'I see you, I know you, I am you’: Lt. Gov. Davidson speaks at AFN

Published: Oct. 18, 2018 at 9:18 AM AKDT
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In her keynote address to attendees of

, newly-minted Lt. Gov. Valerie Davidson implored people to tell their stories - both good and bad, whenever ready - in the name of progress and growth for Alaska and its people.

“We know we have work to do,” Davidson said, “But my grandmother always told me, there’s no hard work that isn’t worth doing.”

Davidson served as Commissioner of the Dept. of Health and Social Services before taking over former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s post days ago. He resigned following “inappropriate comments” - just days ago shared personal experiences tying her to the #MeToo movement.

Davidson elaborated somewhat on those Thursday morning, using them as an anchor for her address.

“I see you, I know you, and I am you,” Davidson said. “These last few days have been tough, but today is a new day.”

There are ten measures of childhood trauma, Davidson said. The only one she “missed” was having a parent being incarcerated.

“It’s hard for me to say that,” she said, “But I want or children to know that just because bad things happen in our childhood, they don’t have to define our future or who we are as people.”

She noted that while there are lots of bad statistics out there, it’s important to share all types of stories from every corner of the state.

“They usually talk about the bad things, the bad statistics,” she said, “But we are so much more than that. Let’s also talk about the good things happening in our lives, because we have so much to be proud of.”

With the general election just weeks away, Davidson also touched on Gov. Bill Walker’s run for re-election and her appreciation for support of that administration, not missing a beat in promoting their now semi-joint campaign.

Primarily, though, she focused on her personal experiences and topics affecting Alaskans right now, including Medicaid and other healthcare issues as well as child welfare and subsistence processes. She encouraged people to do their best, whatever that means for them, no matter the circumstances.

“People will do the most amazing things under the most impossible conditions, as long as they have the right reasons,” she said. “And when you lead with love, you never stand alone.”

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