Contributed by Bert Verrall
My name is Bert Verrall and I’m running for the House in District 11. Our district stretches, roughly, from Clark-Wolverine Road to the Seward-Meridian running between the Parks and the Palmer Wasilla Highway. It also angles up at Trunk Road to the Palmer Fishhook. It is a district that includes nine different precincts and is made up of dozens of little neighborhoods. It is a hodge-podge of little communities made up of a broad range of socio-economic experiences from those of limited means and humble living conditions to gated communities with paved streets and rules regarding where you may park your motorhome. It is a collection of Democrats, Republications, Libertarians, Independents and non-affiliated voters. Religious affiliations are similarly diverse. All these folks have something in common: they are all Alaskans and all deserve equal representation.
All these folks share something else and that is the cherished right of privacy. As an aspiring citizen legislator, I’m trying to meet as many residents of the district that I can, while being mindful of not crossing the line of the right to privacy that Alaskans love. I respect those rights. So I’m visiting a district neighborhood every afternoon, parking on a main road and offering folks the opportunity to stop and say hello. I want to know what’s on the people’s minds and I want to share my views as well, in an effort that we may begin working together to solve Alaska’s problems.
A few words on campaign signs and mailers. You’ve probably noticed all those big, expensive political signs along the highways. I’m sure your mailbox has been filled with those glossy, expensive political mailers that go straight to the trash. That is a lot of spending and a lot of waste, so it’s no wonder that these big money candidates just can’t stop spending when they get to Juneau - it’s already in their blood to spend. I can’t afford that kind of spending, I’m remaining within a budget on this campaign and I’ll do the same when I get to Juneau.
I do have yard signs. My yard signs have been out for a few weeks now and it’s interesting to see what has been put up with them. One of my supporters and contributors has a Trump sign next to mine. Another supporter has a Clinton sign near mine. These folks represent two very different political ideologies that can agree that I’m the best person to represent them in the House. I’m proud that my candidacy has already started to bridge the political divide so that Alaska may move forward. You know my son told me, “When you know someone in the community who is running for office and you trust them, it cuts through party lines.” He also told me, “Political office should be a hassle that you do for others as a service, not a vehicle for personal success. People know you understand this.” Ah, my boy.
So to sum all this up. I want to meet with folks, listen and share ideas. When you see me in your neighborhood, please stop to visit with me. And please remember: when you see those giant billboard signs likely placed illegally in the right of way, that you don’t see mine. And when you throw away all that useless mail with all those glossy pictures of the candidates, remember Bert in the House won’t be sending you any trash.