Live from the City Assembly…

June 9, 2009

I’m writing live from the City Assembly at the Loussac Library.  We’re here very early, so this will be a good way of keeping people who aren’t able to attend updated on the meeting, as well as give me something to do in the interim.


Surprisingly, there weren’t many people wearing red t-shirts (those opposed to the Equal Rights ordinance) waiting outside the Assembly room.  A few have trickled in, but for the most part it’s a glorious sea of blue.  The room is only about 1/4 full so far, so we’ll see how things progress.


Well, the buses have started to roll in.  There’s a large group of teenagers in red t-shirts, alternately looking bored and uncomfortable.  Maybe they get extra credit for coming?

Lots of talking going on.  It’s at least an hour before the meeting starts, and at least two hours before we can even begin to talk about the ordinance.  Is it wrong to want to start a food fight?


Tim Minnery has arrived in red, along with another schoolbus full of people upset about gays wanting rights.  Tiffany from the ACLU is busy talking to everyone, trying to keep us all on the same page.  It seems as if the Prevo buses arrived too late to fill up the room, and some of them are agitated.  It’s getting more and more fun by the minute.


Assemblyperson Ossiander just announced that signups to speak will be out in the lobby.  Someone made a noise of complaint and Ossiander used her Mom-voice on him.  Seems like things are getting tense very quickly.


Standard Assembly meeting stuff, going through the minutes and such.  Everyone is antsy.


We can hear yelling and chanting coming through the emergency doors, calling for “EQUAL RIGHTS!”  I encourage any person reading this that wants to help to come down to the Loussac Library and wave a sign.

Be careful and take care of each other.


They’ve opened the discussions for the Equal Rights ordinance.  The first person speaking wore red, and had the audacity to quote Julia O’Malley’s article.  She chose to quote from the first part of the article, in which Julia recounted that she had had a mostly positive experience coming out.  The speaker failed to mentio the later part of the article, in which Ms O’Malley spoke to Jerry Prevo and he told her very politely that he viewed her sin of homosexuality as equal to that of murder.


Apparently Team Red’s tactic is to take up as much time as possible speaking about their lives and qualifications as an Anchorage resident.  We’re going to be here for awhile.

Also, because one of these women failed to teach her children that some people are different, she is upset that she had to explain to her 14 year old daughter what “transgender” means.  Somehow, I doubt she actually gave her daughter good information.


It’s been a long day already, and we could possibly go to 11pm or later, depending on how this goes.  Loren Lehman, former Lt. Governor under Governor Murkowski, just explained to the Assembly that adding sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination laws would be adding the only specification that was behaviorally based.  I had forgotten that religion was assigned at birth.


Vic Fischer, one of the original framers of Alaska’s Constitution, just gave a very enlightened speech on how the constitution of the United States and the constitution for Alaska were written at times when the framers could not possibly know how society would change.  He made the point that the amendments made to both constitutions were steps forward as society moved forward, and that this ordinance was one further step forward for Anchorage.

His wife, Jane Angvik, one of the framers for Anchorage’s charter, spoke about how the adding of sexual orientation to the city’s codes was proposed in 1975 was already overdue.  She feels that it is now very much overdue.


Arliss Sturgulewski has spoken out in favor of the ordinance.  She was also on the orignial Anchorage charter commission, and was disturbed to see the hate that was in evidence when sexual orientation was first proposed to be added to the city’s anti-discrimination laws in the 1970’s.


It looks like we might be going into overtime…


Scratch that, it doesn’t look like this is going to be decided tonight.  [Insert expletive here]


To be continued on June 16th…



  1. Fun to read my tweets with people’s responses in Facebook (my Twitter feed updates my FB status) & then to come here & see what you were typing right next to me. But gee… shouldn’t I just go to bed now? Yep… right… okeedokee… will do…..

  2. […] was sitting right next to me through the hearing and did some live-blogging, which you can read here. John Arrono sat just the other side of her — he’s written up some observations of the […]

  3. […] so back to my seat.  I was sitting right next to Heather James, who had her laptop & began a live-blog on her SOSAnchorage.net site, which she kept up through the night — when she could get it to load, anyway.  I finally […]

  4. […] “Live from the City Assembly…” by Heather James (SOSAnchorage.net). Liveblog of the Assembly hearing from the person sitting right […]

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