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Forrest Dunbar is the right choice for Anchorage’s next mayor

Note: As part of our coverage of the 2021 Anchorage mayoral race, the Landmine invited the Dunbar, Bronson, Robbins, Evans, Martinez, and Falsey campaigns to submit one op-ed each of 700 words or less in support of their respective candidates. All submissions received are published as-is and in random order starting on March 1.

Ballots for the next Municipal election will arrive in our mailboxes in just a few weeks. As voters, we face an important decision about whom we elect to lead Anchorage for the coming years. Forrest Dunbar is a capable, experienced leader. He has taken the threat of COVID seriously and made hard decisions to protect our community. Forrest is focused on getting our economy back to work and has a vision for a vibrant Anchorage with thriving businesses. Forrest Dunbar is the right choice for Anchorage’s next Mayor.

Forrest and I have known each other and worked together for years. I know how dedicated Forrest is to this community, because I’ve seen that commitment firsthand. Forrest shows up to community events, and not just to make an appearance — he seeks to understand our community’s challenges and celebrate our successes. Since I began my service on the Anchorage School Board, Forrest has been a partner on issues that impact our local public schools. He has voted to continue the Municipality’s financial support of the Anchorage School District at the maximum level allowed. Forrest is a strong advocate for our children and youth and is always looking for ways to support their physical and mental health, including championing the importance of quality childcare, support for our homeless families and young people, and much more.

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Ermine Skate

Forrest is a lifelong Alaskan. He grew up in Rural Alaska and made his home in Anchorage, where he’s dedicated himself to serving our community. He helped found the Muldoon Farmers Market, he’s a captain in the Army National Guard, and serves on the board of the Anchorage Park Foundation.

Forrest has represented East Anchorage on the Assembly for the last five years. In that time, he’s served his district and the entire city with responsible leadership. Anchorage needs someone in the Mayor’s office who has experience bringing diverse groups together, reaching consensus, and enacting policies that move our city forward. Forrest has done just that. He worked to make our community safer by adding over 100 officers to the Anchorage Police Department and supporting the creation of the Mental Health First Responders team to provide services for those in crisis. Forrest also knows how critical it is to help our community recover from the economic toll caused by the pandemic. On the Assembly, he fought to designate CARES Act funding to rental and mortgage relief and aid for the restaurant and hospitality industries. He stands up for our public schools, our students and our teachers by taking care of our community outside of school so teachers can focus on doing what they do best inside the classroom. Forrest is the only Mayoral candidate endorsed by the Anchorage Education Association, and he strongly advocated for educators to be among the first in our community to receive COVID vaccinations.

Our elementary students are back to in-person learning with their teachers and classmates, and our secondary students will start back soon. Our teachers and staff are being vaccinated thanks in part to Forrest’s advocacy, and I’m hopeful that the worst of the pandemic will soon be behind us. But safely reopening our homes, schools and businesses takes real leadership from the Mayor’s office. Forrest will work harder than anyone to ensure our community recovers and becomes the safe, welcoming, thriving city we know Anchorage can be.

I encourage you to join me in casting your vote (safely, at home!) for Forrest Dunbar for Mayor in the upcoming April 6 election.

Deena Mitchell is a member of the Anchorage School Board. 

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Chris
7 months ago

Forest Dunbar is one of the least capable candidates… period. He’s going to continue to drive our city’s economy into the ground because he’s falsely believed like so many others that this virus is so deadly! He will continue to shut down businesses and will do what he’s already done for five years in the assembly… whatever he wants regardless of his duty to represent the will of the people.
We need someone who’s not afraid of a glorified flu virus.

Christy Moorehouse
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris

The entire world has mobilized against Covid, and Anchorage’s restrictions are easily among the *least* restrictive in the world. Other countries had total lockdowns and levied big fines for even leaving your neighborhood. The belief that Covid is a “glorified flu virus” and Forrest is part of some conspiracy to shut down businesses is sad and deranged.

Jake
7 months ago

Alaska has some of the least restrictive COVID-19 mandates, yet we’ve maintained a low transmission rate in recent weeks (across the state and in Anchorage), especially relative to our population. Regardless of the working evidence to support reopening businesses in Anchorage, Forrest Dunbar would mandate further shutdowns and delays out of a combination of misunderstanding the facts, virtue signaling how great of a guy he thinks he is, and fear. Misplaced fear of the Kung Pao Flu, and well-placed fear that his shut-in liberal elite base will turn against him if they catch the faintest whiff of common sense reopening… Read more »

RICHARD MAUER
7 months ago
Reply to  Jake

Kung Pao Flu? Little bit of name calling?

7 months ago

Yes Deena I trust you.
Our schools perform so well in Anchorage thanks to you.
They cant read or do math.
They will only be able to sign a contract with a special tip on thier spray can.
All joking aside you opinion is worthless as thier high school diploma.

Integrity
7 months ago
Reply to  Richie romero

can’t
your
their

7 months ago
Reply to  Integrity

Bailiff wack my pee pee.

Marlin Savage
7 months ago

“by Deena Mitchell , Anchorage School Board member since 7 May 2018″. Her opinion ranks below the abysmal level of math and science competency of Anchorage students………………

dunbar and the assssembly are what’s wrong with Anchorage.

Craig
7 months ago

Forrest and his team need to stop tying to pretend that his platform and true beliefs are anything but a very very progressive agenda that is more interested in progressing left leaning social policies and optics than doing true non-partisan work to make Anchorage a place to live, work, and play. He is a perpetual progressive candidate that is only using this as a political career stepping stone. I’m not a huge fan of many of the other candidates but I know a few of them are truly running to better Anchorage and not their political aspirations. I don’t think… Read more »

7 months ago

The STATE OF ALASKA, a private for profit corporation, is bankrupt… you are all fired… quit lying to the people you fascist vampires feeding off our resources and children

Bob E
7 months ago

It’s pretty simple. Forest is the establishment now. He represents the policies and approach of the current assembly. So if you’d like how things are going and think the coronavirus response in particular was handled well here in Anchorage please vote for Forest. If you do not feel that way please vote for someone else.

Steve
6 months ago

SOUNDS FAR LEFT TO ME.
TEACHERS UNIONS ARE A BIG PROBLEM. ANOTHER ”SPENDOCRAT”
OH YES… VOTER ID AND VOTE IN PERSON !!

Danna M
6 months ago

I cannot believe that citizens on the Right are so closed minded. Go Forrrest!

Danna M
6 months ago
Reply to  Danna M

Forrest