Fair Anchorage Announces Campaign Leadership Staff

By January 11, 2018Blog Post

Fair Anchorage is excited to announce our campaign leadership team, who will be working with our already existing coalitions and grassroots supporters to mobilize Anchorage voters to vote No on Prop 1.

Our leadership team comes a wide variety of backgrounds, but all believe in the same mission: We must fight to protect our transgender friends, family, and neighbors from discrimination by defeating Proposition 1 and defending Anchorage’s transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law.. Our team is a committed, qualified group of Anchorage residents who we know have what it takes to carry our movement to victory.

Read more about the team below — a brief overview of their experience and why they believe, as we do, that the work to protect non-discrimination is essential.

Denise Sudbeck, Campaign Co-Chair

Denise Sudbeck is a married trans woman living in Anchorage who has returned to Alaska after several years, previously living in Kodiak and Fairbanks. Denise is a published author and is currently involved in several writing projects, including a Doctor of Ministry dissertation in trans-focused theology. She is the pastor of MCC Last Frontier, an emerging church of the Metropolitan Community Churches. She also works on several community projects including Fair Anchorage, Moral Movement AK, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Christians for Equality.

What inspired you to work on Fair Anchorage’s campaign to defeat Proposition 1?

I’ve been able to transition and prosper because somebody else helped pave the way. My personal liberation required my cooperation and hard work, but it also needed a community of people unwilling to leave me behind. I feel an obligation to help do the same for another who was where I was several years ago. I feel grateful for having a way to contribute.

Why do you love Anchorage? What’s your favorite thing about our city?

After several years absence from Alaska, I’m grateful for a chance to return. I’ve lived in many other cities and regions, yet Anchorage is unique as perched right on the edge of wilderness.  There is no clear boundary. Wilderness creeps into the neighborhood every day. Living in a place like Anchorage means that we depend on each other.  Being a good neighbor means more.

When you first heard that Proposition 1 would be on the April ballot in Anchorage, what was your reaction?

This is really nothing new under the sun. We’ve heard this all before, the fear mongering, the half-truths. But the constant threat to human rights can’t be ignored. The threat can’t stop us from engaging in life. So once again, let’s get back into the game and let’s continue to shine a bright light onto the lies. The truth has to be the effective antidote.

Defeating Proposition 1 won’t be easy. What do you see as the key to defending Anchorage’s non-discrimination law?

Our transgender community is picking up more support and better understanding every day.  That support is wonderful but what actually makes a difference is returning the ballot. Taking specific action propels moral support forward. Every vote is crucial. I and every other trans person need our neighbors, co-workers, and the like to step up alongside us. Once you know your neighbors, don’t let fear decide for you. Follow that decision all the way through.

If someone wants to get involved in the No on Prop 1 campaign, what would you suggest?

There are plenty of ways to get involved.  The most effective ways involve helping to shed more of that light; making phone calls and canvassing helps to do that.  Fundraising is always an important contribution to sharing the message. Whatever pushes the “passion button,” don’t hesitate.  Let somebody associated with the campaign help you find a way to express that. The message of keeping Anchorage fair is not complicated; every person can share how important it is to live in a community like this.

David Lockard, Campaign Co-Chair

David Lockard is a longtime resident of Anchorage, who is raising two teenagers, including his transgender son, Col.

What inspired you to work on Fair Anchorage’s campaign to defeat Proposition 1?
My inspiration is my transgender son, Col. I want to make this a better world for him, and also to show both my kids that it is important to act on the things you believe in.

Why do you love Anchorage? What’s your favorite thing about our city?

I love the trails, the mountains, the creative musicians and dancers I know through the Dancing Bears, the Bear Tooth Theater, the Tour of Anchorage ski marathon, the fishing and hunting nearby. The trails are my favorite thing.

When you first heard that Proposition 1 would be on the April ballot in Anchorage, what was your reaction?

Dismay. A sneaking fear that it might pass, and that it would cause people to harass my son.

