March 1, 2024


Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,


Welcome to the 56th edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection! We closed out February with another busy week in the Capitol. Following the passage of the omnibus education bill last week, the House has begun considering legislation on the House Floor again, though still only at a very slow trickle on the House Floor.

 

In last week’s edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I discussed the education bill that the passed the legislature with broad bipartisan support, and which included the largest per-student increase to the Base Student Allocation (our education funding formula) in state history. Despite this broad bipartisan support, earlier this week the Governor cast doubt on the future of that bill by threatening to veto it unless the legislature passes additional education legislation by March 14. The Governor is holding SB 140 hostage by requiring the legislature to pass legislation that includes an ill-advised and unvetted expansion of charter schools that removes local control from school boards and will serve as a back door to provide state funds for religious education and voucher programs, in direct violation of the Alaska Constitution. It was inspiring and deeply heartening to see hundreds of Fairbanksans show up to the March for Education on Wednesday to support SB140. I encourage anyone interested in education funding, and the passage of SB 140, to reach out to the Governors Fairbanks Office at 907-451-2920 or send an email by using the online form. This is an evolving issue, so please stay tuned.

 

In this weeks edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I will discuss upcoming constituent events I will be hosting in Fairbanks, an address to the Legislature by the Congresswoman for all Alaska (Rep. Peltola) as well as Fairbanks employment opportunities in her office, a new indigenous studies center at UAF, and events going on in our community. Continue reading for more information!

Rep Carrick listening to a constituent at a Carrick Community Coffee last summer


 Upcoming Fairbanks Constituent Events

I am excited to head home to Fairbanks on the weekend of March 8 and I will be hosting two constituent events! I will also be attending a townhall meeting hosted by Representative Maxine Dibert and Senator Scott Kawasaki. Please mark your calendars and join me for one of the following Carrick Community Coffees or townhall events, and tell your friends and neighbors:

 

  • Saturday, March 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Townhall meeting with Rep Dibert and Senator Kawasaki at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office. I will be attending and available to talk with folks.  



 

I would love to catch up with you and hope you will drop by if you can. If you are unable to attend, I will be coming back to Fairbanks at least one more time before the end of the session, and will be hosting more community events then, so stay tuned. You can also reach out to my office at any time, and we can schedule time to meet up or talk on the phone about any issues that are important to you. Whichever way you choose to connect, I look forward to hearing from you!


Update from the Congresswoman for All Alaska

On Monday, Congresswoman Mary Peltola, the Congresswoman for all Alaska, gave her annual address to the Alaska Legislature. You can watch her address online. In her address, Congresswoman Peltola highlighted what she calls the “Alaska Model” of bipartisanship and her efforts to bring greater bipartisan cooperation to Washington DC. Additionally, she discussed her efforts to halt the Kroger-Albertsons merger which the Federal Trade Commission just filed a lawsuit to stop. She also touted the $206 million grant that she helped secure for necessary upgrades to the railbelt energy grid that connects much of the state and she emphasized the importance of the Legislature appropriating the necessary matching funds to receive this grant. I appreciate hearing updates from Congresswoman Peltola about what is going on in DC, and I look forward to continuing working with her to deliver for all Alaskans.

 

Employment Opportunities in Rep Peltola’s Office

Rep Peltola is hiring a Fairbanks Caseworker/Field Representative! Interested persons can email their one-page resume and cover letter to akresumes@mail.house.gov. Applicants should have strong verbal and written communication skills, careful attention to detail, and an ability to navigate bureaucracy with independent judgement and discretion. A knowledge of Alaskan issues and current events will be critical. Questions should be directed to Rep. Peltola’s Anchorage Office at 907-921-6575. You can also learn more on Rep. Peltola’s website.

Rep Carrick and the Congresswoman for All Alaska, Rep Mary Peltola (left) and Rep Alyse Galvin (I -- Anchorage)


Exciting Developments on our Troth Yeddha’ Campus!

Last Friday the University of Alaska Board of Regents unanimously approved $53 million to build the Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center, and a new planetarium for UAF. Funding for the center will come from a combination of private and corporate gifts, foundation grants, and public sources. Regents approved $9 million in expenditures, which will allow UAF to complete the design of the center and begin site preparation this year. In the meantime, UAF will continue to raise additional funds to complete the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2025. Click here for a video on the proposed Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center. For more information on both projects, read the UA press release.


I am very excited about these developments and am really looking forward to the many ways these new sites can elevate indigenous studies and self-determination in our region and across the Arctic. Congratulations to all the UAF leaders involved in this effort.

 

United Way’s 211 Tax Help

United Way, through their 211 program, has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to provide free tax preparation assistance to caregivers and taxpayers. 211 is available to guide Alaskans to resources to help them care for their loved ones and themselves. AARP’S Family Resource Guide is filled with useful tips and a directory of local help and is just one of the connections 211 can provide. Free tax preparation and filing services, with a focus on older adults and those with low to moderate income, are available through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. 211 is the connector, and you can schedule an appointment with an IRS certified volunteer tax preparer, including information on which documents they will need to bring. To learn more about this partnership and the Alaska 211 program, contact Sue Brogan, Chief Operating Officer/United Way of Anchorage/Alaska 211, at sbrogan@ak.org.


