Category

Press Releases

Anchorage Superintendent Says Prop 1 Is Unenforceable

By | Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – Anchorage School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop today addressed Prop 1, which would repeal portions of Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance protecting transgender people. While the Anchorage School District is legally prohibited from taking positions on ballot initiatives, Superintendent Bishop made it clear that these existing protections have worked well for the past two years and that if passed, Prop 1 could not be enforced in Anchorage schools

“The enforcement of this policy is not possible,” Bishop said at minute 43 at the Anchorage School Board Meeting. “We will not stand guard at our restroom doors. So as we move forward and learn what this brings to us, we are keeping student safety in mind. There is nothing in the budget that moves forward anyone to play the role of law enforcement in the restroom.”

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

“Prop 1 will hurt students and our city,” 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 and in their school.”

Superintendent Bishop joins Anchorage Chief of Police Justin Doll in questioning how Proposition 1 would be enforced. At an Anchorage Assembly meeting last fall, Chief Doll responded to a question about Proposition 1, saying “I honestly don’t know how we would enforce something like that.”

Earlier this week, former Superintendent Carol Comeau announced her opposition to Prop 1, saying that passage of the initiative “would fail some of our most vulnerable students.” She joins a growing coalition of civic leaders and organizations, including the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, urging a “No” vote on Prop 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 3 contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;

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

 

###

Finance Report Shows Strong Support For No on Prop 1 Campaign

By | Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2018
Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – Fair Anchorage, the No on Prop 1 campaign, raised more than $124,000 to fight an effort to repeal portions of Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance in a report to the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

In addition, the campaign reported more than $291,000 in in-kind contributions and expenditures of about $54,000 for the reporting period between July 7, 2017, and Feb. 1, 2018.

“We are proud of the strong grassroots support for the No on Prop 1 campaign,” said Kati Ward, campaign manager for Fair Anchorage. “Alaskans have rallied to support their transgender friends, family members, and neighbors. Along with partner organizations, they are sending a clear message that Anchorage is a welcoming community and that no one should face discrimination because of who they are.”

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

More details about the campaign finance report:

  • 69 percent of the contributions are from individuals
  • 92 percent of the donations from individuals were from Alaska
  • The campaign reported about $71,000 in cash on hand.

The full report can be viewed here: https://aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/CampaignDisclosure/View.aspx?ID=20409

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

Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Opposes Prop 1 on the April Ballot

By | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2018

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

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 900 companies and more than 50,000 employees, has announced its opposition to Proposition 1, which will be on the ballot in Anchorage on April 3.

Proposition 1 would repeal portions of Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance, removing protections against discrimination for transgender people.

“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 says. “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.”

The statement continues: “Anchorage already has a non-discrimination law in place which was passed in 2015. That law ensures fair and equal treatment for everyone, and we should strive to uphold this standard. Proposition 1 is just not necessary in our city. We can’t afford the negative impacts it would have on our image and our businesses.”

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce joins a growing coalition opposed to Proposition 1. A “no” vote on Proposition 1 will keep the city’s current ordinance in place, protecting everyone from discrimination.

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 3 contributors are Freedom For All Americans, Washington, DC;

ACLU of Alaska, Anchorage, AK; and Human Rights Campaign; Washington, DC;

 

###

Fair Anchorage Responds AG Jeff Sessions’ and Alaska Family Council Attacks on Transgender Rights

By | Press Releases

Contact: Andrea Zekis, 907-263-2014andrea@fairanchorage.org  

Anchorage, AK – Fair Anchorage, a coalition of business, non-profit, labor, and faith organizations, responded today to Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier in the day issuing wide-ranging guidance to the executive branch on the Trump administration’s interpretation of how the government should enforce “religious freedom.”

“Religious freedom is not a right to discriminate,” said Fair Anchorage spokeswoman Andrea Zekis. “If the federal government is going to retreat from protecting the rights of transgender Alaskans, it becomes even more important for the citizens of Anchorage to do it themselves by resoundingly voting “NO” on the Anti-Transgender Prop 1.”

Prop 1 is being spearheaded by the faith-based Alaska Family Council and will appear on Anchorage’s Spring 2018 ballot. It would repeal Anchorage’s non-discrimination law protecting transgender residents from discrimination.

“Prop 1 strips transgender people like me of our rights to participate in public life at the local level in the same way Sessions’ actions today do at the federal level,” Zekis continued. “It is disheartening that some leaders in Washington D.C. and right here in Anchorage, Alaska feel that the only way they can fulfill their own religious values is to trample on the rights of law-abiding transgender Americans. The Fair Anchorage campaign won’t stop pressing the point that transgender people are PEOPLE, just like everyone else. They deserve the same dignity, respect, and freedom from discrimination everyone else does.” 

