Haines and Skagway should be in the same election district as Juneau. The Capital City’s Mendenhall Valley wants to stay on its own. Petersburg doesn’t want to be split up. And the whole redistricting process has been a boondoggle.
That’s some of what Southeast Alaska residents – plus a few others – told the Alaska Redistricting Board during a hearing Tuesday in the Capital City.
A dozen and a half redistricting plans, some from the board and others from communities, corporations and political groups – are at issue.
It’s part of the process of redrawing election district lines under orders from the Alaska Supreme Court.
Here are some of those comments, beginning with Juneau’s Paulette Simpson. She supports keeping downtown Juneau and Douglas Island aligned with Skagway.
The session followed meetings in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
The board’s next step is to choose a plan – or create a new one – for use in the 2014 elections.
- Indian Country status in Alaska would afford the same protections as reservation lands in the Lower 48.
- To many, ivory means dead elephants wasting away in the sun. "What they don’t see is walrus ivory, legal harvest, food on the table, economic benefit to rural Alaskans,” says biologist Gay Sheffield.
- “We don’t want to move quickly at all costs,” said Alaska BP regional manager David VanTuyl. “We don’t want to rush into the largest energy project in North America that only ends up losing lots of money for all of us.”
- Sealaska’s newest board member will continue to push for election and management changes. At least one long-time board member says she's willing to listen.