Anchorage Assembly member Kevin Cross announces resignation

Anchorage Assembly member Kevin Cross, who represents Chugiak/Eagle River, said late Tuesday during an Assembly meeting that he will resign.

Cross said he will leave no later than April 1, at least a year ahead of the end of his three-year term.

“I will be investing more time in my family who loves me and to the lives of others around me through humble acts of service — free from politics,” Cross said.

His announcement gives the city enough time to include the vacancy in the regular municipal election on April 2. That allows the Chugiak/Eagle River district to elect a new representative while avoiding an expensive special election, he said.

Cross later said that some Anchorage residents who have opposed his legislation have been confrontational and made disparaging comments to him and his family members, and that played a part in his decision.

The Assembly’s work is of “great importance,” Cross said during the meeting. “And very few people will realize just the amount of work we do, particularly the staff and our support. My experience has been it’s mostly hours and hours of code reading, legal opinions, department comments, community emails, answering calls, deciphering graphs and making sense of flowcharts to correct an ever-shifting sea of bureaucracy.”

“Now, important as these actions are, this is not why God put me on Earth. So I will be going back to serving with my heart and hands at a personal level,” he said.


Cross, a real estate broker and self-described conservative, handily won his Assembly seat in the 2022 election. He entered city politics amid frequent clashes between the moderate-to-progressive Assembly majority and conservative Mayor Dave Bronson.

Cross quickly became seen by others on the Assembly as a conscientious decision-maker and somewhat of a political maverick.

He has supported many of Bronson’s policies and proposals, like reining in the city budget and pushing to restart construction of a large homeless shelter. He has advocated for the city to swiftly take action to help vulnerable unsheltered homeless residents. Cross also worked with other Assembly members to champion major reforms of city parking requirements and housing policy in an effort to address the housing shortage.

Alongside member Daniel Volland and former member Forrest Dunbar, Cross sponsored citywide legislation that revoked rules requiring residential and commercial developments to include costly off-street parking. The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly in November 2022.

“I’ve really come to value your service and your friendship. You were one of the first members I was able to team up with and get parking reform passed. And the ability to stay curious and work across the aisle — I think you personify a lot of great things about being a body that can work together,” Volland said.

Cross spent much of this year working with members Randy Sulte, Volland and a group of local builders, development experts and city staff on a proposal to make building triplexes and duplexes easier. City rules have long stifled their construction, despite zoning laws allowing them in many neighborhoods.

Assembly members approved part of that proposal, changing city zoning code on Tuesday. But they ran out of time to discuss the other half, which addresses building code, when the meeting reached midnight. That ordinance appears set for likely approval by the Assembly at its next meeting Jan. 9.

Over the summer, Cross and Assembly vice chair Meg Zaletel proposed a sweeping and controversial overhaul of city zoning laws, which elicited a wave of fierce opposition from many residents. Cross faced derision and criticism from some.

Some of that backlash spilled over to Cross’ family members, and that played a large role in his decision to leave, he said after the meeting Tuesday.

Volland and Zaletel later whittled down the proposal to address some criticisms of the measure. In September, they delayed consideration of the legislation until June in order to give the city Planning and Zoning Commission time to review it and take public input.

Zaletel, along with several other Assembly members on Tuesday night, expressed regret at Cross’ resignation.

“I treat this resolution as something I don’t want to approve, but I need to honor a member’s wishes,” she said, before voting to approve a resolution to accept his departure.

Cross on Wednesday said he has a “profound level of respect and appreciation for all current and former members of the Assembly and what they have been through.”

“I think we as citizens have an obligation to be civil to each other even when we disagree. And I’ve seen a remarkably lower level of that than I would have anticipated prior to serving on the Assembly,” he said. “And that’s not to any one particular side, that’s both sides.”

[Correction: One piece of the two-part proposal to change city rules for triplex and fourplex development was approved Tuesday night. A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that the Assembly ran out of time and the vote would take place in January. Also, Cross will leave the Assembly by April 1. A previous version incorrectly said he would depart sometime in April.]

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at