This Q&A is part of a broader candidate survey by the Anchorage Daily News. View the full survey here.
Nial Sherwood Williams | District: 3 | Age: 35 | Occupation: Government watchdog
What is the most important problem facing Anchorage? How would you address it?
Governmental corruption is the true pandemic. No line-item of the budget, no department of government is too important or too elite to not require an annual housecleaning. Government in this city is too big. Having over 55 municipal departments is too many. Many of the departments are duplicative and repeat tasks of a different department. None of the tasks being done well as government always fails to do things efficiently as could be done by private enterprise. This leads to the next point of quid-pro-quo corruption and kickbacks which have plagued Anchorage for over 70 years. And open, honest bidding process must be done without preferential treatment given to political donors groups or corporations.
Rate Dave Bronson’s performance as mayor. Explain, with specific examples.
Bronson ran on a ticket of open government, but the doors to the mayor’s office are locked. First Amendment rights to petition government for a redress of grievances cannot be abridged. He needs to honor his oath of office, which is to support and defend the constitution of the state of Alaska in the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. The disgraceful mass care system at Sullivan Arena is a human rights disaster.
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?
By staunchly defending freedom of speech and other constitutional rights of citizens. Politics and government need to have debate which is robust wide open. Limiting debate is that which is done in communist countries and under tyrannical despotic leaders such as King George, who we American citizens back in 1776 claimed freedom and independence from. Under New York Times versus Sullivan 1964 Supreme Court case law that states that we are allowed to call out elected officials by name not just for their policies but also for their personality. The citizens of Anchorage have been fooled, the freedom of speech still does exist in Anchorage.
What do you see as the most effective strategies to address homelessness in Anchorage going forward?
The homelessness industrial complex has overtaken our country. Anchorage is no different.
What’s your assessment of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? How would you improve it?
Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling. Port, air, and rail need to be brought into the 21st century. We rely too much on the federal government to come fix our problems. These critical infrastructures must be able to bring critical goods to the citizens of Anchorage and Alaska at large. Let us not waste this batch of federal money as we did the last.