Candidate for Mayor
Director of Housing Services at Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority
– Assembly member from October 2016 to August 2018. By CBJ ordinance, I was required to step down prior to the expiration of the term to run for mayor. During my time on the assembly, I was the chair of the Assembly Mining Subcommittee. The mining subcommittee worked to clarify and simplify the CBJ mining ordinance.
– Intern for Sen. Frank Murkowski – Summer 1998.
– Juneau Affordable Housing Commission board member – 2010
to 2017. Board chair 2012-2014.
– Sealaska Heritage Scholarship Committee 2010-2012. Committee
– Board of Director for Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL)
November 2015 to current. Vice-chair 2018-current.
– Board of Director for Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape
Emergencies (AWARE) March 2016 to current.
– Board member for Douglas Island Neighbors Association – March
2016 to current. Treasurer 2016-current.
– Senior Citizens Support Services Incorporated (SCSSI) Senior
assisted living task force member March 2016 to current.
– The Alaska Committee – Board member March 2018 to current.
High School graduate, some college – studied business management at the University of Alaska Southeast
Do you support additional city funding for a new building to house the Juneau Arts and Culture Center?
In 2016, I was elected to the Assembly as an areawide Assembly candidate and I found the process at city hall to be very fair and very transparent and that the main reason that, you know, I was interested in politics is that it gives you an equal voice on the Assembly where your vote matters just as much as the person sitting next to you and that it takes everybody in our community to get involved in order to make this place work. You have to step up, and I think that by getting involved as a community member it makes our community a better place to live. We have some serious challenges in our community, everything from high cost of housing to high cost of health care, high cost of food. I would like to work with our community to solve those issues and really to make Juneau the best capital city that it can be.
So I believe that the city’s role to improving access to affordable child care is really a facilitative role. I don’t necessarily have an opinion as far as where that funding is going to come from, but I think that is something that should happen at an Assembly level where we work with the community to solve that problem. One thing I’ve realized during my time on the Assembly is to be very cautious with making any hasty decisions and any hasty judgments on how something is going to happen, because you never know, really know what’s going to happen until it comes down for a vote. So I think during this last vote to put affordable child care on the ballot, it unfortunately did not make it. I would really be curious to find out overall what the community’s desire really is and how they want that to be funded.
During my time on the Assembly, I put forth a motion to support our fire department and to increase their funding so that they can have an additional 24/7 ambulance crew on board. We heard that they have been overworked and really operating at full capacity almost 24/7 and so it’s important that we give them some relief. So that’s the first thing that I did to address that matter. Similarly, with the police department, as we were going through our budget cycle this year, I put forth a motion to fully fund the police department so that they have the money in their reserves should they hire the eight vacant spots. So really, it’s not that we’re not paying a fair wage. I think that the City and Borough of Juneau pays a very fair wage to our police officers. What it is, is that nationally, we’re having trouble recruiting police officers and firemen. So I think that we’re going to get there, we just need to the marketing efforts up.
Affordable housing is in my wheelhouse. That is what I do by day, I work at the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority as the director of housing services. One thing we’re getting ready to do right now, is we’re getting ready to start selling some affordable units to the families that are living in the units. As far as at a community level goes, one thing Juneau has in its tool box is that we are the largest property owner in town. I have served on the Affordable Housing Commission for seven years, including one year while I was on the Assembly. One thing we’ve been exploring is the land trust model, where the City and Borough of Juneau can open up property and you lease the property via long term land lease to families, and they don’t ever own the property but they can build a house or they can buy a house, but the property always remains in the ownership of the city or in the ownership of a land trust. It’s been done in other communities across the country and it’s something that we haven’t really fully tapped into here in Juneau yet, but it’s something that I would really like to explore.