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Dixie Hood

Posted: October 1, 2012 - 12:05am
Dixie Hood  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Dixie Hood

Resident of Juneau from October 1975 to the present. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Aug. 26, 1933.

Education: B.A. in Psychology, 1969, San Francisco State University. MA in Psychology with an emphasis in College Teaching, 1971, San Francisco State University. MA in Clinical Psychology, 1983, Sonoma State University. Licensed marriage and family therapist in California and Alaska.

Occupation: No pension and I don’t see “retirement” on my horizon. Working two, sometimes three part-time jobs including self-employment as mental health and substance abuse counselor, mediator for Alaska Court System, respite caregiver, poll worker on Election Day (but not when I’m on the ballot!) and U.S. Census worker (for two years, every decade). Previous employment at the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau as psychology instructor. Admissions counselor — as student activities coordinator, traveled throughout Southeast Alaska providing information about academic programs and financial aid, started student housing, promoted student passes at Eaglecrest, and organized film festivals and other recreational activities.

Family: Single, three adult children: Kerry and Don in the Bay Area, Piper in Bellingham, Wash. Granddaughters Ember in Port Alexander, Ceanne in Mt. Vernon, Wash., teenaged great-granddaughters Sierra and Francheska in Murrieta, Calif. Piper’s husband Marc Livingston worked on the Alaska Pipeline, construction on the Downtown Juneau Public Library and the University of Alaska Southeast Library. They lived in Juneu for several years. He was hired as a miner to explore the reopening of the A-J Mine in the late 1980s. Marc was also a commercial fisherman out of Port Alexander and Sitka. His name is on the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial.

Community service: League of Women Voters, CBJ Parks and Rec Advisory Committee, Mendenhall Refuge Citizen Advisory Group, Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries. Past member of Vladivostok Sister City Committee. Appointed by the governor to State Board of Marital and Family Therapy. Habitat for Humanity’s “First Ladies’ Build” with First Lady Susan Knowles. Alaska ACLU Citizen Activist of the Year 2001 “for her passionate advocacy for equal rights for all Alaskans, her vigorous opposition to discrimination and violence — for her willingness to speak up in the face of injustice.” Member of “Juneau Empire” Citizen Advisory Board. In conjunction with CBJ Department of Parks and Recreation, initiated a 5k, 10k walk or run fundraiser for Special Olympics named the Magnificant Mendenhall Mudpuddle Meet. That was in 1977 and continues as my legacy to this day.

1. What is your highest priority for the CBJ to accomplish during your term in office? Explain why this is a priority and how you would facilitate this change.

Maximize government transparency and public hearings and input throughout the Borough. This would enhance Juneau as a “sustainable community,” protect and improve Alaska’s capital city, the quality of life, work and opportunities for all residents, and create and maintain a positive experience for visitors.

2. What would you suggest to maintain or increase the year-around vitality of the downtown area, given the decreasing number of stores supplying basic needs?

Increase year-round business operations for residents, the arts and other activities drawing members of the public downtown. Develop apartment housing above offices and business locations. Continue the Willoughby District Planning Process.

3. What responsibility does the CBJ have in coordinating public health efforts for such issues as homelessness, the burden of drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors that affect public health?

CBJ has a responsibility to support our regional hospital, including development of a unit for child and adolescent mental health services, and to support the Social Services Advisory Board and the health needs sought by the Commission on Aging. I have long advocated for a Housing First provision for Juneau’s homeless inebriates on the model of Seattle, Fairbanks and Anchorage that is “being studied” by CBJ but way past due.

4. What is your position on the proposed five-year extension of the 1 percent special sales tax and the $25 million infrastructure bond issue, both of which are set to appear before voters in October?

I support both issues and believe them to be financially responsible and in the best interest of the public. I would like to see less “deferred maintenance” and a more effective operational budget for CBJ in the future.

5. What is your position on reopening the AJ mine? Please briefly explain why you do or do not support this project.

I think that all the social and economic values need to be taken into consideration. The Thane Road Neighborhood Association’s long-time effort to get the State Department of Transportation to widen and provide pedestrian and bicycle byways for the existing traffic. Increased traffic and congestion downtown is every bit as much a problem as developing a secondary water supply for our community. A future possibility for an increased revenue stream should not dominate a CBJ decision.

6. What steps can the Assembly take to ensure that the capital remains in Juneau?

Create the sustainable downtown community which is affordable, walkable and enjoyable that I have described in Questions #2 and #3. The Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Alaska Committee need to work in ways to get visitors from up north to come to Juneau. Alaska Airlines has been helpful during the legislative session and PFD special airfares. I am always amazed to learn how many residents of Anchorage and Fairbanks have never been to Juneau.

7. What can the Assembly and CBJ do to increase voter registration, voter turnout, and participation in issues of government?

As I discussed in Question #1, I believe transparency and public hearing by CBJ throughout the Borough would engage citizen interest, involvement and voting.

8. What measures should the CBJ take to increase the municipal water supply sources?

The planning process to enhance and protect the water supply seems to have stalled though funding has been provided. I would urge further study and action on the Draft Plan by the Assembly and Engineering Department.

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