I got into this race 10 weeks ago because I saw Anchorage through my children's eyes. Through them, I see the potential of a vibrant, diverse and united community that embraces its many cultures and perspectives.
Over the 10 weeks, I have stayed focused on how we make Anchorage safe, secure and strong for all of Anchorage's residents. I've put forward ideas for improving public safety, building workforce housing, educating and training our children for Alaska's jobs and diversifying Anchorage's economy. I enjoyed the many debates with Andrew Halcro and Dan Coffey and others where we put forward a positive vision for Anchorage.
Unfortunately, in the last week the mayoral campaign took a disturbing turn. Obscene and false accusations have been made against me and persist in the final days of the campaign. They reflect a shameless and desperate effort to distract and divide voters.
As I told Alaska Dispatch News on Saturday, these accusations are baseless and ridiculous. My children had to hear them. So did Ms. Demboski's.
I have spent my career strengthening the justice system to protect families and children. As a prosecutor, I represented victims of violent and vicious crimes. When I represented Anchorage in the Alaska Legislature, I championed legislation to strengthen sentencing requirements for sexual abuse of a minor, and I served on the Alaska Criminal Justice Council.
Voters deserve better than being pulled into this new low for Alaska politics.
As I have struggled with the accusations of the last week, I remembered back to when I was 13 and the Torah portion I read at my bar mitzvah from Exodus 23:
You must not carry false rumors. You shall not join hands with the guilty to act as a malicious witness. You shall neither side with the mighty to do wrong. You should not give perverse testimony in a dispute so as to pervert it in favor of the mighty.
Today, I look back at our campaign and when I look at it through my children's eyes I can be proud of what we did. We stayed positive and focused on the issues voters care about.
We have run our campaign knowing people are watching. How one runs a campaign is indicative of how they will lead the city. It shows how they unite this community. The petty and personal attacks of the last week do not reflect Anchorage's values. They do not reflect the leadership Anchorage needs.
I would be honored to have your vote on Tuesday.
Ethan Berkowitz is a candidate for mayor of Anchorage.