Contributed by Patricia Faye-Brazel
It’s time for us to stand up and take back our state legislature for the people of Alaska. We can’t afford to wait anymore for any hope that the career politicians and want to be career politicians will fix the mess that our state is in.
I have spent my life as a community organizer, as an advocate for working people and as a resource for tribes. Through that work in Alaska, over the last 19 years I have learned how resilient and innovative Alaskans are. We are very good at finding local solutions that work for our unique geography and demographics. For far too long this ingenuity has not made it to Juneau and lobbyists have been bending the ears of our representatives instead.
We take pride in our communities and we care about our neighbors. If we see someone broken down on the side of the road in the middle of winter we don’t care what their political orientation is. We stop to help. It’s what you do in Alaska. When someone comes to your house, you offer them tea or coffee and invite them to sit down for a conversation. It’s what you do in Alaska.
Now we need to bring that spirit back to the legislature in Juneau. We need to set aside our differences in political orientation and have conversations with each other about what solutions will work for us and our state.
I have never run for public office before. I have always worked hard behind the scenes to help people find and implement solutions to their problems. Alaska faces many serious problems right now that need to be dealt with. Our budget deficit. Our crumbling infrastructure. Our defunded education system. Our statewide struggles with high rates of domestic violence and drug addiction. Our broken criminal justice system. It has become clear that we can’t afford to wait any longer, we need to step up and be the solutions that we have been waiting for. We can do better and we will do better. We need a representative who is willing to meet with people and hear what problems they see and what ideas they have for solutions - to gather the will of the people and then represent that will in Juneau. I am stepping up to be that representative and do the work that needs to be done.