Anchorage – Former state legislator Bettye Davis passed away earlier this week at the age of 80. Davis was a member of the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate, the first African American woman to represent Alaskans in each body. She was also a member of the Anchorage School Board and the State Board of Education. Born in Homer, Louisiana, Davis moved to Alaska in the early 1970s. She will be remembered as a tireless advocate for Alaska’s children, education, and equality for all Alaskans.
“Senator Davis was an accomplished woman who understood the leveling potential education offers for all people. She was generous with her time and lent her good name to worthy efforts and causes. To do what was right, Senator Davis would work with anyone, regardless of party or background. My sincere condolences to her family,” said incoming Senate President Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage).
“Bettye ensured that those less fortunate had their voices heard. She was a champion of the rights of the poor, the oppressed, and those who were often neglected by the system. Whether in the minority or the majority, in her education work, or as a social worker – where she got her start in public service – she led, she cared, and she made a difference,” said Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage). “Any of us would be lucky to have that legacy in life.”