Should We Watch From The Sidelines?

Contributed by Jessica Wright

In November 2009, we moved to Alaska. Alaska happened to be our last station in my husband’s military career. Our friends at church invited us over for Thanksgiving before my husband got shipped out of the state. 

During the gathering, I heard the discussion on the recent election. They seemed to be concerned.  I asked them why. I asked, “Isn’t Alaska a Republican (conservative) state? They said yes, but they also told me many people including bad people had their eyes on the oil money. (Now I know it’s called PFD). As a soccer mom I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to worry about our state government. Unfortunately, ever since we elected Governor Walker, I can see my friends’ concern become a reality.  

We all know what happened in 2015, he used the veto to prevent us from getting full PFD so instead of getting $2,300, we were getting $1,000. This year, it happened again. The Republican led Senate voted to cap our PFD at $1,000 again on SB 21. 

Some people like Mark Zuckerberg see the PFD as free money. They suggested that we should not rely on government’s cash payment. It makes us Alaskans look like a whole bunch of lazy unproductive people. In reality, PFD is our mineral rights. If the government is sick and tired of paying us dividends, they can just pay us in one lump some payment. We have no rejection on that. The bottom line is that the government has no right to take the money from our pockets and put it into their pockets. That’s the classic act of over-reaching.

So what happened in the election of 2016? Didn’t we vow to get rid of those who tried to take our PFD? Unfortunately, we have only seen three people get replaced in the House and everyone in the Senate got reelected. I think we need to rethink our strategies and do these things instead: 

1. Study the candidates. Lots wolves in sheep’s clothing.  
2. Vote in the Primary. The low turnout rate of 10%-12% really hurts the candidates.  
3. Run for the election. Many people complained that they have nobody to vote for it. 
4. Don’t get frustrated. Some people told me that they see the same people get reelected over and over again, so they decided to give up.   

Like it or not, we are responsible for our state government because we are the ones putting them in the office in the first place. I hope that we can all be united this time to set this thing straight, by putting the right people in the office. May God bless our beautiful country and our state.