OCTOBER 20, 2017
Anchorage Welcomes AFN, New Bus Routes Start Monday, Upcoming Restorative Justice Summit, and Food Freedom Act
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Anchorage Welcomes Alaska Federation of Natives
for 51st Annual Convention
The Alaska Federation of Natives held its 51st Convention in Anchorage this week, bringing thousands of people together to laugh, learn, and shop for the finest in Alaska Native arts. This year’s theme is “Strength In Unity.” The high point for me was witnessing the signing of a first-ever historic compact between the State and Alaska Tribes to improve the lives of Alaska’s children. My sincere congratulations to Health and Human Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson, and all the public and private partnerships that made it happen.
Another theme of the AFN Convention is leadership, partnerships and social justice. These themes are critical for our state’s future, particularly next week, when the Legislature reconvenes in Juneau at the request of Governor Walker, to address public safety and revenue. As I’ve said before, we can’t cut our way out of this fiscal crisis, and we can’t drain the permanent fund, either. I worked with the House Majority to send a balanced plan over to the Senate, but the Senate Republicans won’t give it a hearing. I respect Gov. Walker for trying to come up with another approach, and I’m hopeful we can convince my colleagues in the Senate to support a version that’s fair for Alaskans.
I was honored to join my colleagues on stage to present the report from the Bush Caucus followed by a presentation to the family of the late Senator Al Adams (pictured above). Senator Adams was a legend in Juneau for his tireless work on behalf of his constituents and all Alaskans. Now the House Finance Committee room will bear his name.
Also this week I attended a hearing this week about SB 54, which has been brought forward by Senator Coghill with the support of the Governor, to address crime and safety. The Anchorage Police Department said it will help the department, and I will be voting yes.
People Mover's New Bus System Launches Monday!
Bus routes in our area are changing on Monday. Please use the links below to learn more.
Some of the new features:
- The new system will replace the entire existing system.
- Every route will change.
- Every route number will change.
- Every scheduled departure and arrival time will change.
- Service will start at approximately 6 A.M. and end at Midnight (varies by route).
- Service to the Airport will extend until 2 A.M.
- Bus routes 10, 20, 30, and 40 will operate every 15 minutes between 6 A.M. and 7:30 P.M.
- Bus route 25 will operate every 15 minutes between 12:30 P.M. and 6:30 P.M.
- Every bus stop will have an updated schedule posted.
- All bus stops that are no longer serviced will continue to have a red sign posted until the sign and all amenities are removed.
Supporting our Local Food to Table Economy
- The Alaska Food Freedom Act
The Alaska Chamber held its Fall Policy Forum in Sitka October 10-12, where they passed three policy positions important for Alaska. One of those issues, the Food Freedom Act, is an issue I’ve been working on this past year, to help market and promote our local food industry. My Alaska Food Freedom Act bill, HB 217, also has the support of the Alaska Farmer’s Market Association and the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Markets. Please mark your calendar to come to Juneau during the first week of February for Agriculture Week events to celebrate our home grown economy.
Save the Date! December 2-3
2nd Annual Restorative Justice Summit
Educators, school board members and education advocates are invited to this FREE training hosted by my office. The goal of the two-day summit is to train educators on tools to use to decrease the number of students disciplined for misbehavior in Alaska’s public schools. This effort is critical to criminal justice reform because of what’s known as the “School to Prison Pipeline” where youth who are at risk are getting suspended or expelled from school for preventive behavioral issues and ending up as adults in jail.
Next month’s summit will feature Restorative Justice Trainer and Implementation Specialist Kerri Berkowitz, who will offer case studies and techniques to educators from across the state. The restorative justice blueprint is based on promoting academic achievement and positive behavior through a welcoming and safe environment.
The principles of restorative justice are grounded in the traditional practices of indigenous cultures that underscore the value of respect, compassion, dignity, and inclusion for all members of the community. Now more than ever we need a new approach to conflict resolution that offers an alternative to student suspensions and expulsions, and creates a new dynamic of mediation.
As always, your opinion matters to me. I believe we can complete our work quickly and I look forward to coming home soon, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me at the Anchorage office before we return to Juneau in January.
P.S. If you have any questions on the upcoming special session, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’d be more than happy to help answer any questions you might have!
Representative Geran Tarr