Posts Tagged ‘Henkimaa’

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Join us if you can

September 25, 2009
Join us at the Snow Goose for a shindig!

Join us at the Snow Goose for a shindig!

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Where do we go from here?

August 22, 2009

I’ve been feeling a little directionless this past week.  This past Monday, my husband and I woke up and immediately checked the local blogs and adn.com to find out if Mayor Sullivan had made a decision.  We made plans to check out the UAA campus, as our classes would be starting the next week.  We spoke to our friends on facebook, each of us manically updating the page and then checking adn.com to see if an announcement had been made yet.  I called the Mayor’s office, trying to find out if the rumors of Mayor Sullivan making an announcement that day were true.  She confirmed the rumor, but wouldn’t confirm a time.  Less than twenty minutes later, John shouted from the other room.

Veto.

I was expecting the news in an intellectual sense.  We had heard from numerous people who had talked to the Mayor that he would veto.  Reading it in his pitiful press announcement, however, was very different.

“My review shows that there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance,” Sullivan said. “My review also shows that the vast majority of those who communicated their position … are in opposition.” from adn.com

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  A lack of quantifiable evidence?  I know he wasn’t there for every Assembly meeting that I was, but surely he managed to hear one of the testimonies from those supporting the ordinance?  In the words of Barney Frank, “On what planet to do you spend the majority of your time?”

And so the word came down the line that there was going to be a protest outside of City Hall.  We had short notice, but made some signs and found a parking spot close to Kaladi Brothers Coffee. (Sidenote: I was please to hear a rumor that Kaladi Brothers pulled their endorsement of Mrs. Alaska after she showed up in red at the Assembly meetings.)  There were already a few dozen people there, but our numbers would grow to over a hundred people, venting a Summer full of hurt and frustration at a mayor who refused to hear them.

If we scream loud enough, will Dan Sullivan hear us?

If we scream loud enough, will Dan Sullivan hear us?

In the days after, many people have reached out, trying to figure out what the next course of action is.  Some people want to try to change Debbie Ossiander’s mind.  Some people want to force Dan Sullivan into talking to a GLBT contingent.  Some people want to curl up and disappear from the world for a bit.

We here at sosanchorage.net are still taking a look at what the best options for moving forward are.  But we can guarantee you this, dear readers, we’re not done.  Not by a long shot.

What do you think the next best thing  to do would be?  I’m not asking in a rhetorical sense, I really want to know what the readers of this site think.  If you’re not up for leaving a comment, send us an email.

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Rally at McGinley’s Pub

August 21, 2009

Word has come out from the almighty internet that there is a protest going on tonight outside of McGinley’s Pub, of which our Mayor, Dan Sullivan, is a 10% owner.  I don’t have much time to write, as I have to get over there soon, but here are some links that show the reasons for the protest.

We hope you’ll be able to make it out there.

6:30pm

Outside of McGinley’s Pub on G Street – follow the waving signs

Facebook Event Page – Rally at McGinley’s Pub

McGinley’s Protests Protests – From Henkimaa.com

Protest at McGinley’s – From Henkimaa.com

Protest Sullivan’s Veto – from Bentalaska.com

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We came, we saw, we protested

August 17, 2009

My husband and I joined over fifty people today down at city hall in order to protest Mayor Sullivan’s veto of Ordinance 64.  The energy was amped but positive as we shouted for “Equal Rights Now!” and “United We Stand, Divided We Fall!”  Michael Mason did a great job of keeping the energy up and everyone organized.  Tiffany McClain of Equality Works was there, as well as Mel from Henkimaa.com.  John was interviewed by one of the news crews, and I was interviewed by Christy Harvey, who took the time to come down and talk to protesters after she had only half an hour’s notice.

We heard rumors that members of Anchorage Baptist Temple had plans to come down to City Hall and throw bologna at us, but fortunately that didn’t happen.  However, Anchorage’s own personal pile of bologna, Eddie Burke, did show up.  He spent about fifteen minutes trying to bait people into an argument, but I think he was unprepared to find that lots of us were well read on many of the issues surrounding Ordinance 64.  He drove off in his shiny, red mid-life crisis not too long after.

Supporters of Ordinance 64 protest outside of City Hall after Mayor Sullivan's veto.

Supporters of Ordinance 64 protest outside of City Hall after Mayor Sullivan's veto.

We were there from 5:00pm-7:00pm, stopping twice to take a stroll over to protest outside of McGinley’s Pub, of which Mayor Dan Sullivan is a partial owner.  The tone was kept civil and positive, and we were pleased to be a part of it.  It was also nice to blow off a little steam from the frustration of Mayor Sullivan’s poorly based decision.

