Mountain View Activists Meet to Talk Revitalization
Residents say funding is needed for affordable housing, education
ANCHORAGE - Are all neighborhoods treated equally here in Anchorage? Friday, about 50 Mountain View residents joined together at Clark Middle School to take part in a two-day summit. They all hope to get a chance to speak up and be heard.
“It all has to do with funding, and we don't always getting that funding when it’s necessary,” said military veteran and father of two James Jackson.
Jackson has lived in Mountain View for 17 years and hopes to bring life back to his community.
“I am hoping together we can build a relationship like it used to be. When it was fun to come to these areas and host basketball clinics and tournaments.”
But residents said without money that can’t happen.
Jackson hopes to help paint an accurate picture of the community.
“I came out because I wanted to hear some of the options that the city have either imposed or planned to have for the community, and also so all voices are heard in the community,” said Jackson. “Not just the representatives who are sometimes misinformed about what is actually happening in the community.”
“The people that speak for Mountain View don't necessarily work or live in Mountain View,” said Pastor Wilbert Mickens.
But Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan disagrees. “Anchorage is not that big of a town. I mean you don't have to live in a particular neighborhood to understand the needs of a neighborhood.”
What residents said they need is affordable housing. They said it's the first step in fulfilling a dream.
“People come here to get a start in America,” said Mickens. “It's the gateway to the land of opportunity for those who come to Alaska. But much of the funding goes toward things that perhaps may not be as useful. I would like to see the funding go to adult education [or] English as a second language.”
But the mayor said those programs are the states responsibility. “The city is not in the education business particularly.”
But no matter who pays for revitalization, this community is determined to bring pride back into their neighborhood.