Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Capitol is buzzing again and I am certainly feeling the energy and excitement of the upcoming session (it starts on Tuesday, January 21). I'm looking forward to working with all of my colleagues from around the state to strengthen and improve the economy, create a sustainable state budget, make our neighborhoods safer, and educate our children. Although legislators have different visions for how to make Alaska a better place to live, we can work together in a civil and bi-partisan way. I try to keep that in mind when working with someone whose idea of how to get there differs from mine. 

Town Hall
Thanks to those who came out the Mendenhall Public Library on Wednesday. We had quite the turnout! I appreciated hearing the diverse opinions and range of topics that are on our community’s mind. Some of the topics that came up included: permanent fund dividend, state budget, education, ferry service, lack of state revenues and other issues. I know you’re busy with your own schedules, so if you couldn’t come out to the town hall, I understand. Please contact my office with your concerns and ideas – you can reach me at rep.andi.story@akleg.gov and 465-3744. I always appreciate your input. 

Marine Highway System Report
On Wednesday, Northern Economics released their "reshaping AMHS" report. The recommendations in the study were mostly to reduce service, increase rates, and renegotiate labor contracts. The study also concluded that privatization wouldn't save money for the vast majority of routes. Now communities, employees, and citizens must give their input and review the report. I believe a marine highway plan must be reliable, sustainable, predictable, and affordable and one that offers service to our communities.

The House Transportation Committee, of which I am a member, will have a hearing on AMHS the first day of session. We'll be hearing from Mayors from around the state who will testify to the benefits their communities see from having a ferry system. AMHS benefits the entire state, not just coastal communities, increasing commerce, community, and health for all Alaskans.

Today, the Governor issued an Executive Order to establish the Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group. I hope that we can see progress and a clear path forward soon. They are hoping to announce the members of the Work Group by mid-February, and is asking for resumes from Alaskans interested in serving in one of the three public seats. To apply visit www.boards.alaska.gov/apply

For those of you wondering, ferries will be running to Juneau for the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, which will happen March 22-28, with sailings on the Tazlina and Matanuska. 

  • Sailings to Juneau from March 19-22:
    • Angoon (19th and 21st), Haines (20th and 22nd), Skagway (20th and 22nd), and Hoonah (22nd)
  • Sailings leaving Juneau from March 26-30th 
    • Hoonah (26th, 28th, and 30th) Haines (27th and 28th), Skagway (27th and 28th), Sitka/Kake (29th), Angoon (30th)
Our Welcoming Capital City
Every year, Juneau welcomes legislators, their families, and staff to the capital city with the Legislative Welcome Reception. This event is on Wednesday, January 22nd from 5-6:30 at Centennial Hall, and is sponsored by the City and Borough of Juneau, The Alaska Committee, Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Travel Juneau, and the Downtown Business Association. It is also supported by a wide range of local community businesses and individuals. All are welcome, so come by, have a bite to eat, and give a warm welcome to our legislature! 

A Brighter Future of Our Children with Early Education
This week, the Governor and Senator Tom Begich announced legislation to address early learning and the importance of reading skills to student success. I’m happy to see momentum toward better early education systems and I’m looking forward to examining the proposal in my role as the Co-Chair of the House Education Committee. Over the session, we will also hear from school board members, education leaders, parents, and the public. 

Second Verse of the Alaska State Flag Song
I’m introducing a bill, HB 193, this session to make the second verse of the Alaska State Flag Song official. This has been in the works for many years. We are fortunate that this year a group of students from Glacier Valley School who call themselves “The Dippers” brought this idea forward; they believe it is important all kids learn the verse and the history of Alaska's first people and thirteen-year-old Benny Benson, who entered a contest to design the state flag and won. A news article about the bill can be found at this link. Here are the words to the 2nd verse:
A Native lad chose the Dipper's stars
For Alaska's flag that there be no bars
Among our culture. Let it be known
Through years the Native's past has grown
To share life's treasures, hand in hand,
To keep Alaska our Great-Land;
We love the northern midnight sky,
The mountains, lakes and streams nearby.
The great North Star with its steady light
Will guide all cultures, clear and bright,
With nature's flag to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of the last frontier.

