My turn: Help those ineligible for checks

Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2008

I have read many of the discrimination complaints regarding the executive order signed by Gov. Sarah Palin for the energy assistance package recently, and found there were many flaws regarding the process to determine which residents of the state of Alaska were qualified.

The list of ineligible people includes those who have been residing in the state continually since as long as March of 2007, or those who had paperwork that may have been filed for the annual Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks improperly. It is also not limited to those who may, for one reason or another, have their wages garnished but will be in need of the stimulus over the next six months or longer to come.

Every person I have spoken with, including a person who works in our local legislative office in Ketchikan, has given an opinion that there are going to be many people who are going to be left out in the cold this winter, so to speak. I too am one of those people, and to give a short synopsis, I have lived here a total of 25 years and have been back in Alaska as a legal resident since May of last year.

Rather than take advantage and fudge things a bit, I thought I should not even file for a dividend this year, only to find out I will not even get a chance to speak my opinion about this subject, much less receive my part of the energy assistance package. On one hand I don't want to feel greedy, but on the other I want my case heard individually, and as a citizen of not only Alaska but the United States of America, I have that right.

I wrote several e-mails to Sen. Bert Stedman, Rep. Kyle Johansen and the governor's representative Jerry Burnett, whose e-mail is jerry.burnett@alaska.gov. I urge the rest of you who are concerned to write.

Plain and simple, it may cause temporary grief in the future for a few of our peers; however, the long-term rewards for those who have lived in the state and deserve a fair shot at the equal opportunity will far outweigh the short-term effects.

The purpose of this letter is to start the petitioning process and gain 50,000 registered voter signatures by Sept. 10 to put a temporary injunction on the checks from being distributed so the process of which people were based for their eligibility can be scrutinized through the legal system to start the process of a class action lawsuit for those who were wrongfully deemed ineligible. Contact me at will_haro@hotmail.com to sign a petition.

• Bill Meck is a resident of Ketchikan.



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