I was not born here. I do not have children here. I have not raised a family here. I do not have any blood relatives here. I did not go to school here until 2016, when I taught college courses to earn my way through a master’s program at UAF. I do live here. I love people here. I own property here. I contribute to my community and church and union. But I don’t feel as if I need to qualify any of that, because the governor of Alaska already knows the vast array of people who make up his constituency. And he has a plan for us, right?
As one of those constituents, I have been following the decisions and actions of the Dunleavy administration since it took office. I am concerned about the plan, mostly because I haven’t seen one.
I have heard the governor talk about a balanced and sustainable budget, and I believe those are noble goals. Successful people know that goals take a real plan to achieve. One must decipher what the outcome is and have measurable ways to get there. One must have checkpoints for accountability and have a vision of what is to be achieved. Those goals must also include the impacts to the people whom one represents as governor.
What is the plan?
How will the state achieve a balanced and sustainable budget, keeping intact a secure government net for the people? Should we as Alaskans, call the Koch brothers to help when catastrophes like the Nov. 30 Anchorage earthquake rattle our communication systems and commerce? Should we expect the oil companies to put out natural disasters like the fires currently threatening hundreds of homes and families? Are we to depend on Outside connections and call in a favor when our seniors have been evicted from their housing? Do we allow the highest bidder access to our arctic research faculty and facilities? What do we tell our members who work construction when there is no work and no vision to build roads or structures in the largest state in the country?
I have something to offer the governor. I can help, and I am desperate to help. I want to see smart kids and happy seniors. I want to know that there is security within our government for emergency services and public broadcasting and transportation and agriculture. I want to support the rich, vibrant culture and talents of the beautiful people here. I want to stand tall with a governor who has a plan to save this state.
Alaskans have been operating without a plan for a while now, and I thought when this governor was elected, the people decided he had the best plan. So will he share it with us? A plan would really be helpful, because the people — we’re worried. And we’re really looking to this governor for leadership and guidance. We can’t just blindly follow a government that keeps us all in the dark. Please, Gov. Dunleavy, please share with us the plan for this budget. We’d like to know where we go from here.
Mindy O’Neall is a 2017 graduate of UAF, a member of the Fairbanks Chamber Education and Workforce Development Committee, Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission, Interior Community Coalition and Chair of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Planning Commission and the Interior Democrats. She is a business agent for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 942 in Fairbanks.