report from the Juneau “Keep Alaska Open for Business” rally

Image courtesy AFL-CIO.

As you may have heard, the Alaska State Legislature is in Special Session because they don’t have a budget passed. As a result, 17,000 State employees (including yours truly) received layoff notices, which will take effect on July 1 unless a budget is passed between now and then. Without a budget, State government will shut down except for a few life and safety services.

Yesterday, Alaska AFL-CIO hosted “Keep Alaska Open for Business” rallies in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau to remind the Alaska State Legislature – and particularly the Republican-controlled Senate – that they need to pass a sustainable budget.

I attended in Juneau, and the energy was fantastic!  Continue reading

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Meetings this week (6/12 – 6/18)

Image courtesy FreeImages.com/Maxime Perron Caissy

Tongass Democrats’ Year of Kindness and Strategic Planning committees will be meeting this week.

The Alaska State Legislature reconvenes tomorrow morning at 11 AM, but their public testimony calendar is blank this week. However, the House appears to be soldiering on as best they can without the Senate doing their part of the heavy lifting, so the House has bills pertaining to the budget and opioids on their calendar tomorrow.

Speaking of the Senate: their empty calendar shows a lack of concern about shutting down State government because they can’t be bothered to do the work needed to pass a sustainable budget. I hope that everyone will join me at the “Keep Alaska Open for Business” rally at the Capitol building at 1PM today!

The City and Borough Assembly, on the other hand, has a very busy week coming up with a total of seven meetings, including the Finance, Planning, Public Works, and Lands committees. Their agendas cover everything from wireless communication towers to eagle nests to you-name-it!

It’s all linked below for your enjoyment 🙂 Continue reading

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Chair’s Corner – exciting news from the State Central Committee!

ADP Executive Director Jay Parmley with two Interior Democrats displaying auction items. Photo courtesy Nancy Courtney.

Our State Central Committee meetings are wonderful opportunities for fellowship with other Democrats as we tackle the business aspects of being a political party. While the things we do may sound mundane, they are the necessary tasks that keep the Alaska Democratic Party a strong organization.

And, a strong party is able to help elect leaders around the state who share our values – a very exciting goal!

Last month, approximately 60 members of the Alaska Democratic Party’s State Central Committee (ADP SCC) gathered in Fairbanks May 19-21 for the SCC’s tri-annual meeting. We also had 15+ members attend telephonically.

Here is my report about what we did. Head’s up: the coolest, most exciting aspect of what we did is toward the bottom, so you definitely want to read all the way through! Continue reading

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#MakeTheCall: AK Republican Senators need an earful

MMA Raccoon thinks Republican Senators need to get a real budget passed. FreeImages.com/Klaus Post

The State Legislature is back in session tomorrow, so today is a good day to make sure Senate Republicans feel appreciated upon their return to their offices. And by “appreciated,” I mean that they need to feel like we are watching them like hawks! I recommend you do this with a call, fax, and email about the budget.

The bipartisan House majority has done its job and come up with a sustainable budget. I don’t love every part of it, but at least it’s a real plan. The Senate (for the most part) appears to be counting on magic beans as a funding strategy.

Here’s a comparison of the differences in the plans offered in the House and the Senate. Continue reading

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Meetings this week (6/5 – 6/11)

Image courtesy FreeImages.com/Maxime Perron Caissy

Summer is here, and so naturally it is time to think about money! The City and Borough of Juneau will vote on our annual budget tomorrow, and the Legislature has less than two weeks to get a budget passed for the State.

Also, Tongass Democrats committee work is starting to heat up, so read on for details. Meeting locations, dates, and times below the fold.
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Monthly meeting reminder

The regular monthly business meeting for Tongass Democrats is held the first Thursday of every month. So, that means we all get to see each other tonight, at 5:15 PM at the IBEW hall (813 W. 12th St., Juneau).

See you there!

Mary

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CBJ library outreach budget update

More of this, please! Photo courtesy of jdurham at morguefile.com

As a local resident of Juneau, I sent an email to the Assembly, asking members to oppose any cuts to the library outreach budget that might be recommended by the Finance Committee. However, the Assembly Finance Committee meeting planned for last night was cancelled, apparently due to lack of a quorum, so unless an amendment to the budget comes up at Monday’s Assembly meeting, it looks like the library’s outreach budget is going to be OK this year.

I want to point out and publicly appreciate the thoughtful replies I received from several Assembly members, which I have excerpted below. It was good to see their commitment to interacting with concerned residents.  Continue reading

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the free ride is over, Senate Republicans

Photo by quicksandala at Morguefile.com

I’ve heard that there are still Republican Senators running around telling people: “The Senate is the only thing standing between you and an income tax!”

Let’s break that down and decode what they’re really saying. Continue reading

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Stronger Together

Photo courtesy FreeImages.com/Mauro Silva

In honor of Memorial Day, I am republishing a post I wrote about patriotism. I hope you enjoy it. – Mary

Like me, you probably heard “Stronger Together” during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for President.

With the painful end of that campaign behind us, it’s easy to feel like this was just another slogan. But it’s not.

It’s our heritage and strength as Americans, and it’s how we are going to survive the Trump/Pence years. Continue reading

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Meetings this week (5/29 – 6/4)

Image courtesy FreeImages.com/Maxime Perron Caissy

This week the Tongass Democrats have our monthly business meeting on Thursday, and the CBJ Assembly has an important Finance Committee meeting where they will consider the future of the Juneau Public Library’s outreach funds (Action Alert).

Meeting locations, dates, and times below the fold.
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