Welcome to the 30th Legislative Session

File Photo

by Rep. Zach Fansler

Good Afternoon, the Legislature is speeding through the short, 90-day session, with budget and energy issues continuing to dominate. As the session moves on, please continue to keep in touch on matters important to you and your family.

Ultimately, Alaskans own our valuable resources. Given the volatility of global oil prices and tough economic times all around, we need to work hard to retain our fair share while creating a business structure that brings companies and keeps them in Alaska. We are also working to ensure the state budget is balanced fairly – not only on the backs of our rural communities.

Meet the Staff

Mary Aparezuk (A-baa-kah-zook) Schlosser is Yup’ik from Kotlik. Her grandparents are Joseph and Martina Aparezuk. When she was five, her mother Celestine moved with her to Juneau to work for Ivan M. Ivan, but her greatest memories are from fish camp, pulling, cutting and hanging fish, hunting for eggs and finding possible game from the lookout tower. She attended school in both Kotlik and Juneau, and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and UAS.

In Juneau she has worked for Sealaska Heritage, Goldbelt, State of Alaska, and North Slope Borough in their Government Affairs division. Within her seven years at the State of Alaska, she has worked in the Alaska Department of Transportation, the Office of the Governor, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Legislature. She currently serves on two boards: AWARE—Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, and the Juneau Charter School Academic Advisory Board.

She finds working with Rural Alaska to be infinitely rewarding because of the knowledge and wisdom found in the less touched and far-reaching areas of our great state. She is committed to restoring the dignity of Alaskans who may be looking for —or need—a venue for their voice. She does this while raising two children, Isaac and Talia Schlosser. Her true accomplishments.

Michelle (Macuar) Sparck is a member of the Qissunamiut Tribe of Cev’aq (Chevak,) she is the oldest of the Sparck Triplets, daughters of Harold and Lucy Jones Sparck. Raised in Bethel and Cev’aq, the sisters were gatherers, wild harvesting tundra plants and berries for food, medicine and craft. Michelle attended American University in Washington DC, where she majored in international affairs.

Over the years, Michelle has had a seasoned career in public service, working with both government and non-governmental organizations that benefit Alaska Native Tribes. Michelle has worked for Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and US Representative Don Young. Following her work in Washington, Michelle went on to work for the Association of Village Council Presidents, the Coastal Villages Region Fund, the Alaska Native Health Board and the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation.

Along with her sisters, she is a small business owner of ArXotica, a bath and beauty company inspired by the lands, the sea, and culture, to source its’ ingredients from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. Michelle is married and has two children. She comes to Juneau to work for Representative Fansler in what she calls, “The Great Experiment,” and is pleased to be working for her home region on a range of issues in the 30th Alaska Legislature.

Jill Yordy is originally from Colorado, where she grew up in a small mountain community with her parents Ray and Valerie Sundby and younger brother Eric. She moved to Alaska for graduate school and immediately felt that Alaska was home. She has spent the last 7 years living in Fairbanks where she designed and built a house in 2013. Jill has a 4-year-old daughter, Raven, who keeps her active!

Most of Jill’s professional career has been spent working with communities across Northern Alaska, primarily on conservation issues surrounding water quality and mining. In 2016 she entered the field of politics when she served as the Alaska State Director for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Her academic background is in Archaeology and Anthropology with a focus on exploring the ways that human cultures have interacted with the environment in the past and present. She is also an active volunteer and firmly believes in the power of public participation in all levels of government. She serves on the steering committee for the Western Mining Action Network and served as a National Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

Jill is thrilled to bring her knowledge and passion for public policy and Alaska’s rural communities to Representative Fansler’s office as his committee aide for the Community and Regional Affairs Committee. She’ll also be working on a variety of communications and research projects for the office throughout the legislative session.

House Bills On Our Radar

HB 8 – Introduced by Speaker Edgmon, this bill eliminates the “Alaska Exemption” from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This brought attention to the state’s obligation to enforce protection orders issued by other jurisdictions, including other state, territorial, or tribal courts. I am a co-sponsor.

HB 44 – Introduced by Rep. Grenn, this bill provides a clear and concise list for legislators to refer to when they are determining if they have a conflict on a bill. I am a co-sponsor.

HB 52 – Introduced by Rep. Kawasaki, this bill seeks to add Alaska to the ranks of the majority of states that have recognized the need to properly invest in our children’s future by providing voluntary pre-K in all schools. I am a co-sponsor of this bill.

HB 87 – Introduced by Rep. Stutes, this bill changes the manner that the Board of Fisheries and Board of Game function. It allows members to deliberate on subjects for which they have a declared personal or financial interest according to AS 39.52, the Ethics Act. It retains the clause for members to abstain from voting.

HB 88 – Introduced by Rep. Stutes, this increases the number of seats on the Board of Fisheries from 7 to 9. This bill is currently in the House Fisheries Committee.

We’re here for you, so please keep in touch if you have any comments, concerns or questions on matters important to you and your family. We are in this together!

Alaska State Representative Zach Fansler serves District 38: Akiachak, Akiak, Aniak, Atmautluak, Bethel, Chefornak, Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Eek, Platinum, Goodnews Bay, Kasigluk, Kipnuk, Kongiganak, Kwigillingok, Kwethluk, Marshall, Mekoryuk, Napakiak, Napaskiak, Newtok, Nunapitchak, Quinhagak, Russian Mission, Tuluksak, Tuntutuliak, Nightmute, Toksook Bay, Tununak, Lower Kalskag, and Upper Kalskag.