Reality Check: Voters define what kind of city we live in
Our first ever ballot-by-mail election was a bold experiment. And if the intent was to boost voter participation, it appears to have been a success.
It’s the largest turnout in the city’s history. Yes, there were hiccups, but based on participation, critics would be hard-pressed to say voters were disenfranchised.
Every bond proposition seeking money from taxpayers is headed for approval at a time of high unemployment and fiscal uncertainty.
From repairing roads to school roofs, voters decided overwhelmingly they are willing to invest in the safety and quality of life they’ve come to expect in Anchorage.
Hopefully, lawmakers in Juneau are listening.
Voters also decided that it’s time to put our two electric utilities under one roof. Yes, the issue became politicized, but in the end, voters know a good deal when they see one.
And as the Mayor says, it’s now up to the city to see that the deal ends up being fairly negotiated to the end. And speaking of the Mayor, Ethan Berkowitz captured a decisive victory for a second term.
Every proposition he supported is going his way, indicating he indeed has his finger on the city’s pulse and he starts his next term with the wind at his back.
And finally, voters are saying no to Proposition 1, the so-called bathroom bill. It would determine access to restrooms and locker rooms according to a person’s gender at birth. Framed as a privacy issue by one side and as discriminatory by the other, the vote tells us Anchorage is still divided on the issue.
But so far, the results tell us more voters want to live where the rights extended to some of us are extended to all of us. The loss of Prop 1 would also tell us that the ability of a small number of religious conservatives to sway the outcome of a local election is diminishing. The choir may be getting smaller.
They are wrong about the dangers invoked in Proposition 1, and hopefully, time and love for their neighbor will convince them it was much ado about nothing.
This election paints a picture of an Anchorage where residents value inclusion, safety and education. Values in which we’re willing to invest to protect. It paints a picture of a city we should be proud to call home.
John's opinions are his own and are not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.