Vote for people who will stand up for our interests

I have voted for decades for those candidates who truly cared about the people of the YK region. People who worked to protect our land and our water in our region, in our State and in our country. I voted for the candidates who believe in equality and justice for all, kindness and decency in our democracy. The candidates who aren’t pompous and self-serving got my vote in 2020.

This go around it’s even more important than ever that we vote for people who will stand up to the Trump administration and still have our interests at heart.

The past 4 years have been so wrong on lots of different levels and I cannot vote for anyone who enabled Trump to undermine our democracy with his lies. That is why I voted for Biden/Harris.

Here in Alaska I believe new blood is needed in Washington to bring back decency and democracy. I voted for Alyse Galvin to replace Don Young and I encourage you to please consider a vote for Alyse too. There have been years that Young was effective but he’s out of touch and has lost his clout. We need someone who understands today’s issues and that is Alyse. She’ll show up for votes on the floor.

The other individual who I am supporting is Dr. Al Gross to replace Dan Sullivan. Sullivan like Don Young stood quiet as our world was turned upside down with the covid pandemic, the unjust killing of so many black Americans and so much more.

Dr. Al Gross is a tough homegrown Alaskan who won’t stand quiet.

And while the PFD is important so are so many programs in our region. That is why I’m voted for our own homegrown Kuskokwim candidate to continue working hard for us. Tiffany Zulkosky deserves our vote.

It’s the same reason why I voted yes on 1, the oil companies aren’t going to abandon Alaska if they don’t get their way. They will go back negotiating but this time we will get our fair share that not only will mean budgets for needed programs but also for a higher PFD payment. And I voted yes on 2 for election reform!

That’s how I voted and whether you agree or not if you already haven’t early voted or turned in your mail in ballot PLEASE VOTE November 3, 2020. Quyana.

Beverly A Hoffman,

Bethel Elder, Outspoken Voter and Community Advocate

Restore fairness to our tax system – Vote Yes on 1

I’m a 60 year resident of Alaska who taught school for 21 years in four villages in the Lower Yukon School District, and I urge people to vote YES on Ballot Measure 1, also known as the Fair Share Act.

The oil industry and its corporate supporters in Alaska have a dismal record of telling the truth. Just as in the recent ad I saw in this paper, it has promised us things that are not backed up by research. Everything they said was a guess on what could happen in the future.

Under existing law, everything we are familiar with in our state, including the economy, unemployment, education (also universities), senior services, the marine highway, public safety, and more, is suffering because we do not have a fair tax base to support even our most necessary services.

The oil industry is primarily responsible for this because of the huge sums of money they poured into the election campaigns of so many dishonest politicians who voted for the unfair law (SB21) that deprives Alaskans of its fair share of revenues from Alaska’s oilfields.

We are especially not getting the oil income we deserve from our largest and most profitable “legacy fields.” Currently, Alaskans are getting less than 20 percent of the gross revenues from the sale of our oil, and the producers are getting almost 50 percent. Many years ago, I remember Governor Jay Hammond saying this wasn’t a fair way to treat our citizens, and I agree.

I also remember when in 2013, the oil industry and the politicians who supported SB21 promised Alaskans there would be more oil production, more jobs, more money in the Permanent Fund, and more economic growth if SB21 became law. None of this has happened! They lied to us! Just as they continue to do in their present ads.

As an example of how Alaskans have lost jobs since 2013 in every sector, let’s look especially at the oil and gas industry where jobs have been cut over 30% since then (from 14,500 to 9880). We gave up billions of dollars for those false promises, and most of this money went out of state.

In short, we need to vote YES on Ballot Measure 1 to restore fairness to our tax system and allow us to keep the billions of dollars generated by changing the law. This will support our economy with more jobs, as well as safeguard our most basic social and environmental needs, including the guarantee of future responses to serious challenges from climate change!

Frank Keim

Fairbanks, AK

Supporting health degree programs is one of the smartest long-term investments we can make

During the pandemic, Alaska’s oil prices are down, out-of-state tourists are staying home, and our economy is hurting. But as many industries get hit hard, health care jobs continue to be in demand—in fact, the need for new health workers has never been greater.

For Alaskans ready to start a career or return to work, this is a unique opportunity. Filling Alaska’s health care jobs is key to our state’s overall well-being. That’s why the University of Alaska’s health-related degree programs are so important to our collective future.

As president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, I work with health care employers across the state, from Anchorage to Utqiagvik to Ketchikan. One thing they all have in common is that they desperately need more health care professionals of all kinds. They’re especially eager to hire graduates from Alaska’s health programs, rather than from the Lower 48. That’s because someone trained here already knows our state, and is far more likely to stay and work here long term.

When you picture a health career, doctors and nurses might be top of mind. But they’re just part of our diverse health care workforce. Statewide, the University of Alaska system provides more than 70 degree programs in exactly the professions that employers are looking for—from dietetics to dental assisting, pharmacy to public health, surgical technology to social work. All of these jobs pay well and all have an excellent employment outlook.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects that jobs in health care and social assistance will grow by 10.3% in our state through 2028—in terms of total job numbers, that’s far more than any other industry. Across fields, the need is great: For example, we expect an 11.2% increase in jobs for mental health and substance abuse social workers, and an 8.4% increase in jobs for diagnostic medical sonographers, who conduct ultrasounds.

These trends will undoubtedly continue as our state population grows older and their health care needs increase. The U.S. Census Bureau reports by 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 or older. That means getting a health degree is a sound career move—and a real opportunity to make your community healthier and stronger.

We applaud the University of Alaska for continuing to prioritize health degrees in our state, especially at such a critical time. The university’s health programs are strong and stable, and many are now offered either fully online or in-person in communities across Alaska, making it easier to launch a new career wherever you live.

On behalf of health care employers across our state, I know that supporting health degree programs is one of the smartest long-term investments we can make. Health care jobs are an integral part of Alaska’s recovery from the pandemic. I encourage more Alaskans to explore these careers—our state needs you!

Jared C. Kosin, J.D., M.B.A.

President and CEO

Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association

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