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Press Releases

Breaking: Fair Anchorage Announces Defeat of Prop 1

By | Press Releases

ANCHORAGE — Today Fair Anchorage announced, based on the most recent numbers released by municipal officials, that Proposition 1, a ballot measure that would have removed nondiscrimination protections for transgender people from Anchorage’s city ordinances, has been defeated. The municipality has yet to officially declare the results, but with the NO campaign leading by 52.7%, and the YES campaign trailing behind by 47.3% with approximately fewer than 10K votes left to count, the campaign has declared it nearly impossible for Proposition 1 to pass.

This makes Anchorage the first American jurisdiction to uphold transgender protections on a standalone ballot measure. This win ensures that Anchorage remains one of more than 250 cities and 18 states across the country with similar protections in place.

“Today Anchorage voters rejected fear and intimidation to affirm that everyone in our city should have the same fundamental dignity and protection under the law,” said Lillian Lennon, field organizer for Fair Anchorage, the campaign to defeat Proposition 1. “As a transgender woman, this victory is deeply personal to me and to so many of us in the transgender community. It means voters saw past misleading tactics by opponents of transgender equality in order to treat people like me fairly. In a world that can be so hostile to transgender people in our daily lives, to know that the city of Anchorage has our backs means everything. I’m grateful to the voters, volunteers, and hard-working supporters of our campaign who worked tirelessly to make this night possible.”

“This groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind victory could never have happened without the hard work and courage of transgender people and their families in Anchorage who shared their experiences and stories of how Prop 1 would impact them,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager of Fair Anchorage. “When we learned last year that Proposition 1 might be on the ballot, we began to create a coalition that our city has never seen before. We brought together a powerful alliance of bipartisan elected officials, businesses, faith leaders, safety advocates, women, educators, and families to send the message that Anchorage values freedom for all. This is a victory not only for transgender people, but for their allies and everyone who is proud to call Anchorage a welcoming place.”

Fair Anchorage has run a robust campaign since spring 2017 that has featured local Anchorage residents who would be directly and negatively affected by repeal of the law, particularly transgender youth and their families. In addition, Anchorage’s leading experts on public safety and women’s privacy, including the executive director of STAR, Anchorage’s leading organization to prevent sexual violence; the Anchorage Education Association; more than 110 local bipartisan community leaders; 50 Anchorage businesses including the Anchorage Chamber, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Visit Anchorage; and 40 faith leaders and congregations all called on voters to oppose Proposition 1.

More than 250 Fair Anchorage volunteers completed 515 volunteer shifts, knocked on over 2,000 doors, made over 50,000 phone calls, and engaged in over 13,000 direct conversations with Anchorage voters. The campaign garnered nearly 1,200 individual grassroots donors.

Paid for by Fair Anchorage, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC; Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA; and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

 

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‘No on Prop 1’ Campaign Releases Election Night Statement

By | Press Releases

ANCHORAGE — With only partial results available, Anchorage municipal officials tonight announced that they have counted 49,806 ballots and that the Proposition 1 election is too close to call. An unknown number of ballots are expected to arrive via the mail in the coming days.

The partial results show that 53.9% of people have voted “No” on Proposition 1 and 46.1% have voted “Yes.” If passed, Prop 1 would remove nondiscrimination protections from Anchorage’s city ordinances.

“As this election comes to a close and the final votes are counted, I hope Anchorage residents are proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager of Fair Anchorage. “Together, we built one of the most incredible, diverse coalitions that Anchorage has ever seen — with parents and families standing alongside faith leaders, safety advocates, educators and iconic local businesses — united behind the belief that Anchorage is stronger when our laws protect transgender people from discrimination.

“Nothing is final until the last ballot is counted — but based on the current numbers, we are hopeful that a majority of Anchorage voters will reject this divisive measure to roll back basic protections for our transgender neighbors and friends. Our team will continue working to ensure every vote is counted and that the voice of every single Anchorage voter is heard in this historic election, because the stakes are too high for anything less.”

