Note from Rep. Gara: Safer Streets, Better Schools

Rep. Gara Newsletter We have all been shaken by a crime spree that has made many people feel unsafe across Anchorage. The same holds true for many communities across Alaska. While police protection is largely a city issue, and I believe the Mayor wants to address the issue, there is a state role for state legislators too. I was not, and am not, happy with legislation passed last year by conservative leaders that massively cut the amount of help communities receive from the state for things like police and firefighters. Public safety isn’t free, and I voted against that legislation, which will cut the help Anchorage receives for these basic services by roughly 67%, or $9 million over two years.
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Note from Rep. Gara: Foster Youth Mentors Needed At Big Brothers/Sisters; Adoptive & Foster Parents Needed Too

Rep. Gara Newsletter I consider it good news when there are ways to help people. Many years ago, when I started working to improve our foster care system, I listened to youth, and learned I had it all wrong. Or partially wrong. One thing they made clear was that foster care isn’t all about, well, just improving the foster care system. It’s about what happens when a youth leaves the system, has no reliable parent, and has no reliable adult to turn to for advice. In prior years statistics have shown high post-foster care homelessness (approx. 35%) and incarceration rates (approx. 20%) and we all want to do better.
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NEWS: Knik Arm Bridge Should Be Removed from Transportation Priority List

Alaska state and flag Anchorage – Representatives Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) encourage the public to comment on the need to stop wasteful spending on the proposed Knik Arm Crossing project. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is accepting public comments until Friday, August 19th on whether the roughly $2 billion bridge project should be removed from the current state transportation priority list.
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NEWS: House Ends Historic Fifth Special Session Without Progress on a Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

Alaska state and flag Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives adjourned the Fifth Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. Lawmakers were unable to reach consensus on the components of the fiscal plan proposed by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Despite the setback, the members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) remain committed to finding acceptable solutions to close the budget gap that can garner approval from the Governor, the Alaska Legislature, and the people of Alaska.
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