Defeating Proposition 1 won’t be easy. What do you see as the key to defending Anchorage’s non-discrimination law?

Making it personal to the target voter audience. Since most of them don’t have transgender family members or friends, I want to connect with them by reminding them of a father’s love for his son. I also want to make the issue about sexual assault, the biggest social problem Anchorage faces, which has nothing to do with transgender people in bathrooms.

If someone wants to get involved in the No on Prop 1 campaign, what would you suggest?

Speak out. Write letters to the editor. Attend rallies. Donate. Talk to your friends.

Kati Ward, Campaign Manager

Kati came to Alaska on a whim and one summer turned into a year, turned into falling in love with this rugged state and her partner. She’s accepted this place that has brought her in and given her this sense of community, a community worth fighting for.

What inspired you to work on Fair Anchorage’s campaign to defeat Proposition 1?
Anchorage is my home and I have friends and family connected to this issue, we must defeat this hateful legislation.

Why do you love Anchorage? What’s your favorite thing about our city?
I love the spirit of this city – rugged, independent, and fierce. The idea that this proposition could change how people simply uses the bathroom completely changes this city.

When you first heard that Proposition 1 would be on the April ballot in Anchorage, what was your reaction?

Anger. Out of all the things in this community that we should be focusing our time and effort, someone decided this is the issue we need put our resources to.

Defeating Proposition 1 won’t be easy. What do you see as the key to defending Anchorage’s non-discrimination law?
Debunking the proponents message that this proposition will make this city safer because it won’t. Alaska has the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence, non of that is tied to the transgender community. We need to be addressing the real roots of the problem not blaming a marginalized community.

If someone wants to get involved in the No on Prop 1 campaign, what would you suggest?
DONATE!!! Your money or time.

Lillian Lennon, Field Organizer

New to activism, Lillian organized Talkeetna, Alaska’s first Pride Festival in 2017 and became involved as a volunteer with Fair Anchorage soon after. She plans to build her Pride organization into a nonprofit and possibly expand to the greater valley.

What inspired you to work on Fair Anchorage’s campaign to defeat Proposition 1?
I’ve always been an activist at heart, and I think it is about time that we force hate and discrimination out of Anchorage. I felt that it was my duty as a citizen of Anchorage and a human being to be a part of this movement.

Why do you love Anchorage? What’s your favorite thing about our city?
I love Anchorage because of it’s people and diversity. I love that in times like these, the people of Anchorage can come together in support of love and inclusivity.

When you first heard that Proposition 1 would be on the April ballot in Anchorage, what was your reaction?
I was appalled to see that once again, one of our most vulnerable communities was being maliciously targeted. While it is horrible that human rights become such a divided issue, I want to take this as an opportunity to educate the public and further discussion, ending this misguided hate once and for all.

Defeating Proposition 1 won’t be easy. What do you see as the key to defending Anchorage’s non-discrimination law?
The key to defeating Proposition 1 and upholding Anchorage’s non-discrimination law is education. Most people aren’t aware that an attack on protections for transgender people exists. Repealing these protections would prove devastating to the transgender and gender nonconforming communities and would welcome discrimination back into Anchorage.

If someone wants to get involved in the No on Prop 1 campaign, what would you suggest?
Getting involved is easy. We’ve come a long way in the campaign, but obviously have a long way still to go, which is why we need so much support from our community.  We have frequent opportunities for volunteers to canvass or phone bank for the Fair Anchorage campaign, acting as one of our biggest means of communication. Simply telling friends about our campaign and the struggle for equal protections we face can be so integral in our fight.

We are thrilled to welcome this team onboard, but we know that the success of our campaign relies on more than just leadership — our strong coalitions and grassroots supporters are essential in our campaign’s success. The No on Prop 1 movement continues to grow every day, and our leadership is ready to jump in the trenches and do the important work of protecting our transgender friends, family, and neighbors by voting No on Prop 1 on April 3rd.

Join them by signing up to join our Citywide Action Team!