4 Anchorage mayoral candidates attend forum on child and family issues

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:53 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Four mayoral candidates attended a forum put on by Growing Alaskan Leaders to focus on issues affecting families, parents, caregivers and children across Anchorage.

“The pandemic has stressed many Anchorage families to the breaking point, and it has revealed just how inadequate our community’s support systems have been for a very long time--like early childhood education, food security, affordable housing, and working conditions that balance with the needs of families,” said Jackie Cason, Anchorage parent and GALs member, in a prepared statement.

Forrest Dunbar, Bill Evans, Bill Falsey and George Martinez all attended the event that took place via Zoom on Sunday.

During the forum, GALs moderators asked a combination of yes or no and open-ended questions to each candidate.

Here are some of the questions:

Did you support Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidsons’s December shutdown order and would you have done the same in her place?

Dunbar said yes, Evans said no, and Martinez and Falsey had mixed answers, not answering yes or no.

Would your administration commit to creating a dedicated funding source for universal pre-K education?

Dunbar, Falsey and Martinez answered yes, while Evans answered no.

Do you believe that we need to move more of our Municipal spending into the early childhood and prenatal periods of life?

Dunbar, Falsey and Martinez answered yes, while Evans answered no.

Do you support [Anchorage Police Department] officers being trained in and held accountable to practice trauma-informed policing, with respect to domestic & sexual violence, child abuse, and children at crime scenes?

All candidates answered yes.

APD leadership has been supportive of recent efforts to implement a mental health first responder program to divert calls previously routed to APD officers. Do you support continuing this model?

All candidates answered yes.

Would you work to examine and move forward potential regulatory changes that could increase access to child care and could improve the process of opening and operating childcare, especially for families and communities facing the greatest challenges accessing childcare?

All candidates answered yes.

Hundreds of Alaskan childcare providers have closed during the pandemic and before the pandemic were financially insecure. Do you believe the MOA is currently doing enough to support childcare providers?

All candidates answered no.

To watch the full Anchorage Mayoral Candidate Forum you can go to the GAL’s Facebook page or click HERE.

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