Candidate for District 1 Assembly
Three-person, exclusive relationship with husband of 6 years and equal live-in boyfriend; and an Akita named Woodrow
“Super-liberal” Democrat on social issues, but open-minded on Alaska-specific conservative issues
Supervisor for Alaska Airlines, and owner of pageant consulting agency Crowned, LLC
LGBTQ rights, racial justice, mental health issues
There’s a lot of issues that I care about here deeply in Juneau. Mainly, I believe that mental health correlates with all the issues that I care about most, which is the opioid crisis, suicide and homelessness. And I think that if we tackle those three issues there and link them to mental health and recognize it as a public health crisis, we can dwindle down on some of the issues that we have and help revive the economy. And I think that’s key.
Regarding COVID-19, at what point, or under what conditions do you think Juneau should fully reopen?
That’s a tough question. First of all, it comes down to safety here. Do I think right now, we should just snap our fingers and say, “Let’s fully reopen and get back to normal?” No, I don’t believe so. Because I believe that we still have cases on the rise. And it’s still a difficult scenario and situation. However, I do believe that we do need to reopen at full capacity to help revive our economy and tourism and help our small businesses as well. But as of right now, we need to encourage people to keep getting vaccinated and to wear the masks if they can’t, because that is what’s going to limit cases, help us open back up.
Do you think the pace of development and economic growth in Juneau is too fast, too slow or about right? Why?
I believe it’s going too slow. I am very pro development. There are a lot of issues — I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who are trying to expand: bars that want to add restaurants, restaurants that want to add different areas. And just to get the permit and zoning permissions, it’s just a very long process, and I think that we need to expedite that process and relax zoning restrictions. Because whenever we build and grow, we create more jobs. More jobs creates more revenue. It attracts more tourism. I think we need to speed it up.
First of all, there’s going to be a lot of disagreements. But it’s not about the disagreements. It’s about working together and coming up with a solution that is most suitable for everyone. We can’t all agree on every single issue that there is, that’s a given. But my approach, I believe that listening to the other side, and the opposing views of what I have is going to give me a brighter insight on where I stand as well. Because you have to understand the other side completely before you can take action with your own view. And I think that the goal is to listen to the other side.
City-hired experts produced new hazard maps for avalanches and landslides — how should the city balance responsible development with the needs of community members already living there?
First of all, I think that it’s a great idea that we hired these experts and I think that we do need to trust these experts and development team because safety is key here. I believe that the community involvement is important as well, we need to bring in the community members and discuss their concerns and the issues that they think would result from this project. And I think that that is key right there, is to listen to the feedback and then sit down with the developers and the people and see if we can come up with a solution that works well for everybody. And I think safety is the main focus.
Which parts of Juneau do you think are underserved by the city administration and what will you do about it?
Well I currently serve on the Douglas Advisory Board and I do know that there is a lot of concern with the upkeep of the cemeteries that we have in Douglas. I think that there’s not a lot of funding there and, yeah, I think that that’s an issue that a lot of the community members in Douglas have talked about as well. And the reason I’m giving that as an example is because I don’t think it’s been discussed in any of the forums or brought up, so, as opposed to repeating myself, I’d say that the upkeep of the cemeteries over in Douglas to get adequate funding and, you know, more support from the Assembly.