If anyone has any photos from the protest, we’d very much love to post them here, with permission of course.

There is another protest planned in the near future, so please check back frequently so we can get the information to our readers as soon as it’s available.  If you have any information about organized events that you want to let people know about, please let us know and we can post up information.

A great big “Thank You!” to all those who have worked so hard to get this ordinance passed.  We knew this would be a long battle, but we’re still here and we’ll keep fighting.

Update: Mel from Henkimaa.com posted a great summary of the protest with lots of pictures, so check it out when you have the chance!

Christy Harvey of Studio 1080 at KUDO also posted some pictures of the event.  Listen to her show on AM 1080 tomorrow at 3pm to hear the interviews she got while she was downtown with us this afternoon.

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Liveblogging from the Assembly Hall August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

We’re liveblogging again from inside the Assembly Hall at the Loussac Library. The Assembly is moving quickly through the agenda, or the “aggenda” as sosanchorage.com puts it.

6:24pm
The Assembly is currently discussing an ordinance regarding insurance coverage for the spouses of certain police officers and fire fighters. Harriet Drummond made mention of how many people are sympathetic to the concerns of anyone having difficulty with health insurance right now, and that she believed that President Obama is working hard to ease those concerns for everyone. At the mention of Obama’s name, lots of “rabble rabble rabble” noises erupted from the red shirt contingent. It was rather amusing.

6:32pm
After making comparisons between his own insurance coverage and that of the police and firefighters, stating that after he dies his would have to pay 100% of her own insurance, Ms Selkregg pointed out that unlike the spouses of the officers and firemen, his wife would have the option to buy into his insurance. The whole matter is rather complicated, but none of the Assembly seem heated about it.

7:00pm

Discussing a school budget proposal, I think we’re witnessing the spill-over from the general Town Hall rantings that have been going on across the country. Lots of podium smacking.  The budget was approved anyway.

7:10pm

We’re on a break, and then we’ll be talking about the Equal Rights Ordinance.

7:35pm

Assemblyman Coffey is proposing his floor bill for setting up a “task force” to investigate discrimination in Anchorage.  Assemblywoman Selkregg regrets that “we didn’t begin this way.”  She appreciates Mr. Coffey’s efforts to do the right thing, but she won’t support it.  Mr. Gutierrez echoes those sentiments.

7:40pm

Assemblywoman Drummond just moved to vote on the Task Force until after a decision is made on the Equal Rights ordinance.  The motion failed.  The vote on the resolution itself also failed 4-7.

7:43pm

Mr. Flynn moves to approve Ordinance AO 64 (S2).  He believes (and so do I) that this is the best version of the bill.  It protects religious organizations to hire employees compatible with their values.  It also more explicitly protects the GLBT community.  Ms Selkregg speaks for this version of the ordinance.

7:50pm

Ms Johnston is speaking about how the person who taught her about civil responsibility would have been covered by the ordinance.  In honor of this person and Matt Rose, she will support the ordinance.  A very touching story.

7:52pm

Mr. Birch doesn’t believe that GLBT discrimination is an issue, and seems to resent the fact that the discussion has take up so much time.

7:54pm

Mr. Gutierrez mentiosn that this has been an interesting and difficult process.  He’s proud to live in a community where people on both sides of the issue who had enough courage to come down and give testimony.   He will support version S2 because he thinks it is a good compromise.

8:00pm

Mr. Flynn spoke about the mailman that served his neighborhood, Glen.  Glen always did a good job, was a pleasant guy, and everyone liked him.  Mr. Flynn recieved a note from Glen thanking him for what he is trying to do for the community.  Unfortunately, Glen was moving to a more progressive city to retire.

8:01pm

Mr. Claman supports the ordinance and urges Mayor Sullivan to support it if it passes.  Mr. Starr doesn’t believe that overt discrimination exists (as he doesn’t see any signs saying “No Gays Allowed” around town) so we will not support the ordinance.  He believes in God and his faith, and he says he listened intently to what was said to him.

8:05pm

Ms Gray-Jackson doesn’t want to speak to0 much about why she’s supporting this ordinance, as it’s too emotional for her.  Her nephew is gay, and she’s known he was gay since he was young.  She urges her fellow Assemblymembers to support it as well.

8:06pm

Ms. Drummond is speaking about her experiences being on the school board, where they teach children to accept each other.  She isn’t willing to tell those children that once they leave school they are no longer protected within the community.

