After several hundred impassioned in-person testimonies over six days, the Anchorage Assembly will gather again tonight, Oct. 7, to hear from the public on a proposal to impose a citywide mask mandate.

It has grown into one of the most divisive ordinances ever introduced with area residents standing in line for hours for a chance to speak against it. Opposition has been overwhelming.

Anchorage’s COVID case numbers have been steadily falling throughout the last half of September and into October. The above image is from the Municipality of Anchorage website.

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson remains a strong critic of forcing residents to mask. His position is to provide information and medical resources while letting residents make the final call on whether to cover their faces.

The mandate was introduced during a Sept. 20 special meeting to address increased COVID cases. Supporters include Anchorage Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel, who supports forcing residents to mask regardless of their vaccination status. Since the ordinance was introduced, however, case numbers have steady declined, a point brought up repeatedly during the public hearings.

Mayor Bronson’s approach is to support new COVID treatment centers to offer increased access to vaccines, testing and monoclonal antibody treatments for those who choose these options.

He has repeated emphasized on his Facebook page that he is not against masks, but is “pro-liberty” and supports the individual’s right to “make their own decisions about their personal health.”

The next round of public testimony begins at the Anchorage Assembly Chambers tonight at 5 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis. Each person has three minutes to speak their mind. As in past meetings, if people are still waiting in line to testify by the end of the meeting it will extend to yet another day. So long as public testimony continues, the Assembly won’t be able to vote on the mandate.

Most on the 11-member Assembly appear to favor mandating masks. Assemblywomen Jamie Allard and Crystal Kennedy oppose it, several others claim to be undecided. If enacted, Bronson could veto the mandate, and it would take eight Assembly votes to override him.

Enforcement is another matter, as that falls to Bronson who is adamantly against the mandate.


  • Click here to read the draft mask mandate ordinance.
  • Click here to email or call Anchorage Assembly members.
  • To contact Mayor Dave Bronson, call (907) 343-7100 or email
  • The public may submit written comments or offer testimony by phone at There is no sign-up list for in-person testimony. It is on a first come basis. Click here for more information.
  • Click here to watch the hearing live on the Assembly’s YouTube channel.

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Divisive Anchorage mask debate set for 7th round of testimony tonight

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.


  • Andy says:

    Our health is so important to the assembly, legislature, supreme court and others in charge of these laws but these same views of the sanctity of life is not extended to the unborn. Who are they to preach?

    • Steven C says:

      Amen on that the hypocrisy of those who continue to support Abortion but yet want the Death Penalty to go away so their true colors. Just look at the two US Representatives who wrote a letter to the Missouri Governor asking him to stay the execution of a man convicted in the brutal murder of three people but yet sanction the killing of an unborn child. Makes my stomach turn thinking these Abortion clinics are in the poorest of neighborhoods and usually close to the Black Communities.

    • Fred Lee says:

      Given that 700,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19, any pro-life stance that doesn’t include support for masks and vaccinations is clearly hypocritical.

      The leaders of both major political parties support them. The medical establishment supports them. People die without them. The death cult’s position is untenable.

      • Greg says:

        “VAERS data released Friday by the CDC included a total of 778,685 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 16,310 deaths and 111,921 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and Oct. 1, 2021.” ( Perhaps we should ignore these statistics and all tune in to the Fred Lee updates.
        Who cares how many people support them, and who cares which party they belong to? As it has been noted: There’s not a “dime’s worth of difference” between them anyway. The establishment at one time promoted smoking for throat irritation. “Cigarette advertisements in medical journals were the norm. Images of doctors smoking in print ads were a common marketing ploy. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published its first cigarette advertisement in 1933 “after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used by physicians in practice.” The advertisements ran for two decades.” ( The medical establishment promoted thalidomide until it was banned in the 60s. It caused deformities in babies. It was ignored for the sake of profit. ( The pain killer Vioxx was approved by the medical establishment and the FDA. It killed 60,000 Americans. ( These are just few examples of when the establishment got it wrong, and no doubt they would have been supported by the likes of you because they were the establishment and had government backing. Your comments are vile and disgusting.
        As for your statement about it being hypocritical to have a pro-life stance and yet to resist the abortion tainted jab that has harmed thousands of people, I cannot decide which is greater: your arrogance or your ignorance.

  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    I understand everyone need their fare chance to get their say so but, after 6 days of testimony and if anyone was keeping track other than about a handful of people everyone is against the mask mandate.

    We are all smart enough to see the numbers and put on a mask if we think it’s necessary. We surely don’t need you are elected to be our mothers/fathers and tell us to do it. After a year and a half we are smart enough. If not they can get covid and their chances to survive it. It’s a good way to cull the herd and get rid of the not so smart people.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Voting has consequences. You lost Forest, go home.
    Its are turn to run the city now.
    That’s why Bronson won. Because of your far-left leaning woke bull crap. And our eyes were on the election process, so you couldn’t cheat

  • Will says:

    Someone in Anchorage needs to file a formal FOIA request for the following:

    All email messages where an Assembly person’s official e-mail address appears directly (or as part of a distribution group) in the “to” or “cc” or “bcc” line


    Any of the following words/phrases – “mask”, “masking”, “mandate”, “covid”, “ao 2021-91”, “2021-91”, “universal masking” – appear in the Subject or Body of the message.

    They claim they have 1000s of emails. Let’s find out. And if they’ve been using personal email addresses to conduct official business… well thats Hilary level shit and the city attorney needs to prosecute.

  • Matthew says:

    It’s not divisive – no one wants this accept these far left but sacks.

  • Summer says:

    I love the claims to have thousands of unseen, unnamed supporters.

    If they have these emails, they should be available via online-submitted public comment, which becomes a part of the official record, right?

    My understanding is that your emailed testimony/comment has to be formatted a certain way, including the ordinance number, and be sent to all Assembly members in order to be included in testimony on public record.

    If the Assembly have these, they should be available for viewing.

    “Hi Forrest, I’m still hurting at your election loss, but I totally support forcing people to put on bondage masks” would not make the cut.

  • NAV says:

    This is about power and money and as long as Dunleavy and Murkowski can continue to close off everything they are able to continue to receive CARR’s act money. When you put it all together you see money laundering and RICO violations by the state .

  • Over and Out says:

    It’s cool, I’ve been spending my money in the Valley since last winter. The air is freer out there – never thought I would say that. T-minus 19 months till my teenagers have graduated and we can all leave the isolated wasteland formerly known as the Last Frontier.