The Anchorage Assembly postponed action on three highly controversial resolutions dealing with placing homeless housing in business sectors, imposing burdensome shelter regulations and a proposal to that would restrict parental rights with regard to disciplining a child.

Testimony on the three proposals was overwhelmingly in opposition during the seven-hour meeting on June 8. The Assembly ultimately agreed to postpone any delay voting on the measures until at least their June 22 meeting.

The Assembly voted to postpone action on a resolution from Acting Mayor Austin Quinn Davidson that would make it easier for prosecutors to find parents guilty of child abuse for disciplining their children. In particular the ordinance removes language that acknowledges the rights of parents to use “reasonable parental discipline” for the purpose of “safeguarding the child or promoting the child’s moral, social, or cultural welfare.” Quinn-Davidson’s ordinance also removes all mention of specific acts that are prima facie unreasonable, such as scalding, branding or burning” and opens the door for prosecutors to decide whether any action is unreasonable or excessive and therefore worthy of prosecuting.

Much of the testimony warned that the ordinance opens the door for well-meaning parents to be charged for simply using traditional forms of discipline such as hand swatting or spankings.

“The intent as laid out in the memo is to lower the difficulty for the prosecutor,” said Anchorage mom Jennifer Anderson. “I don’t think we should be lowering the bar.”

Click the photo above to watch the testimony by Pastor John LaMantia, director of the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission.

With regard to regulating non-profit and largely faith based homeless outreaches in town, the Assembly heard strong opposition from long-time reputable shelter operators, who said the proposed regulations would cripple their religious-based missions.

“This is about control,” said Pastor John LaMantia, the director of the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission. “The shelter licensing will never fix problems caused by the city’s inconsistent and selective enforcement of laws.”

He warned that the mandated licensure requirements would dismantle his volunteer base and cost the mission valuable resources in its nearly 60-year effort to help the homeless in Anchorage.

“I love what I do,” LaMantia said, adding that he just needed the city to let his mission work “unobstructed” by government mandates.

Sherrie Laurie is executive director of the faith-based women’s shelter – Downtown Hope Center. She echoed many of LaMantia’s concerns and said this is “not the time to put additional burdens on currently overloaded shelters as we recover from the pandemic.”

A number of testimonies urged Assembly members who are concerned about poorly run shelters to target their solution to address those specific entities, rather than seeking a one-size-fits-all solution.

Laurie, along with many others, urged the Assembly to wait until Mayor-elect Dave Bronson takes office on July 1 before making any sweeping changes on how to address the operation of homeless shelters.

“Why not wait the three weeks and see what plan they present?” she said. “They may have a whole different direction that they want to go, which they do.”

Russell Biggs hand delivers 800 letters in opposition to the Anchorage Assembly’s plan to allow homeless shelters in downtown business districts. Click the photo to watch Biggs’ testimony.

The final issue taken up on June 8 dealt with an ordinance that seeks to allow homeless shelters to operate in business districts. This, too, was strongly opposed in public testimony, with many residents warning that businesses and neighborhoods could be negatively effected by vandalism, theft and other crimes often associated with homeless populations.

Russell Biggs, who spearheaded the unsuccessful attempt to remove Assembly Chair Felix Rivera from office during the April 6 election, brought in a large box filled with 800 comments from constituents in Rivera’s district. They were all against the plan to allow homeless shelters in business districts.

Biggs noted that there were hundreds of acres around the city where homeless shelters could be erected without having a detrimental impact on area businesses and neighborhoods.

“I oppose this as well as the 800 people that are also in opposition to this rezone,” he said, while adding that the rezoning proposal is an “unnecessary and broad stroke that the community does not need.”

The Assembly is scheduled to take up all three delayed issues on June 22, just eight days before Bronson takes over as mayor.

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Anchorage Assembly delays vote on divisive plans that would impact parental rights, homeless shelters

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Michael S Totten says:

    Quinn needs her ass whipped

    • Scott says:

      Stunning how badly they want to change everything before someone with an adult mind enters office. We gonna end up giving each of these asshats a cigarrette, a blindfold and some transcortical lead therapy if this don’t stop soon.

  • NAV says:

    These DEMONIC individuals need all their ASS’S blistered !!!! FULL LACK of ACCOUNTABILITY in a household is why you have the street crime in Anchorage today just like ever other state that refuses to hold the guilty accountable for their actions. The State has NO RIGHTS to determine if a child can be spanked for wrong behavior in the household or not. It starts in the household and the state is the worst example of ACCOUNTABILITY along with the Anchorage Assembly there is !!!

  • NAV says:

    And for the Anchorage business MOVE TO THE VALLEY leave the CRAPHOLE cesspool to fester and rot!!!