New Name for the Fairbanks International Airport

Recently, there has been increased attention on the potential to rename the Fairbanks International Airport after the late Congressman Don Young. Thank you to the many folks who have called or emailed me on this issue, or written a letter to the editor.

 

At this time, I am not in favor of renaming the airport but I do think that there could be many worthy potential candidates for naming in the future, and would like to explore some of the options including the late Congressman who was from the Interior, though not from Fairbanks. There are also many notable Alaska Native and female pilots who could be considered as well and thank you to folks for drawing my attention to some of these ideas. Ultimately, I’d like to see a community-driven effort should we decide to bestow a name on our airport. 

Rep Carrick meeting with students from across the University of Alaska System in the Capitol for the annual Coalition of Student Leaders fly-in

Rep Carrick meeting with faculty from across the University of Alaska System in the Capitol for the annual Faculty Alliance fly-in

Upcoming Events and Opportunities for Public Comment

State of the University Address

University of Alaska President Pat Pitney will be giving her annual State of the University Address on March 11, 2024 at noon. Her address will be livestreamed and you can watch it later online. President Pitney will be delivering the address as the keynote speaker during the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s “Make-It-Monday” Forum. President Pitney’s address will provide an update on the important role the University of Alaska system has in the state’s economic recovery and in building Alaska’s workforce; the contributions of UA’s world-class arctic research; and highlight excellence across the university system. All members of the greater UA community are encouraged to tune in and watch the livestream of the address.

 

Complete Streets In-Person Workshop

Complete Streets is a policy and engineering approach based on the idea that streets should be consistently designed with all users in mind, regardless of who they are or how they get around. It seeks to place the safety and convenience of all users of the right-of-way on equal footing, whether they are walking, biking, using a wheelchair, using transit, or driving an automobile. Several jurisdictions in Alaska have formally adopted Complete Streets policies, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Bethel. The United States Department of Transportation is supportive of Complete Streets policies at a state, regional, and local level. Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition provides extensive resources for agencies seeking to implement Complete Streets in their communities. The State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will be hosting Complete Streets In-Person Workshops throughout Alaska this spring. In Fairbanks, the workshops will be held March 18-20 and in Healy on March 21. For more information, please email Rural Transit Planner Julius Adolfsson.

 

Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre’s Bard-a-Thon

The 25th Annual Bard-a-Thon takes place this year at Raven Landing Senior Community, 1222 Cowles Street March 1 – March 10 from 5:30pm to 10:00am. This free event brings together students, elders, and the public at large to speak bring life to Shakespeare’s words to aid with the dark Alaskan Winters. Private slots are available for classrooms to read with an experienced facilitator. All ages may participate. For more information, please contact info@fairbanksshakespeare.org

 

2024 Micro-Grants for Food Security

This is a reminder that applications are now open for an agricultural grant through the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s 2024 Micro-Grants for Food Security Program through March 15 to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown products. $2.2 million is available for distribution through the micro-grant program with priority given to applicants in rural communities who face significant food insecurity problems.

 

My Staff and I Are Here for You!

As always, feel free to reach out to my office any time by calling 907-452-6084, emailing Rep.Ashley.Carrick@akleg.gov, or by following me @RepCarrick on social media. If you know anyone else would like to sign up for an emailed edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection weekly on Fridays with the latest on Alaska State Government and legislative proceedings, please pass along this link to sign up online, or email me to be added to the list. Again, your comments are always appreciated. Please let us know if there are any specific topics in which you may be interested!


Best wishes,

Representative Ashley Carrick

Proudly Serving House District 35 -- West Fairbanks


Rep.Ashley.Carrick@akleg.gov

907-452-6084


1292 Sadler Way, Ste 324, Fairbanks, AK 99701

*Global Credit Union building (formerly Alaska USA Credit Union), across from Home Depot, Walmart, and Fred Meyer east.

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Contact my Staff

Stuart Relay

Chief of Staff


stuart.relay@akleg.gov

907-452-6084

Cherie Bowman

Legislative Aide


cherie.bowman@akleg.gov

907-452-6084


Contact the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office


1292 Sadler Way Ste 308

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Office: 907-452-4448

Fax: 907-456-3346


LIO.Fairbanks@akleg.gov


Contact the Governor's Fairbanks Office


675 7th Ave, Ste. H5

Fairbanks, AK 99701-4596


907-451-2920


gov.alaska.gov


Contact your Congressional Delegation

Congresswoman Mary Peltola

Anchorage Office:

121 W Fireweed Ln, Ste. 260

Anchorage, AK 99503


Phone: 907-921-6575


Email


Website:

Peltola.House.Gov

Senator Lisa Murkowski

Fairbanks Office:

250 Cushman Ave, Suite 2D

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Phone: (907) 456-0233

Fax: (877) 857-0322


Email


Website: Murkowski.Senate.Gov

Senator Dan Sullivan

Fairbanks Office:

101 12th Ave., Ste. 328

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Phone: (907) 456-0261

Fax: (907) 451-7290


Email


Website: Sullivan.Senate.Gov