Meet the candidate: Mike Robbins
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Mike Robbins is running for mayor of Anchorage. Alaska’s News Source asked him to answer some questions about his campaign. Here’s what he said.
Can you give me a short description of yourself?
When I was seventeen years old, I started my first business and over the years I’ve owned numerous businesses. I’ve worked primarily in the media and marketing industry which has given me great appreciation and a better than average understanding of every kind company out there. I’ve worked with business leaders across every sector and have helped them work through various challenges and helped them grow their own businesses.
I’ve been working for years to improve the quality of life for others in Anchorage. I’ve helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the homeless, foster kids, and drug-addicted. My civic contributions include past and present memberships in the Anchorage Fur Rondy, Anchorage Rotary, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Pump Up the Kids (foster care support – Founder), Captain Cook Jaycees, Alaska Institute for Growth, & Challenge Alaska.
How long have you lived in Alaska?
I’ve lived in Alaska since I moved here in1975.
Why are you running for mayor?
I’m running for mayor because I believe that I can make a positive difference in the Municipality at this critical time. I believe that my skillset and experience gained over the years as a business owner is needed in the mayor’s office. The majority of the other candidates who have a chance of winning have served in the last six years on the Assembly or in the Administration while numerous quality of life indicators in Anchorage were, and still are, all headed in the wrong direction. The other candidate with a chance just doesn’t have the kind of experience and skillset needed for the executive office of the municipality.
What will be your focus while in office?
We will work to make Anchorage safer, cleaner, and more prosperous by reducing crime, reducing homelessness, stimulating a robust economic recovery, and improving educational output in our schools.
What do you plan to do about the COVID-19 pandemic?
It is clear that we know much more about COVID-19 now than we did a year ago. We need to follow the science and the data while making decisions that impact every facet of the lives of citizens. As citizens of Anchorage are vaccinated in record fashion closing in on 60% by this May, and as another 30% have the antibodies, we will be in a place where we can safely re-open our city while protecting the the most vulnerable with co-morbidities. I won’t be a voice of fear, I plan on being a leading voice of encouragement telling people it’s okay to live their lives again.
What is the largest issue outside of the pandemic facing the municipality and what do you intend to do about it?
The municipal government has to become a friend to business once again and a spirit of customer service has to be embraced. For instance, because of the needless red-tape involved in the building process, houses in Anchorage are disproportionately more expensive than they are in neighboring cities. If more citizens move away from Anchorage because of the cost of housing, there will be a greater tax burden for each of those who remain. This kind of difference has to come from the top down, and that is how it will be done.
There’s a lot of political division in our city. How can you bring people together?
As I mentioned above, I’ve worked with business leaders across every sector and have helped them work through various challenges and helped them grow their own businesses. I have a track record of working with people from many different perspectives and I will leverage that experience to bring people together. As mayor, I will lead by example and set the tone for a greater spirit of civility and cooperation as we move forward.
Do you think the state’s vaccine distribution has been fair for all?
While there isn’t a distribution plan out there in America that has gone perfectly, I do feel we have done a much better than average job to this point. That said, there is always room for improvement and that’s where good leadership comes in to play.
People have been leaving Anchorage over the past few years. How can you make Anchorage a desirable place to live and do business?
My campaign slogan sums up our vision for Anchorage and it speaks to this topic. We are working to make Anchorage safer, cleaner, and more prosperous. To return Anchorage to a place you describe, we must reduce crime, improve our schools, reduce homelessness, and stimulate a robust economy. If we are not successful in these areas we will continue to see the population of Anchorage decline.
Did you agree or disagree with the municipality’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? If not, what would you have done differently?
Again, It is clear that we know much more about COVID-19 now than we did a year ago. Last March, when we were just beginning to learn about the pandemic, I agreed with the lockdowns initially. But as we were successful in blunting the curve in the mortality rate, and subsequently millions of Americans did not die, strict lockdowns ensued. Now we are learning that no matter how strict the policy, the mortality rate of those dying with COVID stands at 142 to 100,000 Americans. We need to follow the science and the data while making decisions that impact every facet of the lives of citizens... that’s what I would have done differently.
Editor’s note: Mike Robbins submitted his answers to the Alaska’s News Source candidate questionnaire past our initial deadline and after responses from other candidates were posted.
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