  • Jen says:

    Dunbar was right to admire how Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission is implementing the services to the homeless and the building is not a public nuisance to the Tudor neighborhoods. Their is success is because of they don’t have government regulators telling them what to do. Because of Both Anchorage Rescue Gospel Mission and Hope Center don’t take a Doller from governments. That is the secret to their success to hiring more accountable employees and increasing its volunteer base for people who care about improving the Industry beyond picking up a paycheck for putting in the hours.
    I wonder if Dunbar ever worked as young man after college where his employer’s earnings are dependent on his service?

    When you work for a government dependent employer, you don’t need to improve yourself. Personal accountability and work ethic improvement is optional when you just need to show up to work and put in your 8 hour day for your two-week pay.

    • Jen says:

      If Brother Francis Shelter and Beans Cafe was God regulated and Biblical then they wouldn’t been a nuisance to the entire Downtown neighborhoods from 2nd to 6th Avenues. Being Catholic organization doesnt count being Christ follower, that religion is too complicated they don’t know who they pray to. so! They pray to all the saints which is idol worshipping and no different than the world worshipping themselves and their good works.

      • MICHAEL HUGHES says:

        Wow, talk about bigotry. Get your facts straight before attacking over 2 BILLION peoples beliefs. The Catholic Church is not complicated; Jesus’ main teaching is to love God and to love you neighbor as yourself; the rest is how how to implement this teaching. What’s complicated about that? ( of course most of us mess this up at one time or another, just like other human beings – that is why Jesus came here and was tortured and killed; to save us from our sins). And, we pray for the saints to intercede for us with God, just as we would ask others here to help us.

      • Michael says:

        The vatican is the whore of the earth. It has been written

      • Michael says:

        Only jesus can intervene with god on your behalf. If you worship saints or pray to them you are placing false idols in front of god

  • Jesse says:

    …so why is The Assembly scheduled to revisit all three delayed issues on June 22, just eight days before Bronson takes over as mayor?

  • Ralph says:

    Tell me how your inability to maintain this state by the peoples will, gives you ANY RIGHT to dictate overrule on a citizens household or family.
    Leave the Church alone
    Let the people decide
    Be a public SERVANT not a dictator….
    -God bless the Republic.

  • Steven Chappell says:

    The people decide they wanted to go in a different direction when we elected Mayor Bronson. The Lame Duck Assembly needs to stop trying to rush to implement their lefts agenda when We the People duly elected a Mayor to move us in a separate direction. I’m sure if you were to complete an Audit of the runoff election you would find tat Mayor Bronson far exceed the vote count of Dunbar. I bet that many ballots for Dunbar would have been disqualified. Although the Bronson Volunteers were there to make sure the cheating from last November did not occur in Anchorage.


    Fake mayor strikes again! Who does she think she is to regulate anything about family life? This is the continuation of the Leftist agenda to take over every aspect of our lives.

    • Michael says:

      When the jackboots show up at your door give them the ultimatum. You can leave on your own or we all get buried here. The choice is yours

  • Steve Peterson says:

    I feel sorry for conservative people stuck in Anchorage, but then, some of them LET these people take control by not taking local politics seriously, and this is the result. Hard to undo.
    I would love to see Eagle River exit, and for conservative folks to move away and take their tax money with them. If the commies can’t get the money, they can’t redistribute it for stupid, leftist projects and misbegotten social justice programs.
    If Bronson is successful against this crew, please, oh please Anchorage, PAY ATTENTION in future elections and elect people like him. If you don’t, you’ll drag the rest of Alaska down with you.

    • Michael says:

      Oh they’re going to do that anyway because anchorage is where all the rainbow people live and the churchy folks are waiting on god to come change the vote. But none of them will get aff their butts and go vote. They will sit in these forums and complain about what should have been. I got out of anchorage when mark begeich left

  • Kathleen Lynn LaMantia says:

    A minister, an anesthesiologist and a hockey player all walked into a library…..

    I admired the spark I saw forming, when all of the folks who came to be a seawall against the tsunami of bad laws that have been this Assembly’s stock in trade, came together last evening. There were people who might never have intersecting points except for pitching in to put up the Common Sense tent. No matter the outcome of any vote, that coming together is not insignificant.

    “Sometimes changing the game is as simple as finding a few people who play by the same rules as you.” ― Curtis Tyrone Jones, Sleeping With Enormity

  • Efrog Industries says:

    Under the 2nd bill of rights we the people reserve the right to form well organized militia’s to hunt down and kill government officials that act like tyrants writing unjust laws. Just saying.

    • Michael says:

      Carefully ET. Joel will flag you for hate speech so he can pander to his libtard readers. But hopefully quinn and rivera will have a snow machine accident soon

  • Ralph says:

    A short drop followed by a sudden stop, is earned, and they deserve their earnings… except for our Tax dollars. Give those to someone who actually performs the will of the people.