Making change in Alaska communities
- January: During the pandemic, VIA leaders began what we called “Virtual House Meetings” where people were brought together online to discuss how they were doing during the pandemic. These house meetings led to research meetings with the school district administration and to an action with the Palmer City Manager.
- October: St Michael’s LOM held an action with City Manager John Moosey concerning traffic safety in the South Gulkana neighborhood of Palmer. The city manager was asked to coordinate with the neighborhood in addressing speeding and other safety issues.
- October: Leaders from VIA LOMs formed a Temporary Operating Committee to hold an online School Board Candidate Forum. Almost 800 people watched. Candidates reported that this was the first time they had been asked questions concerning education on systemic bias in education.
- October: VIA Leaders worked with Leaders from AFACT to hold 2 online forums on Ballot Measures 1 and 2. Over 1000 people heard pros and cons about what these ballot measures might mean for Alaska.
- November: VIA clergy joined with clergy from AFACT to write the Opinion piece, “Measuring the Morality of Alaska’s Budget” which was published in the Anchorage Daily News and was subsequently, sent to the Governor and Alaska legislators.
- April: St Michaels LOM held an action with Palmer City Council members concerning Trap Houses in the city. This resulted in a Palmer Nuisance Call Ordinance.
- July: VIA held a Unified Action concerned with State Budget Vetoes. This was held at Trinity Lutheran. Over 100 people attended.
- October: VIA’s Board of Directors held a Celebration Banquet and fundraiser at the Palmer Depot. Over 100 people celebrated the work of VIA, and $6,000 was raised.
- January: St. Michael’s LOM held an Action with Senator Hughes concerning Pioneer Home status. A second Action was held a year later with 3 Mat-Su Legislatures asking to stop the proposed rate hikes for residents in the Pioneer Home. Subsequently, after many meetings and letter writing campaigns, House Bill 96 was signed into law in April of 2021. HB 96 regulates the allowable rate of rent increases.
- October: St David’s Episcopal LOM held a forum for Alaska Senate/House candidates.
- June: Trinity Lutheran LOM held an action with Alaska Housing asking for a change in waiting list policy in the Valley. Over 100 people participated
- July: The first Valley-wide Song Fest Benefit for VIA was held at Christ First United Methodist in July of 2017. In other years, Song Fests have been held at St. Michael’s Catholic and Good Shepherd Lutheran churches.
- September: First Prayer for Christian Unity Service held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Other years this service has been held at Good Shepherd Lutheran and online.
- October: St David’s Episcopal LOM held their first forum for Alaska Senate/House candidates