Reclaim Midtown (RM) and Save Anchorage (SA) are two of the most serious and consequential threats to our city. These groups, most popular on Facebook, are supported by a number of elected officials – some retired and others currently in office.
Reclaim Midtown is most well-known as the group that failed – twice – to recall Midtown Assembly members Felix Rivera and Meg Zaletel.
Through her involvement, Assembly member Jamie Allard encouraged the groups to use Signal, an app that erases messages once the receiver reads them, making public records of her conversations impossible to archive. The organizations are not Facebook groups like “moms who knit” – these groups are dangerous white supremacy safe havens to which Allard is not only sympathetic, but deeply imbedded. She uses the groups to discuss recalls of her colleagues, plan public testimony talking points for followers, and groom potential Assembly candidates for the April election.
One of the most visible examples of Allard weaponizing her Assembly seat was during public testimony for a new mask ordinance. Allard spent days riling up support for a “people’s filibuster.”
Her apathy towards citizen health and welfare resulted in multiple COVID-19 cases, and worse, the death of her own friends and acquaintances from COVID-19 exposure. She, along with the Bronson administration and SA, coaxed children, people with autoimmune diseases, and the elderly into the Assembly chambers for evenings of dilatory testimony, even offering a pizza party and photo ops with Bronson. The actions denied mindful Anchorage residents a safe and healthy public space for testimony, creating an optic of lopsided support.
Allard deflects her responsibility for those who became ill or died due to these super spreaders by suggesting the Assembly be held liable for unspecified mask complications.
Anchorage is home to thousands of Jewish residents who live, work, worship, and play in our community. Many are second generation to survivors wartime atrocities.
These extremist hate groups helped create yellow, anti-Semitic Stars of David for members to wear during meetings, suggesting mandated mask wearing resembled the Holocaust, a time of mass genocide. Even Mayor Dave Bronson condoned and praised the wearing of the stars for their messaging during the October meeting. He walked back his statement the next day.
The SA Facebook group has been reported multiple times for hateful posts, extremist misinformation and disinformation, racist and homophobic comments, and fascist propaganda.
Not only did the groups make anti-semitic symbols, but SA member Paul Kendall took it further, yelling homophobic epithets directed at Assembly member Chris Constant that evening. Sadly, Kendall died within weeks of his testimony. The cause remains unknown but it was likely due to COVID-19.
These offensive groups stood loudly on Northern Lights Boulevard this summer with a sign reading “F*** BLM” and “F*** Antifa.” Over 60% of Anchorage School District children are black, Alaska Native, or children of color. How many children read those signs and how many parents were tasked to explain — once again — the extremist white supremacy group’s presence in Anchorage?
These socially irresponsible groups have one elected official in common – Jamie Allard. Allard openly supports them using her MOA email and equipment to communicate about SA meetings. She used her personal (but used for Assembly business) Facebook page to promote the recalls of both Meg Zaletel and Felix Rivera.
Allard has weaponized her position as an Assembly member and is the exact reason recall language was put into our charter. The debate over whether the recall is a fundamental democratic exercise or, as in the two questionable recall efforts early this year, an opportunity for well-funded special interests to undo an election is not debatable here. Jamie Allard’s recall is different. She has neglected her district by catering to the combative ideology of SA and RM.
When contacted by constituents, Allard replies negatively when disagreeing with their viewpoint, “You Don’t Matter,” an extremely problematic phrase. Mental Health is a serious issue. Telling someone they don’t matter, especially coming from an elected official who claimed to do an abundance of research on suicides the past year, is dangerous and insensitive.
A self-proclaimed free speech champion, Allard has told callers from Chugiak/Eagle River that, “You are not my constituent, you are a voter,” and refuses to engage in discussion.
Allard went to great lengths to jeopardize a constituent’s job after he publicly disagreed with her. When another constituent called her out for illegally blocking him from her Assembly Facebook page, she deleted the page then blamed the “left” and Facebook for “canceling” her.
Jamie Allard has no business being in a position of ethical responsibility. It is clear she cannot work well with others and uses her position on the Assembly to favor her agenda, rather than working for her district. Chugiak/ Eagle River and JBER residents now have the opportunity to rid this official of her seat and replace her with a competent leader who is passionate about all of the people and neighborhoods of District 2.
Chelsea Foster is a member of Recall Jamie Allard, a personal care assistant, and serves on multiple cannabis boards and committees. More importantly, she is a mother who spends her days homeschooling her kindergartener in Anchorage.