Editor’s note: The following message was sent to us by newly elected Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard in response to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s continued restrictions on businesses, churches and other venues despite Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s lifting of nearly all mandates across Alaska, effective May 22.
We are at a crucial mental health stage in the response and recovery to COVID-19 and it is affecting Alaska’s citizens, not to mention the economic cliff many of Alaska’s small businesses are clinging to.
With our citizens returning to work, families need to get back to their routines as seamlessly and quickly as possible. Summer activities provide settings for family experiences and togetherness. These experiences keep us healthy both emotionally and physically.
The Municipality of Anchorage needs to stay in our lane and not continue with this government overreach and fear mongering.
It has been 68 days since our community has been able to live our lives as Alaskans, connecting with each other and our environment. I have heard from hundreds of Alaskans, concerned for their livelihood, emotional and physical health and the desire to return to our independence and life routines. Attending and participating in sporting events, church events, childcare and summer camps are extremely important to many Alaskans. It comes up in almost every conversation I have with other concerned citizens.
If businesses believe they are not ready to safely open, it is their decision to make. We as the government, are given our authority by the people we represent. The people have voiced their desires to safely open our economy and safely participate in Alaskan activities, whether indoors or out.
The Municipality of Anchorage needs to stay in our lane and not continue with this government overreach and fear mongering. Now is the time to support our communities and move forward.
Today (May 22), Governor Dunleavy has reopened Alaska. We the people of Alaska, call on Mayor Berkowitz to join Governor Dunleavy and reopen the Municipality of Anchorage today!
The writer is a member of the Anchorage Assembly, representing the Chugiak-Eagle River area.