Monthly Archives: July 2006

Gavel To Gavel Alaska

This blog entry comes to you direct from the Grand Aleutian Hotel in Unalaska, where I am currently on vacation with my wife, Christy. We arrived yesterday after a fabulous three and one-half day ferry ride down the Chain. We are celebrating my 60th birthday. But I digress…

Gavel to Gavel Alaska is a unique and extraordinary Alaskan resource that both documents and exposes public policy in-the-making. It began as a limited demonstration project in 1995, and has steadily grown until finally, in 1995, Gavel to Gavel Alaska expanded to full time coverage of the Regular Legislative Session. Read the rest of this entry

Recent Events: SB 141 and PERS/TRS

This message that follows was recently released by the Alaska Public Employees Association. The Association has played a leading role in the struggle to preserve retirement security in Alaska, and to preserve the ability of the public sector in this state to remain competetive to recruit teachers, police, firefighters, and other key positions. Thanks also to the Retired Public Employees Association for their persistent efforts on behalf of retirees in Alaska, and for helping to distribute information on this extremely important topic. Read the rest of this entry

GOTV Campaign

Policy makers make public policy, and voters elect policy makers. Here is a very interesting local effort to do just that. It is strictly non-partisan. The primary focus will be to encourage voters to learn more about the issues/candidates and get out and vote on election day. Obviously many organizations will be encouraging folks to vote but this group is primarily interested in the beneficiary groups of the Mental Health Trust Authority. What follows is a copy of flyer I recently received…

Partners in Policymaking
Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Campaign 2006

Our goal: To encourage constituents, employees and partners of the groups represented to actively participate in both the primary and general elections. Read the rest of this entry

Alaska Community Development Block Grants in Trouble

This information has been provided by Carma Reed of Community Development Partners…

You may know that over the past few years the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has faced cuts. In 2003, Anchorage’s formula CDBG funds totaled $2,330,000. In 2006, it was $1,941,992, a 17% cut (and a 21% cut since the 1995 level).

The US House of Representatives last month supported even funding for CDBG from last year’s level. The US Senate is expected to work on its appropriation bill (2007 Transportation-Treasury-HUD) next week, the week of July 17. The President’s original budget proposed severely cutting the program, and changing the distribution formula, both of which combined would leave Anchorage with an allocation of $1,222,000 in FY2007. Read the rest of this entry

Mandatory Arbitration: Justice Denied

The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) “is the nation’s only nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to strengthen the capacity of state legislators to lead and achieve progressive change.” This is an extraordinary organization and website, and if you have not had the chance to spend some time visiting it, I strongly recommend that you do. If nothing else, sign up on the home page for a copy of CPA News. A recent copy of CPA News is online for your perusal.

At the moment, however, I would like to draw your attention to a public policy that is particularly widespread, pernicious, and destructive of the legal rights of individuals to find justice in the courts. I am talking about the widespread practice of mandatory arbitration. The Center for Policy Alternatives has a brief but excellent analysis about this, from which the following quotes are taken: Read the rest of this entry