This year marks the first time that Anchorage has implemented a 100 percent vote-by-mail system. Voters must have their ballots postmarked by April 3, or drop off their ballots in one of several dropboxes around the city by 8 p.m. Following Election Day, Anchorage municipal officials have 10 days to continue counting ballots postmarked by April 3 and to certify the election results.

Paid for by Fair Anchorage, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC; Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA; and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

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Law Enforcement, Republicans, and 110+ Community Leaders Oppose Prop 1

By | Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE — A nonpartisan group of more than 110 Anchorage community leaders, including a number of Republicans and law enforcement officers, have announced that they oppose Proposition 1, the ballot measure that would repeal Anchorage’s two-year-old transgender nondiscrimination law.

The full list can be found here.

“Proposition 1 is one of the most divisive, harmful initiatives I’ve seen on the ballot in our beloved city,” said Arliss Sturgulewski, a former Republican state Senator who served for nearly 15 years. “Other cities have passed initiatives like Prop 1, and we have seen the consequence: businesses, tourists, and major events went elsewhere. This spring we have a chance to learn from their mistakes. We’ll say loud and clear that although Anchorage is welcoming, we do not welcome discrimination.”

“The Municipality of Anchorage currently has a sensible system of protecting everyone’s right to use public facilities in a manner that is protective of individual privacy and that avoids needless government intrusion into intimate daily personal decisions,” said Bill Evans, former Republican Assembly member, attorney, and author of Anchorage’s nondiscrimination law. “The best proof of this system is that there have been no problems associated with bathroom use the past two years. Do not abandon this common-sense, realistic and workable approach. Vote NO on Prop 1.”

“While backers of Prop. 1 claim they’re advocating for public safety, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Mike Stumbaugh, president of Anchorage Firefighters Union Local 1264. “And in the 200-plus cities and 18 states with laws nearly identical to Anchorage’s nondiscrimination law, the results have been the same: Protecting transgender people is not a threat to public safety — here in Anchorage or anywhere else in the country.”

“If there were public safety problems from the law, I would support changes,” said Paul Honeman, former APD police officer and former Anchorage Assembly member. “But it is extremely clear that Anchorage has not had safety problems from our equality ordinance.”

“Proposition 1 is unethical and unnecessary,” said Andrew Halcro, former Republican state legislator. “I find it absolutely insulting.”

“Proposition 1 is about vilifying a group of people who are different,” said Ron McGee, former spokesperson of the Anchorage Police Department. “We all know these people; they are our sons and daughters, the kid who grew up down the street from us, or that young person who just got hired at your work. I choose to love these people, not make them into outcasts. That’s why I’m voting no against Proposition 1 on April 3.”

“Alaska’s constitution is clear in its emphasis on political, civil and religious liberty and on the individual rights of all Alaskans,” said Vic Fischer, who served in Alaska’s territorial Legislature and its state Senate, was a delegate to the 1955 Alaska Constitutional Convention, and helped author Alaska’s state constitution. “If you, as an Alaskan, agree with Alaska’s fundamental constitutional principles – please vote “no” on Proposition 1.”

Additionally, Medical Park Family Care, one of the city’s oldest, largest, and most respected private health care providers, added its name to more than 30 other businesses, including the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, who are urging voters to vote No on Prop 1.

Earlier this week, the Anchorage Education Association, the second largest organization of teachers in Alaska with more than 3,300 members, announced its opposition to Proposition 1, stating that it would harm students and leave them feeling unsafe in school. More than 40 faith leaders have called the initiative “discriminatory and harmful” to transgender people in Anchorage. Anchorage’s leading experts working on behalf of safety and privacy for women are also opposing Proposition 1.

For more information, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org

Paid for by Fair Anchorage No on Prop 1, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, Chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA;
and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

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Parents and Transgender Youth Host Final Canvass for No on Prop 1 Push

By | Press Releases

FOR PLANNING PURPOSESMarch 29, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE
 – Transgender youth, their parents, and a broad coalition of Anchorage residents will canvass together on Saturday morning in the final push to defeat Proposition 1, which would repeal basic protections for transgender people from discrimination under municipal law. Families who would be most impacted by Proposition 1 will be available for interviews with the media.

