Letters to the Editor

Letter: Grateful for balancing priorities

I’m sharing my heartfelt thank-you to the Anchorage Assembly for passing the 2022 municipal budget on Nov. 23, with the community’s big alcohol tax priorities intact: protecting funds for prevention, early education and our new Mobile Crisis Team. Finding resources to restore proposed cuts while still balancing the operating budget for 2022 was not easy, and is very much appreciated.

What I appreciated most: They found a way to fund these community priorities and maintain a historic level of investment in solving homelessness. In the same budget, the Assembly also approved more than $3 million of alcohol tax funding, supporting what the Bronson administration proposed. We didn’t have to choose prevention grants and pre-kindergarten programs or helping our houseless neighbors. We found ways to make solid investments in both.

Too often, we look at our scarce resources as a competition — this instead of that. This organization fights for funding against other organizations also doing good work. This cause is “more worthy” or “more urgent” than the rest. The Assembly’s well-crafted amendment package shows we can balance our priorities, without setting them — or our community — against each other. We will always have to prioritize, but we can find a balance that benefits everyone, with a little generosity of spirit and creative thinking. I’m grateful for their leadership in balancing our shared priorities.

— Anna Brawley


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