Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the beginnings of a hopefully long and sunny summer. I have been enjoying talking with folks as I see them in the neighborhood and at community events, and hearing their issues, concerns and ideas. Please know that I am always available to listen to you and work with you to find solutions to any problems you may have.
One topic I have heard a lot about is crime, which has affected all of us. For that reason I voted to repeal SB91 in 2017, and although that effort ultimately failed, the legislature has since taken steps to fix the worst parts of that legislation. House Bill 312, which I supported, took aim at some of these bad parts of SB91 and made the following major changes:
- Ends mandatory release (“catch-and-release”) requirements and gives judges more power to hold offenders awaiting trial;
- Allows out-of-state criminal records to be considered when setting release conditions; and
- Streamlines the process to criminalize new and dangerous “designer” drugs.
Beyond HB312, there was legislation and funding that will make our streets, neighborhoods and businesses safer. I was happy to support these changes, some of which include:
- Increased funding for more Troopers and prosecutors in next year’s budget;
- Increased penalties for theft and class C felonies (including vehicle theft) in SB54; and
- Prioritized restitution payments to victims using PFDs withheld from criminals in HB216.
There is more to be done to reduce crime, but I am glad that the legislature took some steps to protect Alaskans. I was also pleased to see 30 more APD officers being sworn in, as we know that Anchorage does not have the number of police officers it needs.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions relating to crime in our neighborhood or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me.
An upcoming opportunity for you to tell me what matters to you and your family is the East Anchorage Town Hall picnic. It takes place next Tuesday, June 26th, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Lidia Selkregg Chalet (1600 Lidia Selkregg Ln). I hope to see you there; we’re buying the pizza!
It is an honor to represent you.