Acting mayor releases plan for economic recovery and growth in Anchorage

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson speaks in an interview Thursday, April 29, 2021 in her...
Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson speaks in an interview Thursday, April 29, 2021 in her office in Anchorage, Alaska.(KTUU)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:37 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s acting mayor knows she’ll be leaving the office over the summer — when a new mayor voters will soon choose is sworn in — but has released a plan she believes could serve as a framework for economic recovery and growth.

It’s not customary to leave a plan for a successor, but Austin Quinn-Davidson said before exiting her unexpected term as Anchorage’s acting mayor, she wants to do all she can to set the next mayor up for success.

“As you come in as a new mayor ... I don’t know all the answers, but certainly the new mayor doesn’t, and we really wanted to put together a framework for that person to say, ‘Here’s the things we’ve been talking about,’” Quinn-Davidson said, later adding, “We don’t have time, right, for that transition. We need to move quickly and we just wanted to give whatever we could, whatever resources we could, to put the mayor in the best position possible.”

The three-part plan addresses the immediate issue of the municipality’s COVID-19 response and the pandemic’s impact on the local economy, highlights ways to encourage new investment and development in Anchorage and includes recommendations for tackling big picture policy issues like homelessness and climate change.

“I think a lot of the solutions are nonpartisan,” Quinn-Davidson said. “I mean, they’re really like, how can we enable outdoor dining, right? How can we make streets more vibrant, those are things that everyone wants to do, I believe. And so to me, I think it will be helpful, no matter who the mayor is.”

Candidates Forrest Dunbar and Dave Bronson are headed for a mayoral runoff election on May 11 after none of the mayoral candidates in the city’s municipal election received the necessary 45% of the vote for an outright win.

“I also recognize that someone could come in, you know, and say, ‘Scrap all of this,’ and that’s just fine,” Quinn-Davidson said. “It’s the new mayor’s prerogative, but we wanted to leave ... a blueprint for someone who’s brand new and is hiring a team and is trying to figure out what to do.”

More information about the plan can be found on the Anchorage Municipality website.

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