Hearing From You
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Dr. King would have turned 91 on January 15th. He was committed to making change thru non-violence and action. It took planning, courage, and willingness to endure hardship to participate in soda counter sit-ins, bus boycotts, and marches. May we all speak up and participate in what we want to see changed. 

I appreciate everyone who does their best to stay involved, connected, and informed with the legislative process, even when it seems daunting and confusing. Please continue to speak up about your priorities.  If you'd like to set up a meeting, my staff and I are available to you. Call 907-465-3744 or email rep.andi.story@akleg.gov or stop by our office during the workday, Monday through Friday in room 403 of the Capitol. Stay in touch.

Warm regards,

Representative Andi Story
Proudly Representing Juneau's House District 34
907-465-3744

I had the honor of being presented a Bible by Terry Brenner, Tim Mearig, Al Aitken, and Chuck Collins. They all belong to Gideons International, whose mission it is to distribute Bibles free of charge, offer service, and to be available to share how their faith is an anchor in their lives. I appreciate all that these men do for our community.
Your Juneau Delegation and the City/Borough Assembly met and had a conversation about our local needs. I appreciate the work our assembly members, our mayor, and our city manager do on our behalf and I was glad to have a chance to hear their priorities: Alaska Marine Highway System, education, early education, keeping state jobs in Juneau, being a welcoming capitol city, and addiction treatment and recovery, among others.
Saturday, January 18th at 11am is the 4th Women's March on Juneau. The march begins at the capitol following a rally. 
Following the march, the Juneau League of Women's Voters is hosting a free, non-partisan workshop at the capitol from 1 - 4. Come learn all about how to be an active citizen, and how state laws and policies are made.
In a time where so many families work long, tireless hours, it is easy to see Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a well needed day of rest, but I urge you to view today as "a day on, not a day off.” This message is from NationalService.gov. 25 years ago this day of service was started to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy. I’m looking forward to honoring Dr. King on Monday with the Juneau Black Awareness Association. They always put on a memorable and thoughtful program that is a great way to spend the holiday. This year, the event is at the St. Paul's Catholic Church at 1:00 pm. Please join me in celebration there!
Another great way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of MLK Day is to attend the Alaska Bar Association’s 11th year hosting a free legal clinic! The Alaska Bar Association has provided nearly $1 million in donated legal services to Alaskans in four communities with civil legal needs entirely through the volunteer efforts of the justice community. Dr. King’s legacy of volunteering and community building continues!
35th Annual Legislative Welcome Reception
The 2020 Legislative Session is right around the corner. It’s important that the Capitol city continues to be a welcoming place for the legislators, their families, and staff who spend months here each year. Mark your calendars so you can join us at the 35th Annual Legislative Welcome Reception on Wednesday, January 22, 5-6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.
This free event is open to the whole community and sponsored by the City and Borough of Juneau, The Alaska Committee, Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Travel Juneau, Downtown Business Association, and a wide range of local community businesses and individuals.
Sealaska Heritage is sponsoring language lecture on Wednesday that is part of a new series of talks aimed at sharing teaching techniques and connecting language professionals to perpetuate Native languages. I'm excited to see that it's taught by Tlingit Language Professor X’unei Lance Twitchell!
Come by and witness the work of the Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness at the Juneau Project Homeless Connect on January 29, 2020 from 9am to 3pm at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. This year they will be hosting over 40 agencies and organizations who will provide services and information to attendees who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of losing their housing. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts on this much needed, worthwhile, giving event. 
On Thursday, January 30th at 5:30pm in the DHMS Library is a public forum on the budget. The Juneau School Board is beginning a series of meetings discussing the budget for the school district. It's important to be aware of the spending and funding, and I'll be paying attention to how the state budget cuts affects our local district.
Contact info for other officials:

Governor Dunleavy
907-465-3500 EMAIL

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
907-271-3735 EMAIL

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan
907-271-5915 EMAIL

Congressman Don Young
907-271-5978 EMAIL

State Senator Jesse Kiehl
907-465-4947 EMAIL

I would appreciate hearing from you! Please contact my office at any time!
907-465-3744
Rep.andi.story@akleg.gov
State Capitol Bldg Rm 403
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Representative Andi Story · 120 4th St · Juneau, AK 99801-1162 · USA

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