Candidate for Mayor
Partner: Swarupa Toth
Executive Director, AWARE, Inc.
I have long been a community volunteer, most recently serving at the Glory Hall and Project Playground and helping organize the Families Belong Together Rally in Juneau. I served on the board of directors of the Juneau Jewish Community and chaired the board of directors of the statewide Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for 6 years, where I currently hold the position of Treasurer.
I also serve on the Operations Board of the statewide Foraker Group, on their Diversity, Inclusion and Equity committee, and on the Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical Committee. In 2017, I was honored to receive the Juneau Rotary Club’s Vocational Service Award, and in 2018, the Alaska Women’s Lobby Carla Timpone Award for Activism.
Masters of Education
Editor’s note: Saralyn Tabachnick contacted us on Sept. 20 and said she had incorrectly filled out her response to this question. We’ve changed her answer from yes to no.
Do you support additional city funding for a new building to house the Juneau Arts and Culture Center?
I typically donate to nonprofits through the PFD Pick.Click.Give. program.
I’m running for mayor because I love this community and I love the people, the place and I’m dedicated to being here. I’ve been here for 31 years and during that time I worked at AWARE for 31 years. I want to bring my leadership, my skills, my experience to the CBJ in a way that engages our citizens and brings people together as a community, much like I’ve done at AWARE. I want to bring that and broaden my successes at AWARE and what I’ve learned there to this community. I believe I can make a difference and I’m eager to make a difference.
I think the city has an important role in ensuring access to affordable child care. Part of economic development is ensuring young families can make it and it also ensures that kids are getting off to a good start and a solid foundation. We have a lot of working families here. We want to help them succeed. There are lots of things that CBJ can do. You know, of course there was the Best Starts initiative. I don’t think we have to wait another year to see that initiative move forward. I think what we can do is look at things that are already working and broaden them. For example, there are some community co-op preschools and I think we can work with communities to see if we can create, if they can create, other preschools. So looking at other opportunities where shared spaces can occur and really people can get their needs met.
Safety is so important in our community and every community. At AWARE, that’s been a cornerstone of my work so I recognize how important it is. We all need and deserve to feel safe in our homes. Part of the problem, I think, is the opioid addiction. I think what we can do as City and Borough of Juneau is look at treatment possibilities. I also think we can further support and partner with law enforcement — local, state and federal. I think about, like, where are the drugs coming from? Plane, boats and can we perhaps put funds towards dogs who can sniff out drugs and can we have personnel who can be at ports and at the airport to try to stop the flow and increase of drugs into our community?
We need to have affordable housing in Juneau. You know, part of what I’ve been trying to do is see what other communities are doing and I see, like, these small, less than 1,000 sq. ft. homes and I think ‘can Juneau do this?’ or ‘why can’t Juneau do this?’ It seems like a viable option that would enable first-time buyers to find homes, for single people to be able to afford to build some equity. I’d really like to look at that and to look at what other communities are doing, what other possibilities are for building.