ll just say we’re not friends. OK, onto more important matters…Read more
(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Les Gara and the foster care group, Facing Foster Care In Alaska (FFCA), are launching the third annual Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive. Over the past two years this drive has resulted in approximately 200 matches for youth. “Laptops are crucial to helping youth improve their chances of success in school, and establishing normalcy in very disrupted lives of youth who often have very few material possessions,” said Gara, a former foster youth whose father was killed when he was 6.Read more
I hope this letter finds you well. It finds me well. But it finds hundreds of Alaska’s foster youth needing help if they are to have a chance to fulfill the dreams they are entitled to pursue as Americans and Alaskans. And they need your help.
Below is an opinion piece I have run in newspapers. In case you missed it – here’s my “post-election bickering, put politics aside” heart tug.Read more
Would You Like Some Facts With Your Hyperbole, Sir?
It hasn’t surprised me to hear some of the claims on the oil tax debate this past year. The implication is that those who didn’t support the Governor’s $2 billion giveaway (which allows companies to take our tax dollars and spend them outside Alaska if they wish) are happy with the status quo. Horsepucky. Hey, did you know there is no computer spell check for horsepucky? Well, that’s not important. Anyway, no one in the Legislature voted for the status quo. NO ONE.Read more
Well, a flurry of bills passed the last 24 hours of the regular legislative session. I’ll give you the highlights and low lights, and a short preview of special session.
I’m able to write now that my blood pressure is back to normal. What caused the rise? The few legislators who pride themselves on blocking good legislation out of pure partisanship and animosity. Would anyone outside the Legislature (or Congress where the same stuff is done) really make the state a worse place just because you’re trying to block legislation by an “opponent” – or trying to make your opponent’s election chances worse? It’s a sick part of the legislative process that, I’m happy to say, most legislators don’t tolerate. But the few that do make life, and the state, worse for the rest of us.Read more
Wednesday Noon: Rep. Gara To Address East Rotary On Oil Tax Debate; Foster Care Volunteer Needs (ANCHORAGE) – Rep. LesRead more
Foster Care Advocates Call For More Donated Computers, Mentors
Representative Les Gara, Amanda Metivier coordinator of Facing Foster Care in Alaska, along with other foster care advocates held a press conference in Anchorage today to kick off Foster Care Month.
Other participants included: Diana Bline, Director of Program Services at Covenant House; Nicholas McMillan, Anchorage Director of Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters; Travis Erickson, Acting Child Welfare Administrator for the Alaska Office of Children’s Services; Becca Shier, Statewide Representative with Facing Foster Care in Alaska; and Angel Gonzales and Kaylee Day, Peer Mentor Trainers with Covenant House.Read more
A big thanks to Senators Bettye Davis and Hollis French! This year we teamed up with them on our foster care and Medicare legislation. We filed our version on the House side, and they worked hard with us agreeing to file parallel pieces of legislation on the Senate side. Senator Davis has been a leader on children’s issues for a long time, and Senator French has emerged as a leader on getting more Alaskans health coverage. Oh. And thanks to my summer aide, and Facing Foster Care in Alaska Coordinator Amanda Metivier, for writing much of the foster care legislation; and to my aide Rose Foley for working hand in hand with me on this.Read more