This Q&A is part of a broader candidate survey by the Anchorage Daily News. View the full survey here.
Liz Vazquez | District: 3 | Age: 70 | Occupation: Attorney | lizvazquez.us
What is the most important problem facing Anchorage? How would you address it?
With the rate of inflation and present poor economy, ensuring that the people of Anchorage receive the best value for monies they provide to the city. In addition, rebuilding the Port of Alaska so that the city and state does not suffer an economic disaster. This will require the following: Aggressively obtaining state and federal assistance to address the Port of Alaska; holding the line on taxes and not imposing new taxes will be critical to improve the economy of the city. Public safety is very important and is critical to the well-being of the community.
Rate Dave Bronson’s performance as mayor. Explain, with specific examples.
Mayor Dave Bronson is trying to work with the Assembly on homelessness issues and there is progress in this area. However, in many instances, the Assembly blocks the initiatives of the mayor and does not want to work with the mayor.
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?
The Assembly needs to be civil to each other and the public. In addition, the Assembly needs to be transparent, accountable and listen to the community.
What’s your vision for improving and diversifying Anchorage’s economy?
Stopping the arbitrary shutdown of small businesses, improving infrastructure, encouraging the creation of businesses. Improve school results so that there is a workforce capable of doing the jobs that are needed and created in economic prosperity.
What do you see as the most effective strategies to address homelessness in Anchorage going forward?
Providing housing is a start, but there needs more focus on mental health treatment. Partnering more aggressively with the Alaska Mental Health Trust that provides funding to deal with mental health issues.