The canvass coincides with International Transgender Day of Visibility—a day focused on elevating the experiences and contributions of transgender people in their communities.

  • WHO: Parents, transgender children alongside a broad coalition of Anchorage residents voting no on Prop 1—including David Lockard and his transgender son Col, who have been featured in No on Prop 1 advertising; and Cathy Gillis and her transgender son CJ, who were featured this week in a KTVA story about the harmful ramifications of Prop 1 on transgender youth.

  • WHAT: No on Prop 1 canvass on Transgender Day of Visibility, with remarks by Anchorage families who would be impacted by Prop 1.

  • WHEN: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PMSaturday, March 31st

  • WHERE: 1057 Fireweed Ln; Anchorage

Anchorage’s leading experts on public safety and women’s privacy, educators, and more than 30 Anchorage businesses and 40 faith leaders and congregations have called on voters to oppose Proposition 1 and vote no on the ballot measure by April 3. Fair Anchorage has led a robust campaign featuring local residents who would be directly and negatively affected by repeal of the law.

For more information, visit www.fairanchorage.org.

Paid for by Fair Anchorage No on Prop 1, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, Chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA;
and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

Anchorage Education Association Urges No Vote on Prop 1

By | Press Releases


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 March 27, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Education Association, representing thousands of teachers across the city, today announced its opposition to Proposition 1 in Anchorage.

Proposition 1 would repeal portions of Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance, removing protections against discrimination for transgender people, including the protections that keep transgender students safe in Anchorage’s public schools.

“The members of the Anchorage Education Association are proud to stand with business and community groups in saying ‘No’ to Proposition 1. Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance protects everyone, but it’s particularly important for students we serve every day,” said Tom Klaameyer, President of the Anchorage Education Association. “Our educators will always stand up for students and make sure that they are safe and respected in all Anchorage schools.”

“As educators, we encourage all our students to be their true selves and we celebrate their uniqueness and diversity,” said Shauna Booton, AEA member and public school teacher in Anchorage. “Shouldn’t our students who are transgender be included in that? Proposition 1 would require schools to discriminate against students who are transgender and Anchorage students deserve far better than that!”

The coalition opposing Proposition 1 continues to grow. 50+ businesses joined the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation in urging voters to reject Prop 1, while more than 40 faith leaders have called the initiative “discriminatory and harmful” to transgender people in Anchorage.

“We are so grateful for the support of Anchorage Education Association and its more than 13,000 members,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager for the No on Prop 1 campaign. “Having the support of teachers sends a strong message that Prop 1 is bad for Anchorage and bad for students.”

For more information, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org

Paid for by Fair Anchorage No on Prop 1, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, Chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA;
and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

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“Yes on 1” Airs Ad Without Permission From Homeless Shelter

By | Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org 

ANCHORAGE – The “Yes on 1” campaign, who is attempting to repeal Anchorage’s two-year-old transgender nondiscrimination law, began airing TV and radio ads this week aiming to paint an incident at Downtown Hope Shelter as a consequence of Anchorage’s nondiscrimination law, but failed to request permission from the shelter before doing so. Charlee Lauree, a spokesperson for the shelter, spoke out against the ad in a recent article stating “What Jim Minnery and Prop 1 did, they did without talking to us.

Lauree added that the shelter will soon release a more in-depth statement.”Proponents of Prop 1 are using their new ad to take advantage of a vulnerable transgender woman seeking refuge at a homeless shelter during a difficult time,” said Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage campaign manager. “Backers of Proposition 1 claim to care about protecting women, but Anchorage’s leading safety advocates agree our nondiscrimination law has led to no rise in public safety concerns. No one was hurt in this incident, and a complaint was filed and is being processed, meaning the law is working exactly as it should. Exploiting a homeless shelter and a transgender woman without their permission in an attempt to deceive voters is cruel and not what we stand for as Alaskans. Anchorage voters value dignity and fairness for everyone, including transgender people, and won’t be fooled by these misleading tactics.”

In the ad, proponents of “Yes on 1” intentionally use incorrect pronouns for the woman, whose legal name is Samantha and who has cited other women’s shelters as her home in legal documents.

