Disappointing, but not exactly a big surprise considering this area’s super embarrassing lack of voter turnout.
That’s my summary of the April 4 voter turnout for the municipal election.
In the race that pitted three locals for the one Assembly seat being vacated by Bill Starr – who termed out – less than 16 percent of the registered voters in the local area actually went to the polls to cast a vote.
That’s one thought.
That is another.
Another one is: Really? Seriously? Gimme a break.
Okay, so Tina Fey and Amy Poehler I am not. But I am about ready to find a local counterpart that might enjoy helping me with a Saturday Night Live Weekend Update type of segment for Chugiak-Eagle River asking what the heck is wrong with people here.
Goodness sakes, folks – not the ladies listed above because I am fairly certain they voted – it is time for a wake-up call regarding not just civic duty, but civic privilege.
One of the above-mentioned gals want to do a video with me for the ECHO News, let me know. I am ready.
It is abundantly sad and pathetic that less than 16 percent of registered voters bothered to get to the polls on Tue., April 4.
I am not trying to shame anybody, but well, yes, shame on you if you couldn’t take 15 minutes out of your busy American day to participate in the one thing that makes America great: voting.
Yes, the parking lots were like a skating rink. Yes, I waded through plenty of standing water and skated across other sections that made me a tad bit nervous to traverse. I got over it, showed the nice folks on the other side of the registration able my state-issued identification and then celebrated my safe return when I got back to the car the Handsome Scotsman has provided for me to drive. Posted a selfie wearing that cool, “I Voted,” sticker.
Yes, I know: I am a bit weird. That is not important: This next couple paragraphs are:
Guess what, folks: People in other countries walk miles and miles and miles – sometimes up to 50 or more miles – just so they can engage in the voting process. They have tears in their eyes when they cast their ballot.
Why is that?
It is because unlike we current Americans, these people know what it means to overcome tyranny and get to – often times for the first time and often times at great cost – vote in an election that will determine who rules where they live.
So is the loss of freedom. So is the effect that voter apathy will have on this nation.
But I am focused right now just on Chugiak-Eagle River.
Let me present you, my dear reader, with a list of topics the Municipality of Anchorage in which we reside grapples with now and most likely will continue to grapple with for the significant future.
- Declining revenue from the State of Alaska
- An increase in property crimes: Yes, yes, I know that the Anchorage Police Department indicates its statistics do not support the claims on social media regarding just how much crime is being committed in our neighborhoods. However, the people that tell me their stories are adamant that crime is on the rise.
- Attracting quality employees to not just work here, but to stay here.
- Curbing sexual abuse of children.
- Catching thieves of stolen vehicles.
- Convincing our children to attend college here and create new economic opportunity here instead of the Lower 48.
- Legal use of marijuana and how it to keep it from being used illegally and inappropriately
- Spice and Meth: both of which are highly unpredictable drugs because the “quality” and “potency ” of the ingredients used in manufacture constantly change based on supply, so I am told.
That is just a short list. There is much more.
Voters ought to be concerned enough about this to at the bare minimum go to their local polling place to help select which candidates should be our leaders that are tasked with helping to solve these problems.
To the other 84 percent of registered voters that did not go to the polls on Tuesday: Good grief, don’t you care about the future of Chugiak-Eagle River? Don’t you value the ability to actually vote about what happens in our government?
It is a bit late now to get folks attention regarding the municipal election. Duh.
But not for the next general election. And certainly not to those who have not even bothered to register to vote.
Wake up people. Don’t let apathy take away your liberty.
As Sen. Fred Dyson trades that title in for Assemblyman again on April 18, I am pleased to hear that one of my election wishes has come true. I had previously stated that I would have been happy, happy if all three candidates for Assembly from our local area could have been elected. I know that is not realistic, but each one brought unique skills to the job. I am delighted to share that Mr. Dyson sees that as well. He has told me he welcomes input and help from John Brassell and Gretchen Wehmhoff. I hope that happens. Reality is that our local area – part of the Municipality of Anchorage and ultimately part of the State of Alaska – does indeed an experienced statesman such as Dyson. But we also need fresh voices with economic expertise such as the one Brassell has and the passion for the future and compassion for those facing economic challenges that exists in Wehmhoff.
What can you, dear reader, contribute to this community? Ask yourself what you can do. We are going to need the best from all to get through this economic downturn and to create an economically strong future for Chugiak-Eagle River.
Until then … enjoy the read that is the ECHO News. We remain committed to our motto: “For Our Community, By Our Community, About Our Community.” We love to hear from you!
And don’t forget to join us at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center at 11 a.m. on Sat., April 8 for the Nerf Battle Royale to raise funds via the Eagle River Area Rotary to defray maintenance costs for our beloved Eagle River Town Square Park!