#   #   #

Fair Anchorage Responds to the Certification of Jim Minnery’s Anti-Transgender Initiative

By | Press Releases

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2017
Contact: Casey Reynolds, (907) 263-2015, Casey_w_reynolds@hotmail.com

Anchorage, AK – Fair Anchorage, a coalition of business, non-profit, labor, and faith organizations, learned late today that an anti-transgender ballot initiative backed by Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery was tentatively certified by the Anchorage Municipal Clerk to go on Anchorage’s mayoral election ballot on April 3, 2018.

Minnery’s initiative would have done two things if enacted:

  1. Bar the Municipality of Anchorage from recognizing the existence of transgender people by defining sex for all municipal purposes as an “immutable biological condition” as determined at birth.
  2. Create a new special right to discriminate against transgender people by repealing the law protecting their right to use facilities “consistent with their gender identity.”

“Anchorage residents know we all took a huge step towards fair and equal treatment for everyone when we passed our non-discrimination ordinance two years ago,” said Fair Anchorage Community Organizer Andrea Zekis. “It is sad that Minnery wants to drag all of us back into a fight about an equal rights law that has worked well and without incident. His hateful attacks on trans folks have been heartbreaking, but the energy we’ve found in our community to resist this attempt to strip people like me of our equal rights has been even more heartwarming.”

Zekis continued, “Fair Anchorage is fully committed to fighting Minnery all the way to the ballot box. We’ll ensure voters hear first-hand what it means to be transgender in Anchorage. They’ll hear of the taunting, bullying, and demonizing we live with every day. They will come to know it is our transgender neighbors who live in fear and most need our compassion and protection.”

The Anchorage Municipal Clerk found that only 6,200 of the 8,200 signatures (about 75%) collected by Minnery met the legal threshold for being counted towards putting the initiative to voters.

Fair Anchorage’s “Decline to Sign” campaign has now persuaded over 6,500 residents to go online or sign up in person to reject the substance of Minnery’s discriminatory initiative and work to fight it when it comes to the ballot this spring. That means more people chose to decline to sign than Minnery had in valid signatures.

“We are disappointed that rather than have a discussion about how to jumpstart the Anchorage economy or make our neighborhoods safer, Mr. Minnery has decided that April’s election should be a referendum on whether our transgender neighbors deserve the same rights as the rest of us,” said Fair Anchorage Chair Joshua A. Decker. “Anchorage needs to move forward and work on building a better, more prosperous city in which everyone can live, work, and play. Rather fighting Minnery’s old divisive battles, we should all work to affirm that Anchorage welcomes everyone and that fairness is an Alaskan value.”

#   #   #

Anchorage voters urged to say no to discrimination

By | Press Releases

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2017
Contact: Casey Reynolds, ACLU of Alaska, (907) 263-2015, Creynolds@acluak.org

Anchorage, Alaska – Fair Anchorage, a coalition of businesses, labor unions, faith organizations, and community groups, is urging voters to say “No” to discrimination by signing a pledge to decline to sign the anti-transgender ballot initiative currently being circulated in our community.

“Anchorage sent a clear message two years ago—we won’t discriminate,” said Rev. Denise Sudbeck, a transgender woman, veteran, and pastor of MCC Last Frontier. “Voters shouldn’t buy the pitch that repealing our city’s non-discrimination protections for transgender people would somehow make us safer. Anchorage residents value fairness and equality and we believe that everyone in our city should be able to earn a living, frequent a business, earn an education, and raise a family free from the fear of discrimination. That is why I will decline to sign.”

On March 28, Kim Minnery, wife of Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery, submitted a ballot initiative application to the Municipality of Anchorage that would roll back key provisions of the non-discrimination ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly in 2015.

Among other things, the initiative filed by the Minnerys would bar the city from recognizing the existence of transgender people by defining sex for all municipal purposes as an “immutable biological condition” as determined at birth and would create a new special right to discriminate against transgender people by repealing the law protecting their right to use facilities “consistent with their gender identity.”

The initiative’s sponsors say they have already begun collecting the approximately 5,700 voter signatures they need to submit before July 20 for it to appear on the April 2018 municipal ballot.

“The backers of this initiative claim to be doing so in the name of religious freedom, but discrimination is not moral, discrimination is not an Alaskan value, and most importantly, discrimination is not Christian,” said Michael Burke, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Anchorage and member of Christians for Equality.

Members of our community who want to send a strong message that Anchorage can’t afford to bring back discrimination can pledge to decline to sign this damaging initiative online at fairanchorage.org.

###