Kevin Clarkson, an attorney for the Downtown Hope Center, previously told the Anchorage Daily News that Samantha came to the shelter after it was closed, which is part of the reason she was not admitted. The shelter has since clarified that it follows Anchorage municipal code and has housed transgender women in the past. Alaska Family Action conceded on Facebook on March 8th, “This complaint will likely be dismissed based on what actually transpired.”

Anti-transgender activists’ refusal to ask the homeless shelter for permission to use their likeness ironically contradicts the Family Policy Alliance’s recent “Ask Me First” campaign.

This marks the second time in two weeks that backers of Proposition 1 are gaining negative media coverage for deceptive ads. Last week, “Yes on 1” proponents came under fire for featuring a stranger from the Lower 48 because, as Prop 1 chairman Jim Minnery explained, they could not find a person from Alaska willing to star in an ad on their side.

All of Fair Anchorage’s videos have featured local Anchorage residents and experts, including a father and his transgender son, Anchorage’s leading expert on sexual violence, a Presbyterian minister at a local church, and many more community members that are standing against Proposition 1.

For more information about the campaign, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org

 

Paid for by Fair Anchorage No on Prop 1, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, Chair, approved this message.

The top three contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA;
and ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK.

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Faith Leaders Voice Opposition to Prop 1

By | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2018

Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – More than 35 Anchorage faith leaders today announced their opposition to Proposition 1 on the April ballot.

During a press conference today, representatives of faith communities in the city discussed Prop 1 and the harm it would cause to Anchorage residents.

If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance.

“As Christians, we believe that all people are made in the image of God,” said Rev. Ellen Johnson-Price, pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church. “Therefore all people are worthy of dignity and respect, and any law which discriminates against one category of people – treating them as ‘others’ rather than equals – goes against our faith. Proposition 1 does exactly that by singling out transgender people as those who are different and less deserving of equal treatment. That’s why I am voting ‘no’ on this divisive and harmful proposition.”

The coalition of faith leaders represents a wide array of religious backgrounds and denominations who have signed onto a statement that reads:

Our faith is a reflection of the love, kindness, and welcome we have received from our Creator. Those fundamental truths extend to all people and all of creation. We find strength and hope for our community in offering hospitality and grace to everyone we meet. And as faith leaders, we are called to take a stand for those who are most marginalized.

We’re proud that Anchorage law extends commonsense non-discrimination protections to everyone. We strongly oppose Proposition 1 – and any attempt to harm the transgender people who call Anchorage home.

Each of us is made in the image of God and deserves compassion – and equal treatment under the law. We call on our fellow clergy – and all people of faith in Anchorage – to join us in voting No on Proposition 1.

Other speakers at the event included: Rabbi Michael Oblath of Congregation Beth Shalom; Rev. Michael Burke of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; Pastor Martin Eldred, Joy Lutheran Church; Pastor Nico Romeijn-Stout, St. John United Methodist Church; Pastor Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope; and Rachel Simpson of Unity of Anchorage

“Proposition One is an affront to the Christian faith that many of us have committed our lives to,” said Rev. Michael Burke, Sr. Pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. “Rather than loving one’s neighbor, and treating them with dignity and respect, Prop 1 sows the seeds of mistrust, fear, and division I believe that we are better than this.”

A full list of faith leaders who are opposing Prop 1 can be found here: http://FairAnchorage.org/Faith-Leaders

Ballots for Anchorage’s municipal election will be mailed on March 13 and must be returned by April 3.

More Than 40 Local Businesses Join the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage, AEDC to Oppose Prop 1

By | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2018

Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – More than 40 Anchorage businesses have joined with Visit Anchorage, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in opposition to Prop 1.

The business coalition held a press conference today to discuss Prop 1 and the damage it would cause to Anchorage. The coalition boasts large, multinational corporations like BP and Conoco Phillips alongside iconic, local Anchorage businesses like Beartooth Theaterpub & Grill and Snow City Café.

If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance.

