Several local residents have written into the Juneau Empire to express why they are supporting the initiative to restore coastal management to the state. These letters are indicative of the broad grassroots support driving the ‘Yes on 2’ campaign. This is greatly contrasted by big oil providing the bulk of the funds and having their advocacy organization drive the ‘No’ campaign. But there is more to the story of grassroots v. goliath and that is the range of prominent Alaskans across the state speaking out in support of the coastal management initiative. Here is a sample of what they are saying:
Former Governor Tony Knowles: “In the eight years of my administration, the coastal management program enabled one of Alaska’s most active periods of new exploration for and increased development of oil and gas. The Northstar, Alpine, and Badami fields came online, and we opened millions of acres of federal land in the NPR-A. We saw continued production from the Red Dog and Greens Creek mines. The program worked well. It was essential then, and it’s essential today.”
Senate President Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak): “Ballot Measure 2 is an opportunity for Alaskans to vote on reestablishing a coastal zone management program. Alaskans deserve a say in development decisions and communities deserve a place at the table when these decisions are made.”
Past Permenanent Fund CEO Bryon Mallot:“The heart of this initiative is to provide both the State of Alaska and its own coastal communities a voice in Federal decision-making that affects the very lives of Alaska residents. It is a voice that has been taken away and must be restored. The State of Alaska must maintain its sovereignty and must protect the ability of Alaska communities to influence Federal decisions in their areas.”
Former Senator Arliss Sturguleswki (R-Anchorage): “Alaska’s coast is a special place. For over 30 years the state’s coastal management program helped us develop our coastal areas in a way that included local community voices and protected valuable coastal resources. I supported the coastal program as a state senator and I strongly support the initiative to restore coastal management to Alaska. By working together, we can ensure a bright future for Alaska’s unique and rich coastline.”
Former Senator and Constitutional Delegate Vic Fischer: “The concept of maximum local self-government is enshrined in Article 10 of Alaska’s Constitution. Alaska Coastal Management is a tool that embodies this principle while respecting state and federal prerogatives.”
Former State Senator Georgianna Lincoln (D-Ramparts):“It’s time again to stand up for Alaska. Big moneyed Outside interests are trying to buy Alaska’s elections and silence Alaskans’ voices when it comes to coastal management. Ballot Measure 2 gives all our communities, from Barrow to Metlakatla, a real say in development decisions that affect local coastal resources. But Outside corporations don’t want to have to listen to us. Who owns Alaska? We do. Make your voice heard and vote Yes on Ballot Measure 2.”
Former President of Alaska Municipal League and Current Mayor of Kodiak Island Borough Jerome Selby:“We can be negligent and let Federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. manage Alaska’s coast with no input from Alaskans or we can have an Alaska Coastal Management program that gives the people of Alaska a voice in the projects and the management of our coast. How we manage our coast will determine Alaska’s future.”
Whether you listen to your neighbor or these leaders, vote your statehood values and vote for the coast on August 28th.
• Troll is a long-time Alaskan with more than 22 years of experience in fisheries, coastal policy and energy policy. She resides in Douglas.