Citizens across the state were excited to see Alyse Galvin jump in the race against Don Young. He’s past due for retirement, and Alyse’s track record as a community organizer and advocate for public education is exemplary. After a year of celebrating women’s leadership, from the Women’s March to the #MeToo movement, many of us are motivated to support female candidates. After all, of the 10,945 Americans who’ve served in the United States House of Representatives, just 288 (2.6%) have been women!

Our Revolution Alaska would like to endorse a candidate in this election. What’s more, our broad network would like to help with the organizing, fundraising, door knocking, and phone calling that will be crucial to that candidate’s success. As the bloc of millennials, working people, progressives and independents that organized an 82% caucus victory for the Sanders campaign — the largest group of Alaskans to back any one presidential candidate in the 2016 primaries — we believe our support is key to winning statewide races.

Our Revolution Alaska team member Jennifer Quinto votes with her daughter.

In the Sanders campaign, we were empowered to organize one another with an accessible, “bottom up” campaign that innovated distributed internet organizing tactics such as the “Bernie Dialer.” Our national community is moving these tactics into the 2018 congressional races by endorsing and supporting candidates in many states. We’d like to see Alaska be part of that wave. In 2016 our Sanders delegates to state and national conventions skewed young and represented Alaska’s diversity of ethnicities, sexual orientations, and economic classes. We believe this could be the core of a winning coalition for Alaska!

Bernie Sanders delegates to the national Democratic convention, 2016. Many state and national Sanders delegates went on to form Our Revolution Alaska. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Quinto.

The Our Revolution Alaska community is highly diverse, yet we’re united by a common commitment to politics that work for working people, not corporations. When corporate campaign donations are removed from the equation and politicians are forced to craft policy based on what works for citizens rather than corporations, the platform becomes obvious:

  • Improved Medicare for All — now endorsed by 120 sitting congresspeople and all of the 2016 presidential contenders in the Senate — can dramatically reduce costs for families while expanding coverage. It is a good solution for Alaska, whose high costs and small population would be absorbed into a national pool. Our Representative should ensure benefits work for Alaska’s health care professionals and meet or exceed those provided to Alaska Natives and veterans.
  • A $15 minimum wage will allow Alaskans — with some of the highest costs of living in the nation — to work full time and not be below the poverty line.
  • A transition to a renewable energy economy. Alaska’s Representative should be a leader in fighting for a solid energy jobs plan to ensure every single Alaskan can transition their skills toward family wage employment in renewables, infrastructure, and other sectors. We must also make sure that the state’s petroleum resources are used responsibly during this transition, and that drilling and exploration do not occur in areas with cultural, economic, and ecological importance.
  • Restoring common sense regulations on the financial industry will reduce the social costs of “casino capitalism.”
  • Restoring WWII tax rates on the ultra-wealthy to help fund programs that can make America competitive on the world stage, such as paid family leave and college education for all Americans.
  • In Alaska, we expect leadership that listens to citizens in regard to our globally significant seafood industry — the state’s largest employer — as well as our hunting and fishing way of life. For example, coalitions of tribes and fishermen have spoken out against Pebble Mine and have asked for strong advocacy for transboundary rivers impacted by Canadian mines.

While Alyse Galvin has demonstrated an extraordinary aptitude for public education advocacy in our state legislature, she has declared candidacy without taking a position on the primary issues she will face as a United States Congresswoman. In searching for her platform, we have found that Mrs. Galvin has no experience working in government nor has she published opinions on issues outside of education. However, her husband served as Director of Revenue under Sarah Palin, has directed Alaska’s oil & gas leasing program, and has articulated a broad political direction for the state of Alaska via recent op eds in our statewide paper. An apparent participant in the Alaskan version of the proverbial revolving door, Pat Galvin has taken the expertise he gleaned in government and applied it to his current position as Chief Commercial Officer for an exploratory oil drilling outfit on Alaska’s North Slope.

Alaskans rallying for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Photo by Charlie Sears.

Alaskans live in a sensitive time in regard to oil. Clearly it will remain a part of our economy for the time being. But how quickly and justly we can transition our workforce, where we allow exploration, and who benefits from revenues are under negotiation. In 2018 it is immoral and inaccurate to campaign as if our oil economy does not contribute to the global climate problems that threaten our children’s future. In the next decades, our leaders must do their part to ensure Alaska is habitable for our kids and grandkids while working to transition our economy wholly into more sustainable industries.

Given that the Galvin family is in a position to benefit financially from oil drilling, and that Mr. Galvin openly advocates increased mineral development as well as extraction in sensitive areas such as Cook Inlet, the Our Revolution Alaska community requests assurances from Mrs. Galvin that the will of citizens — and not her husband — be prioritized should she win a seat. An excellent way to show this would be for her to avoid contributions from corporate special interests — including Alaska’s oil and gas industry — and focus instead on earning citizen donations.

Should Mrs. Galvin articulate a shared commitment to supporting policies that work first and foremost for the people of Alaska, we will be more than happy to work very hard to help elect her. It is our wish to help build a winning “people’s” coalition in Alaska, we hope that Alyse Galvin wants the same.