Out of all the states in the United States of America, Alaska is the most exotic state. Yet, Anchorage, Alaska has a population of nearly 300,000 people. Therefore, what is the political climate of this city?
Anchorage, Alaska is a liberal-leaning city. In the 2020 election, 49.5% of the citizens of Anchorage, Alaska voted Democrat, 46.4% voted Republican, and the remaining 4.1% voted Independent. Anchorage, Alaska’s voting preference has changed multiple times over the past six presidential elections.
As you can see Anchorage, Alaska is on the edge of a political preference. Due to the diversity of political thought, some interesting movements have taken place in Anchorage. Read on to learn more about the political history of Anchorage, Alaska.
In the 2020 presidential election, 49.5% of Anchorage, Alaska residents voted Democrat, 46.4% voted Republican, and the remaining 4.1% voted Independent. To start with, you can see that there is a very very small difference between how many voted Democrat versus how many voted Republican.
The city is very much split in the middle based on its political opinion. This is also reflected in their political trends from the past six presidential elections. Six presidential elections ago, during the 2000 presidential election, Anchorage, Alaska voted democrat and then preceded to vote republican for the next four presidential elections. Only in the 2020 election did they go back to voting Democrat.
It is highly unusual for a community to bounce between Republican and Democrat as much as Anchorage has with such a small marginal difference between their voting preference. Another odd thing is that 4.1% of the population voted Independent. While it is usual for people to vote Independent, usually only 1%-2% of the population votes Independent. Anchorage really shows its radical thinking with its high Independent voting population.
Since Alaska has such a small population compared to the amount of land in the state, they only have one congressional representative. Still, since Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, their preference is taken high into account for who they want as their congressional representative. Anchorage has only had four congressional representatives since Alaska became a state. Anchorage, Alaska has actually switched every other representative from being a Republican representative or a Democrat representative.
Anchorage, Alaska’s most recent representative was a Republican. He recently died in 2022 and has not been replaced yet. His name was Don Young.
Don Young was a remarkable man. He moved to Alaska back in 1959 after getting out of the military. He worked several jobs from sailing and fishing. He became mayor in 1964 and gained an interest in politics. He was the longest-serving representative of a state in the history of the United States of America. He was loved by the community, so no one wanted to remove him from office.
Don Young served as the congressional representative of Anchorage, Alaska from 1973-2022, when he died. He was known in congress for his long term in politics. He was described to have a “brusque” and “off-color” demeanor that reflected the backcountry man he was at heart. He represented the people of Alaska well during his time in office.
Anchorage, Alaska has a very active city council. They take a special interest in each of the citizens of the communities needs. Their current mayor is Dave Bronson who has lived in Anchorage, Alaska for the past 29 years. He graduated with a bachelor’s in science and has worked as a pilot for the US Air Force.
The city of Anchorage, Alaska is split into six districts that are represented by strong members of the community who care for Anchorage.
In the first district is Christopher Constant. He has worked both as a real estate agent and a behavioral health specialist, specializing in cases dealing with substance abuse. His job experiences have prepared him for his political career. His time working as a real estate agent helped him know the city of Anchorage very well and prepared him to care for the city. His time working as a behavioral health specialist specialized in dealing with substance abuse cases inspired him to make an initiative that tackles issues with drug abuse in the city of Anchorage.
In the second district is Kevin Cross. Kevin Cross is an entrepreneur at heart. He has started many businesses and is very good at construction work. He worked for 16 years in the pipe industry. He then retired to spend time with family and focused on flipping houses. He has volunteered his talents to help his community by working extensively with Habitat for Humanity to provide affordable housing to people within the community of Anchorage, Alaska.
In the third district is Kameron Perez-Verdia. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, so he has very strong ties to the community. He has been very active in non-profits in the community and even has his own that focuses on family relationships within the community. He also has worked on the school board and prioritizes the education of the children of Anchorage, Alaska.
In the fourth district is Felix Rivera. Felix Rivera came to school in Anchorage, Alaska and fell in love with the city, and refused to leave. He previously worked as the Constituent Relations and Special Assistant for the Mayor’s Office which prepared him for his role in the city council. He has done a lot of work in journalism. His greatest accomplishment is his work with the LGBTQ+ community. He has made sure that they have access to housing, work, and other amenities, and is trying to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
In the fifth district is Forrest Dunbar. Forrest works part-time as a corporate attorney as well as serves as a Judge Advocate and Captain in the Alaska Army National Guard, where he played a significant role in drafting the Alaska Code of Military Justice. His work has prepared him for his role in the city council. He is very much aware of the laws of the city and is responsible for making sure that they help the citizens of Anchorage, Alaska.
In the sixth district is Suzanne LaFrance. She is very active in non-profit organizations in Anchorage, Alaska. She has worked in hospice to help her community. She also is very active with the Anchorage school board. She has been a part of the PTA for years now and believes that education is the most important thing she can be involved in.
Anchorage, Alaska has a rich history with LGBTQ+ residents. Seven years after the Stone Wall Riots, Anchorage held its first pride parade. The year after they had a special parade protesting the right to be able to not be fired from their job for being gay. The workers were so afraid of losing their jobs that they put paper bags on their faces and cut holes out for their eyes during the march. This shows the ferociousness of discrimination that existed at the time.
Years passed and they opened the first LGBTQ+ Community Center in the city of Anchorage. On its opening day, there was a massive celebration. However, a group of angry mobsters ran and threw tear gas into the building and left. The people left the building and started celebrating outside. Once the tear gas settled down, they went inside and finished their celebration, showing the mobsters that there was nothing they could do to silence the LGBTQ+ community anymore.
In 1994, Jay Brause and Gene Dugan filed for the right to be married. They were denied the right and went to fight this denial with Alaska’s Superior Court. They fought for years, but eventually, in 2016, they were given the right to be married.
Despite the progression Anchorage, Alaska has had, it is still one of the more unsafe places for LGBTQ+ individuals. While the people are defended from discrimination, there are no laws in the city of Anchorage that protect their rights. Therefore, if you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, this is a relatively bad place to live.
Black Lives Matter
Anchorage, Alaska has made some large movements to make the community safer for its African American citizens. Recently, they have opened a museum exhibit that showcases not only the struggles but the successes the African American community in Anchorage has had. This has opened up the mind of the community to the difficulties POCs have had in the city and opened them up to being more accepting and less hateful.
Anchorage joined the country in protesting the rights of the African American community when it comes to ending police brutality in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. The Black Lives Matter group was led by no one but the current mayor of Anchorage, Alaska. He supported the people’s cause and wanted the communities voice to be heard. He argued that he would not be proud to be called an American until Black lives do matter.
Many racist people attended the Anchorage Black Lives Matter protest, and many of them wore pro-Trump apparel. When they shouted rude and racist things at protestors, the mayor told the crowd to shout back Black Lives Matter louder every time someone shouted the phrase All Lives Matter. This inspiration was able to keep the protest positive and productive.