The issues facing Alaska voters this year go deeper than how big the dividend will be, where the Legislature will meet, and the alternative voting election system referendum. I hope citizens will think ahead about how the choices we make will impact their grandchildren.
Voters, like all of us human creatures, are more swayed by myths than facts. Myths are not all bad, but some myths keep us trapped in destructive behaviors and unhealthy habits. The health impact of tobacco is one recent example where scientific facts are slowly overcoming centuries of myth-based habit. In our governor's campaign, the myth that a woman is not up to executive leadership also impacts our public health. Volumes of scientific facts about healthy child development fill our libraries, schools, universities, and thousands of Alaska homes. Professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association for Education of the Young Child, and Children's Section of the American Bar Association, continue to educate their members and the public at large about the crucial first three to five years of human life, starting from conception. Several other states have begun to make early childhood development high public policy priority. Alaska is among them. Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is one of the major contributors to this public policy in our state.
Women grasp the importance of such policies. Women are excellent executives as childcare providers, assuring health care maintenance and stimulating intelligence in babies and toddlers. Women understand there is more strength in teamwork. Women know consensus succeeds more than conflict. They begin to practice real politics - the local and everyday getting along and making life better kind - in nursery schools, church schools, and kindergarten. The fact of women's executive leadership skills is strong enough to shatter old myths. Fran Ulmer is more than up to being Alaska's next governor. She is as qualified as any Alaskan has ever been for this job. Please think about how Alaska will be for your grandchildren when you are deciding on your vote. Encourage your friends and neighbors to also make children their highest voting priority.
George W. Brown, M.D.
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