My turn: Vote Yes on Two

I urge all Alaskans to vote Yes on Ballot Measure 2 this week to help keep the future of our coastal lands and waters in the hands of Alaska’s citizens. It is in our best interests to restore Alaska’s Coastal Management Program.

In 1976, Governor Hammond proposed a coastal management program for Alaska so that Alaskans would have a voice in managing our coasts as new development occurred.

• Alaska’s coastal program protected our precious coastline and way of life successfully for over 30 years;

• It is supported by well-respected Alaskans, including Alaska Senate President Gary Stevens (Kodiak), Former State Senator Arliss Sturgulewski (Anchorage), Representative Bryce Edgmon (Dillingham), and Former Mayor and past Permanent Fund CEO and AFN President Byron Mallott (Juneau/Yakutat);

• It allows local citizens to have a voice in what happens to our coastal lands, waters, and those that inhabit them;

• It provides a “one stop shop” for those who wish to develop to help them figure out the complicated permitting processes required for development.

Alaska has more coastline than any other state in the nation yet right now it is the only coastal state without a coastal management program. We had such a program successfully for 30 years.

• The Coastal Zone Management Act uniquely requires the federal government to follow what the state and local citizens decide;

• In 2011, the Legislature and the governor failed to agree on conditions for extending Alaska’s coastal program and the program expired;

• Through Ballot Measure 2, we now have a chance to regain our influence in federal government decisions about our coastal resources.

With corporate wealth spending over a million dollars on expensive newspaper, radio, and television advertising to influence the few who usually vote during the August election, our hope is to get as many voters as possible out by August 28th to VOTE YES on Ballot Measure 2. Make that miracle happen by telling everyone you know to vote TODAY THROUGH August 28th. Go to http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip_about.php for information on the days, times and locations for early voting. Your vote CAN make a difference. Thank you!

• Mills lives in Juneau

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