“We are against Proposition 1,” said John Kauffman, attorney at Stoel Rives in Anchorage. “As business owners, we are concerned that this proposition, if approved, would result in significant negative publicity for our city and harm our economy.  As lawyers, we are concerned about enacting such an ambiguously written law of questionable enforceability that has no reasonable justification.  And as residents of the Anchorage community, we cannot support a proposition that so clearly and intentionally singles out members of our community for discrimination and unequal treatment.”

A full list of businesses that are opposing Prop 1 can be found here: http://www.fairanchorage.org/businesses/

Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC described his organization’s opposition to Prop 1.

“AEDC’s ‘Live. Work. Play.’ initiative is a business-led effort to improve the quality of life in Anchorage, making the city not only a better place to live, but a better climate for business investment. The AEDC Board of Directors has voted to oppose Proposition 1. It is directly contradictory to our values as a community and as businesses we must foster and protect diversity and inclusion in Anchorage,” Popp said.

The business community is also concerned about the impact Prop 1 could have on tourism.

“Visit Anchorage’s Board of Directors opposes Proposition 1. As we have witnessed in other destinations, similar discriminatory initiatives threaten our industry and community interests,” said Julie Saupe, executive director of Visit Anchorage. “Tourism helps maintain private sector jobs and a strong economy. Passage of Proposition 1 will reduce Anchorage’s competitiveness as a welcoming destination for visitors and conventions.”

“The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce believes that passing Proposition 1 would be detrimental to business in the city,” a statement released on Feb. 5 and signed by Chamber President Bruce Bustamante said. “Many conferences and potential new business would be lost due to this discriminatory legislation which would convey the message that Anchorage is not a welcoming city. At a time when all businesses are working to stay competitive and keep workers employed, we simply can’t afford such a discriminatory initiative.”

Ballots for Anchorage’s municipal election will be mailed on March 13 and must be returned by April 3.

For more information about the campaign, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org

No on Prop 1 Campaign Launches TV Ad

By | Press Releases

ANCHORAGE – Fair Anchorage, the No on Prop 1 campaign, today released its first TV ad, which features David Lockard and his son, Col, who is transgender.

If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance. The 30-second ad explains the dangers of Prop 1 and its impact on transgender youth.

“Like most parents, I care deeply about my family,” David Lockard says in the ad. “That includes taking care of our transgender son, Col. … We want him to be safe just like everyone else.”

Col also talks about his fears if Prop 1 is approved by voters: “I’m scared that if Proposition 1 passes, I would be bullied and harassed.”

The ad is on air now. The ad can be viewed here.

“Prop 1 doesn’t make Anchorage safer. There are already laws against going into a bathroom to hurt someone or do them harm. Instead, it puts young people like Col at risk,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager for Fair Anchorage. “We need to make sure everyone knows – and particularly kids – that they are welcome and safe in Anchorage.”

For more information about the campaign, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org

Paid for by Fair Anchorage No on Prop 1, Anchorage, AK. Joshua Decker, Chair, approved this message.
The top 3 contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;

ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK; and Human Rights Campaign; Washington, DC; 907-263-2010

 

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No on Prop 1 Campaign Releases First Radio Ad

By | Press Releases
ANCHORAGE – Fair Anchorage, the No on Prop 1 campaign, today released its first radio ad.
If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance.
“Voting for the April 3 municipal election starts soon so it’s more important than ever to reach out to voters earlier so that they understand Prop 1,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager for Fair Anchorage. “Prop 1 will hurt our city and send a message that we aren’t a welcoming place to live, work and raise a family.”
For the first time, Anchorage voters will vote by mail in a municipal election. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on March 13 and secure drop boxes for ballots will open on the same day.
Here is the transcript:

Anchorage law protects transgender people from discrimination in public spaces.

Because treating everyone fairly is who we are as Alaskans.

But Prop 1 would take away those protections, putting transgender people at risk for harassment and violence, just for using the restroom.

It’s already illegal to enter a restroom to harm someone in Anchorage. All Prop 1 will do is legalize discrimination against transgender people.

Vote no on Prop 1.

Paid for by Fair Anchorage. Top three contributors, FFAA, ACLU, Human Rights Campaign.

For more information about the campaign, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org