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ANCHORAGE, AK – deeply concerned with Governor Dunleavy’s budget vetoes, Alaskans gathered today at Wasilla Middle School to protest the legislators’ refusal to participate in a productive dialogue with their colleagues. Wasilla is an illegitimate, inadequate, and expensive meeting location for legislative activities, creating a political impasse instead of doing their job, representing Alaskans. Legislators need to return to Juneau to vote to override the vetoes.
The 182 line-item vetoes to eliminate at least $444 million from the operating budget do not uphold the duty of government laid out by the Alaskan constitution. By using executive power, Governor Dunleavy sets a dangerous precedent for future governors.
Specifically, the protest today is focused on rejecting the cuts which benefit large corporations at the expense of working Alaskans. This places oil companies profits in direct competition with Alaska’s PFD. We are demanding legislators to choose Alaskans to do their job, represent their constituents, take a vote, and value people over these oil companies.
These cuts are already placing Alaskan lives at risk by defunding the senior benefits program, raising rates at our pioneer homes, and defunding Medicaid and homeless programs. These cuts will force Alaska’s economy back into a recession, just as we’re making our way out of the past one, threaten job stability, cut thousands of jobs, and decrease the ability for small businesses to operate successfully.
This nonviolent direct action was planned because concerned Alaskans want to remind elected officials of our power as the people who voted them into office. It is the responsibility of our legislators to do their job and represent us in the Capitol.
This action was supported by Defend the Sacred AK, Alaska Rising Tide, Fireweed Collective, Alaskans Take a Stand, Native Movement, and the Poor People’s Campaign.
Public access to photos of the event can be found HERE.