8:08pm

Ms Ossiander is speaking about her experiences with people on both sides of this issue.  She believes in protecting and respecting all of Anchorage’s citizens.  She tried to look into the data, but she discovered that there isn’t any data as this is not a protected status.  She looked into what is covered under Federal Title 7, which protects against discrimination in businesses with over 15 employees.  She asked the Equal Rights commision to start compiling data last week, and still supports the idea of a task force to investigate discrimination.  She doesn’t believe that the ordinance will stop hurtful behavior.   She is concerned about the language regarding transgendered people.  She isn’t sure if it will create a cost to businesses.

8:20pm

Ms Ossiander says there isn’t an easy answer.  She can’t support the S2 version.  She is upset.  Ms Selkregg is proposing an amendment: respecting the bathroom issue.  Basically, making it so that businesses can maintaiin gender separated bathrooms as well as dresscodes.

8:25pm

Mr. Gutierrez is telling Ms Ossiander that she has handled this situation as well as she could have. Standing ovation.

8:27pm

The measure passed, 7-4.

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Looking back to the future

August 9, 2009

A lot has been going on over the past week or so, and much more will be happening within the next few days.  Don’t look to far ahead for the precipice, as we’re about to go over the edge.  Or some other big ominous metaphor.

Important things of note that happened this week:

Gay Rehab doesn’t work! Who knew that brainwashing people into repressing one of the most important aspects of their self would have a negative effect?  Research, as in scientific research, shows that homosexual rehabilitation is ineffective.  The American Psychological Association voted 125-4, that’s one hundred twenty five people against four people, that “reparative therapy” doesn’t work.

Dan Coffey - He's got ideas

Dan Coffey - He's got ideas

Dan Coffey, when he’s not busy playing solitaire on his iphone, took the time to call for a task force to look into whether discrimination against the GLBT community exists in Anchorage.  The results wouldn’t be in until after the 2010 elections in November.  How convenient.  If he wasn’t too busy reading a magazine during the Assembly hearings, maybe Assemblymen Coffey would have heard Mel Green’s testimony (of Henkimaa.com), or perhaps read the report that she provided copies of to the Assembly, about previous studies done concerning discrimination in Anchorage.  Perhaps you’re angry about this.  Perhaps you should direct that frustration toward Assemblyman Coffey? Perhaps he should know how you feel about that.

Important things coming up this week:

Monday, August 10

Don't let this be another tea party...

Don't let this be another tea party...

Have some of you heard about this whole stimulus bill thing?  Have you seen the news coverage lately regarding the astroturf response by strategically placed protesters during town hall meetings?  Did you know that this same type of protest will be going on in Anchorage on Monday?    These teabaggers don’t want the Alaskan legislature to overturn former Governor McQuitterpant’s decision to refuse stimulus funds to assist in weatherizing Alaskan homes and helping supplementing energy costs.  There are those of us

who will be at the Dena’ina center at 11:15am with Organizing for America and other groups to let the legislature know that we want these funds.  We also want them to know that while some Alaskans might participate in teabagging, we are not all teabaggers.  There is a difference, and it should be appreciated.  Bring a sign and we’ll see you there.

Tuesday, August 11

This is the one you’ve been waiting for.  The Assembly will be discussing the vote on the Equal Rights Ordinance, Ordinance 64.  The most recent version of the ordinance is the one that Equality Works, and we at sosanchorage.net, are endorsing.  The Assembly will choose which version of the Ordinance to vote on, so I encourage you to take the time if you haven’t done so already to let your Assembly representative know which version of the ordinance you want them to vote for.  Jerry Prevo’s people are raising a ruckus with our representatives, it’s time that they heard, respectfully, from our side as well.  We will be there with bells blue shirts on, and we’ll be there early.  Join us, if you would.  We’d enjoy the company.

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Calling Eagle River! Operator?

July 24, 2009

[Reposted from Alaska Commons]

Anyone from Section 2 (Eagle River, Chugiak) who supports Anchorage Ordinance 64, it is imperative that you get in contact with me ASAP. PLEASE! And if you know anyone in the neighborhood who supports equality and wants to see equal protection extended to our LGBT community, this is the time to speak up.

Please email John!

You have no idea how important it might end up being, and if it does end up as important as it may conceivably be, you will in fact try to kick yourself in the head if you stay silent. And now, enjoy these photos from Mel, taken at the last meeting.

We made a lot of new friends.
We made a lot of new friends.
Activist trendsetters.

Activist trendsetters.

"This isn't going well, is it?"

"This isn't going well, is it?"