The effort to recall Anchorage Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel needs an army of volunteers to walk District 4 and encourage conservatives to vote.
After failing to halt the recall through the courts, Zaletel now faces a recall on Oct. 26. She has been one of the most polarizing Assembly members in the city’s history.
First elected with 52% of the vote in 2019, Zaletel has supported mask mandates, business closures, restrictions on religious liberty, unauthorized use of federal COVID funds and other issues that have created deep divisions in the city.
In August, a citizen led initiative submitted 4,500 signatures to put Zaletel up for recall. While she is unpopular for multiple reasons, the recall effort is focused on the fact that she knowingly participated in an Anchorage Assembly meeting which violated the city’s COVID restrictions on indoor gatherings. All other businesses were under mandated restrictions and yet Zaletel and her fellow Assembly members did not abide by them.
Initially, Zaletel attempted to block the recall in court, but a Superior Court judge ruled against her.
We need as many people who are willing to walk neighborhoods, because that is going to be where this is won.
Russell Biggs, who is spearheading the recall, said the biggest need is to recruit more volunteers, as well as people who are willing to post recall signs on their private property.
“We have a pile of signs, and we can get them to people within a day or two,” he said. (To request signs, email email@example.com).
Biggs admitted that recalls are difficult, but he feels like the campaign has momentum.
“You’ve got to do everything you possibly can and then see what happens,” he said on Oct. 11. “Right now, we need as many people who are willing to walk neighborhoods, because that is going to be where this is won. Just moving through neighborhoods and reminding people to vote and show up on election day.”
The door-to-door effort is especially important, Biggs said, since Zaletel has the support of powerful unions.
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Biggs was also behind an effort to recall Assemblyman Felix Rivera earlier this year. That campaign ultimately failed. A big challenge, he said, is that the Rivera recall was outspent five to one.
“The unions kicked in almost $110,000 dollars,” he said. “We didn’t expect that kind of union interference, but we expected it this time.”
“The take home from that is that you have to anticipate, even for municipal recalls, that they are going to spend about a hundred thousand dollars,” Biggs observed. “This has probably been going on for years. The money comes into these committees that have an Alaskan name, but the money comes from out of state… and they have a pile of money.”
- To find out how to help the recall Zaletel campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To donate to the campaign, click here.
- To find out more about the campaign, click here.
- To help with door-knocking or phone backing, go to the recall Zaletel headquarters, (Monday through Thursday at 5 p.m.) at 1407 W. 31st Ave.
- Click here to find out if you live in District 4 and are eligible to vote in the recall.
Although the recall is primarily a mail-in election, voters are still free to vote in-person at the Loussac Library from Oct. 18th through Oct. 26th
Ballots were mailed out on Oct. 5 and should have arrived by Oct. 11. From now until election day they can be returned via drop-boxes at the following locations.
- City Hall, 632 W. 6th Avenue
- Dimond High School, 2909 West 88th Avenue
- Election Center, 619 East Ship Creek Avenue
- Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street
- MOA Permit Center, 4700 Elmore Road
- Service High School, 5577 Abbott Road
- UAA Alaska Airlines Center, 3550 Providence Drive
- Ballots must be dropped off or postmarked by 8 pm October 26th