Letters to the Editor

Letter: Tshibaka is wrong for Alaska

I am an Alaska Native guy, Yup’ik, part of the Curyung Tribe, and my people have lived here in Southwest Alaska for thousands of years in beautiful salmon-rich Bristol Bay, Alaska. I appreciate Kelly Tshibaka’s candidacy, since she is giving people a choice to who they think they want for U.S. senator. But I think she wouldn’t represent Alaska well at all.

I am from rural Alaska — from Dillingham and was born and raised there. I am also a gay man whose partner has served in the U.S. armed forces for more than 20 years at what is now Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Ms. Tshibaka’s previous stance on gay issues gives me a lot of concern, because it doesn’t seem like she’s compassionate on protecting those people who are politically outnumbered and vulnerable — like gay people, who are constantly attacked for their sexual orientation, and/or issues of constant harassment, hate or misunderstanding.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, on the other hand, has been kind, compassionate and understanding of not just my needs, but also of my differing views of her as me being an environmentalist. She also was a key vote to protect those with pre-existing conditions that protected gay rights as someone to have health care.

We all want to live, and I’m thankful for Sen. Murkowski for her backbone and courage to protect the 2010 law. We may not agree on everything, especially on the environment and natural resource issues, but I am so thankful I can trust Sen. Murkowski to listen to me, be kind to me and be there for me if I need it. She has also been constantly kind to my boyfriend and I. Thank you, senator.

I’ll be proudly supporting Sen. Murkowski for reelection. I think she deserves it, because she is a kind person who is friendly, understandable and patiently listens to supporting or opposing views. She reminds me of my former boss Sen. Ted Stevens, for whom I was an intern for and who always had my back.

— Verner Wilson III


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Verner Wilson

Verner Wilson III was born and raised in Dillingham. As a Bristol Bay salmon fisherman his entire life, he's been inspired to be active in the region's pressing environmental issues. He graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University in 2008. He's dedicated to helping protect his Yup’ik Eskimo cultural traditions, and is currently attending Yale University as a candidate for a Masters in Environmental Management degree in 2015.