Candidate for District 2 Assembly
Dayna and Emil Mackey IV
Research Analyst for the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Juneau School Board Member 2015-Present. Juneau Airport Board, 2013-2015.
PhD in Public Policy
Do you support additional city funding for a new building to house the Juneau Arts and Culture Center?
I contribute it to my child’s Alaska College Savings Plan.
I’m simply running because I’ve spent some time on the school board, and in that time I’ve learned kind of a broader picture of things, not just on the school board, but also in city government. And I believe that really we could be doing some different priorities, such as Best Starts, which is early childhood, and also get our hands around some of this deferred maintenance. Deferred maintenance and Best Starts is basically my biggest two priorities.
Currently the city has a CIP project to take care of deferred maintenance though, and it is – well, you can just look around town to see that it’s not really keeping up with demand. Riverbend has sandbags holding down a tarp on a roof. You can drive down Industrial Boulevard, and you’re not going to be pleased with the way it shakes your car. And we’ve got a lot of that around town, and I’m afraid that we really need to address that while we can.
What we’ve got here in Juneau is a situation where, for example, I have a 15-month-old son — for the first six months of life, we couldn’t find anybody that would take an infant, at all. Except for one person that had an in-home child care that happened to have a child the same age. That’s a huge issue.
My wife and I, neither one of us could quit our jobs to take care of a baby. We would have child care if we could find somebody that could take care of the child. So we need more child care and we need higher quality child care.
I think programs like Best Starts really addresses both sides of that equation. Because if you can raise the standard of living for the people that are in the business, then it will create economic incentives for more people to join as well as improve the cap of the quality for those people that are getting trained and really making this their profession.
I’ve got the endorsement of the firefighters already. And I think that another fire station at Lemon Creek for example should be something we talk about. I also think that we need to really take a look at the compensation and benefits of our fire department and our police department, and as a matter of fact all of our public safety officers. And really see if we are compensating them at a rate that we can recruit and retain each and every professional we have. We don’t need to be losing professionals to Seattle and Anchorage, but we are. I think also there’s some opportunities there to take a look at some of the city priorities and maybe reshuffle them so that we can afford these increased benefits.
I think that the Housing First is a great first step for affordable housing in the sense that it addresses the homelessness problem and gets people on their feet. But I think we also need to look broader and take a look at maybe some of the city lands, and maybe do some land grants to really subsidize in a sense the developers to actually look at low cost housing. We have a lot of two-bedrooms and quite a bit of three-bedrooms, but they’re all concentrated down in the valley. What we need is to really get starter homes out there – sorry, get starter homes for families that can afford them that are below the $300,000 mark and preferably more along the condominium $150,000-160,000 mark — which, frankly, with the cost of land and building in Alaska is about as good as we’ll probably get.