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There will be harm and unimaginable grief from the lack of an override today, but know that the fight is not over. The Legislature still has options and there will be action to take in the coming days and weeks.
These are unprecedented times in our state and for our sector. And while I understand all too well the obstacles in front of us, I want to say how very proud and impressed I am with every nonprofit that has mobilized – not just standing up for their mission and the people they serve, but also standing up for the sector and for Alaska. This could have been a moment that divided us, pitting organization against organization and mission against mission. Instead, day after day I have seen solidarity. This is the Alaska way.
Groups who have never used their voices in the public policy arena have worked alongside those who are seasoned advocates. They are acting courageously and making space to talk about the people we serve and the communities we want to live in. Especially heartening is that so many continue to be clear that this is not about saving our organizations, it is about the people and places we serve – none of which go away even if we cease to exist or are forced to reorganize.
As I see all the groups who are standing up for Alaska, I am reminded of the diversity of our sector and how it is not distinguished by party or politics, but simply by the ways we build and strengthen the Alaska we all believe in. I am also reminded that Alaska works best when we stand with our partners in business, industry, and all levels of government – together we are finding common ground.
This fight is not over. Have courage. Keep up the pressure. Thank legislators who are taking time to listen.
Take care of yourself and each other today and in the coming days. Practice “we-care” as we continue to find our strength and use our voices. We cannot stop using our voices!
Know that we are still standing beside you. Together we will navigate our new reality.