This Q&A is part of a broader candidate survey by the Anchorage Daily News. View the full survey here.
Kathy Henslee | District: 4 | Age: 55 | Occupation: Realtor | Campaign website: hensleeforassembly.com
What is the most important problem facing Anchorage? How would you address it?
Public safety. We all should be safe in our public parks, trails, downtown and even the library. Increase police presence in our community and work with prosecutors to keep violent criminals behind bars. Enforce the laws we thought were important enough to pass.
Rate Dave Bronson’s performance as mayor. Explain, with specific examples.
Mayor Bronson has worked on all the issues he said were important to him when he was running for office. Unfortunately, he has often been blocked by this uncooperative Assembly. I believe with a more reasonable Assembly, Mayor Bronson would accomplish a lot for Anchorage.
The past two years have been marked by increased civic discord in Anchorage. How would you improve the quality of civic discourse in the city?
Treating people with respect and listening to the public, who the Assembly should be representing, would go a long way.
What’s your vision for improving and diversifying Anchorage’s economy?
Anchorage needs to be open for business. That means a reasonable and consistent tax structure, incentives for growth and innovation, streamlining the development process and improving the quality of life in Anchorage so employees will want to live here with their families.
What do you see as the most effective strategies to address homelessness in Anchorage going forward?
There are ways to positively address homelessness. The way the Assembly has approached this issue is to spend more and more money with dismal results. Taking over the Sullivan Arena, among the longest running emergency shelters in the U.S., has had a negative impact on our whole community. We need to listen to people who are getting the results we desire. The Downtown Hope Center has taken no public funds, has gotten positive results and has been completely dismissed by this Assembly. We must pay attention to the people and organizations who are achieving success with homelessness. Working with these individuals and organizations will help to solve this heartbreaking, community destroying problem for all people in Anchorage.