Mara Early has the experience

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, October 02, 2005

Last Thursday's article, "Assembly candidate Early pressured to bow out of race," contains some faulty assessments of a talented woman. The problematic area begins, "Powell said Doll has the most pertinent life and professional experience of the candidates in the race." This just isn't true: Powell and other higher-ups in the local Democratic party, in attempting to manage this election, have lost track of what is best for the community. They have gotten so "caught up in the moment," that they have ignored the impressive life that Mara Early has led, and the work that she has done for Juneau.

Early's "pertinent life experience" beats Doll's by 14 years: Early has lived in Juneau for 23 years, the first 17 in the valley, and thereafter out the road and downtown. Doll moved to Juneau in 1997.

For an admittedly young candidate, Early's pertinent "professional experience" is impressive. She started out as student body president at Juneau-Douglas High School. Then she interned with former Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer. She received a degree in political science from Southern Oregon University, with minors in French and women's studies. For her political science practicum, she interned with state Rep. Beth Kerttula.

While Powell claims that Early does not know "what is best for the community," she seems to be immersing herself in the workings of that community. Early is the chair for the Juneau Coalition for Youth (formerly Mayor's Task Force for Youth), secretary for the Filipino American Association, a board member for Opera to Go!, a member of the Juneau School District Strategy 3 Committee, a participant in the United Way Compass Group, the (nonpartisan) Women's Voices Organization, an organizer in ASSETS awareness for the Association of Alaska School Boards. Because she respects her roots, Early is now an adviser to the JDHS student government. Early is a student at University of Alaska Southeast, earning her master's in public administration. Mara Early is an accomplished lifelong Alaskan. Her "pertinent life and professional experience" is the most in tune with what the assembly needs: a voice that knows Juneau - all of its corners, not just the liberal parts.

Mike James


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