Anchorage Assembly candidate Q&A: How have you prepared for this job?

The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for the April 2 election to the Anchorage Assembly to answer a series of questions on issues facing those bodies. We’re publishing select responses daily. The answers were fact-checked when facts were cited and edited for spelling, grammar and writing style. For more questions and to see all the candidates’ answers, click here. For School Board candidate surveys, click here.

Q: What steps have you taken to prepare for this job? What strengths do you bring to office, and what in your life demonstrates those strengths?


Oliver Schiess

I have spent the last 8 months knocking on nearly 5000 doors, attending local community council meetings and have met with Assembly Members to discuss the issues our city faces. I am a Marine Corps combat veteran and served as a Drill Instructor, an Instructor at the Officer Candidate School and in Acquisition and Logistical Management, where I planned and executed budgets for Marine Corps programs. I will bring my leadership skills and background in responsible spending to the municipality.

Crystal Kennedy

I’ve engaged with my community for 25 years. I arrived in 1994 with my Air Force husband and family and began investing my time and energy into the community. I’ve since gained a depth of experience, knowledge and connections starting with 3 terms as PTA president and various task forces and nonprofit boards to 3 terms on the Anchorage School Board and two statewide boards. I now serve as chair of our local road service board, our Chamber of Commerce board, and my local community council board.



Christine Hill

I have 67 years of life experience from being a waitress, sales manager for a national company, business owner, wife, mother and grandmother. The success of my endeavors can be measured in the sustainability of my marriage, my friends, and the stability of my current businesses.

Meg Zaletel

As a small business owner, attorney, mother, wife, & community advocate, I bring a diverse perspective to the Assembly. I’m nonpartisan, seeking a nonpartisan position. Anchorage faces many challenges & I am looking for real solutions. I’ve knocked on more than 1,000 of my neighbors’ doors to discuss about how to decrease crime and homelessness, address our city’s addiction crisis, and build vibrant neighborhoods for our families. I believe in listening and working together to get things done.

Ron Alleva

Attended and participated in years of Assembly and Committees meetings. My strengths are my education, experience and common sense, along with my ability to act. I can through civil, intelligent dialogue make the right decision for all. From my work ethic, I have taken advantage of opportunities and my success is shown in my accomplishments.


Liz Vazquez

The above long list of community leadership and public office have prepared me for this position. My legal, administrative, audit and finance experience will be valuable. In addition, my ability to do research and analyst of issues will also be valuable.

Dustin Darden

I smoked some really good salmon. I landed a 360 flip down the 4 stairs at Enstar Gas company, you know the ones closest to spenard road.

Kameron Perez-Verdia

I have spent the last 25 years leading non-profit organizations: building teams, balancing budgets, resolving conflict, and finding innovative solutions to complex challenges. My work has strengthened communities by addressing some of our most difficult challenges including homelessness, mental health, addiction, poverty, and education. The strengths I bring to the office are my open mind, desire to listen and find solutions, practical problem solving, and commitment to the people of Anchorage.


Forrest Dunbar

Over the last three years, I have served as the Budget Committee Chair, Transportation Committee Chair, Vice Chair and Chair of the Anchorage Assembly. During that time, I have worked to foster an atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration. I have facilitated the work of my colleagues, while simultaneously putting forward ideas on behalf of my constituents in East Anchorage. I have also answered hundreds of constituent emails, and worked to address the specific concerns.



John Weddleton

Decades of experience in the civic arena and running a small business give me a much needed viewpoint on the Assembly. I learned many years ago that big decisions are made with us or without us. I decided to get involved.