Q&A with Assembly and School Board Candidates

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The ballots were mailed ahead of the April 5 municipal elections, and to help voters weigh their choices, the Anchorage Daily News asked the Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates to explain their points of view. view on the key issues and how they would address the various challenges facing the city.

Voting now takes place by mail in Anchorage, but other options are available for submitting ballots, including in person. More information on how to vote in municipal elections is available on the city’s website election websitewhich includes a FAQs and a full list of candidates. This year, Anchorage voters can also sign up for automatic updates on the status of their ballot at anchoragevotes.com.

This year, five seats in the Assembly and two seats on the school board are up for election. School board seats are elected at-large, so voters across the city will vote for each seat. Candidates for the Assembly will be chosen by voters in their constituency.

You can read each candidate’s response in the links below.

Scroll further down for responses from individual candidates.

COMPARE CANDIDATES BY QUESTION

Assembly

What is a brief summary of your background?

Why are you running?

What makes you qualified to serve in the Anchorage Assembly?

What is the biggest problem facing Anchorage? How would you approach it?

What is the most important issue facing your district? How would you approach it?

What is your vision of the role of local government in Anchorage?

Rate Dave Bronson’s performance as mayor. Explain, with concrete examples.

Evaluate the performance of the current assembly. Explain, with concrete examples.

The past two years have been marked by heightened civic discord in Anchorage. How would you improve the quality of civic discourse in the city?

What is your vision for improving and diversifying Anchorage’s economy?

What do you think are the most effective strategies to address homelessness in Anchorage in the future?

What is your rating of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? How would you improve it?

Does the city succeed in organizing municipal elections? Would you push for changes? To explain.

Do you recognize the results of the 2020 presidential election? Also, what do you think of what happened on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol?

What is one thing that makes you optimistic about the future of Anchorage?

What other important issue would you like to discuss?

• • •

Black board

What is a brief summary of your background?

Why are you running?

What makes you qualified to serve on the Anchorage School Board?

What is your vision for public education in Anchorage?

What is the most important issue facing the Anchorage School District? How would you fix it if you were elected?

If I could change one thing in the Anchorage School District, it would be _____. To explain.

Do you have concerns about student success in the Anchorage School District? What are your specific suggestions for improvement?

Do you have any ideas on how ASD can improve its vocational and technical education program?

Are you satisfied with current preschool options? To explain.

Is the Anchorage School District currently successful in retaining quality teachers? What steps, if any, should the school board take to improve teacher retention?

Rate how the Anchorage School District has handled the pandemic, and why? What, if anything, would you have done differently?

Many students are struggling due to pandemic-related challenges, both academically and behaviorally. What strategies should the school district prioritize to help students recover from this time?

What do you think about how the subject of racism and its history in the United States should be taught in public schools?

What other important issue would you like to discuss?

• • •

THE CANDIDATES

Assembly

District 2 – Headquarters A – Eagle River/Chugiak

Kevin Cross

vanessa stephens

Gretchen Wehmoff

District 3 – Seat D – West Anchorage

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Liz Vazquez

Nial Sherwood Williams

District 4 – Headquarters F – Downtown

Kathy Henslee

Meg Zaletel

District 5 – Headquarters H – Anchor East

Forrest Dunbar

Christopher Hall

Stephanie Taylor

District 6 – Seat J – South Anchorage

Darin Colbry

Randy Sult

John Weddleton

Black board

Seat A

Margo Bellamy

Marc Anthony Cox

Dan Loring- Did not respond to survey

Murray Cliff

Seat B

Dustin Darden

Benjamin Baudouin Did not respond to survey, campaign suspended.

Kelly Lessens

Rachel Ries

• • •

Related:

Ballots are by mail. Here’s what to know about voting in Anchorage’s April election.

Anchorage to vote on $45.6 million in city bond packages and a $111 million school district bond proposal

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