Labor ordinance: I am not a supporter of the labor ordinance 'cause it takes away the voice of our municipal workers. Our municipal employees make our city run and should feel their city supports them and appreciates the work they put in daily. Our police officers and other municipal employees put their lives on the line every day to make our city a safer and better place and feel they should not have to worry about their health and retirement plans because they have earned them.
If we don't fight for them, then they will move to other cities and states that will. In a city that continues to grow every year, we can't afford to lose more police officers.
School funding: By the start of the 2014 fall semester, I will have five children attending the Anchorage School District at every level -- elementary school, middle school and high school. (Can't believe I'm that old already.) So as a father of five children I am very concerned about the quality of education provided in our public schools and hope that a student from East Anchorage receives the same education as a student from South or West Anchorage.
But I also would like to know these funds are spent where needed most. Very similar to losing police officers, if our city does not fight for teachers then we will lose them to states providing better incentives to teach. Graduation from high school increases young people's chances of success -- with direct benefits in areas of crime, public assistance, employment and much more.
In three years on the Assembly, I would like to accomplish the following:
I would like to see those on the Assembly put their political beliefs aside and focus on what's best for the citizens of Anchorage. Do their choices benefit the city or themselves? It's been too much about this side or that side instead of our side. And we wonder why the majority of the citizens do not vote. ... They don't believe in those representing them and have lost faith in politics.
In my three years, I want to bring faith back -- give people a reason to believe again!
Subject of my choosing: My priorities are to lower crime and create safer neighborhoods. How do we do this? Through a focus on education, work force development and community revitalization. These are all pieces of the puzzle. The more students we educate on their options after high school, with choices in college and vocational training, the better off our community will be because that will increase their chances of making better choices in life. Work force development is not only for the young; there are many services and training needed by adults but many times they're not aware of these opportunities.
That brings us to community revitalization. There's a disconnect of services to the community and organizations to the community. Our schools and law enforcement would greatly benefit from having strengthened relationships with the many communities represented in East Anchorage. But we also need to bridge the gap between services and community groups to empower our diverse communities to be the provider of these solutions. It's not to re-create the wheel but to ensure that existing services are reaching their target.
If these goals can be met, this will directly impact our communities in a positive way, making our neighborhoods safer, lowering crime and increasing the value of property.
By MAO TOSI