Alaska Groups and Organizations Continue to Voice Opposition to Constitutional Convention
Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Bankers Association, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation, NANA, Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2022 (ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – This week, Defend Our Constitution welcomed a growing number of Alaska groups and organizations who have publicly taken a position against a Constitutional Convention. The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), NANA Board of Directors, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), Alaska Bankers Association, and the Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance are among the latest organizations to voice opposition to Ballot Measure 1, the upcoming vote on whether Alaska will hold a Constitutional Convention.
“A constitutional convention would be expensive and dangerous: it would open the entire Constitution for revision on a wide range of critical issues and pose risks to tribal/Alaska Native interests that are embedded in the Constitution with the likelihood of delegates with views that are antagonistic to those interests;”Alaska Federation of Natives
“Rural Alaska could have the most to lose if a convention were called, as policymakers have routinely exhibited opposition towards issues such as Power Cost Equalization, the Alaska Marine Highway System, and rural education funding, and fundamental protections in place for Rural Alaska could disappear.”
“‘We feel that it is in the best interests of our shareholders not to open the constitution up for potential rewrites, some of which may negatively affect our shareholders and region,’ said Board Chair Utuktauraq Ely Cyrus. ‘We support voting No on Ballot Measure 1.’… Holding a constitutional convention could negatively impact Rural Alaska and the Native community. The potential risks of a constitutional convention could involve negative impacts to subsistence rights, water rights, Power Cost Equalization, rural education funding, privacy rights, fish and game management, redistricting, Tribal rights, gun rights, and environmental regulation. Much is at stake, and for these reasons NANA encourages our shareholders to vote “No” on Ballot Measure 1 in November.”NANA Board of Directors
“In the matter of the Constitutional Convention question mandated to appear on the 2022 ballot, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation opposes the convening of a Constitutional Convention. FEDC is concerned the holding of a Constitutional Convention will create uncertainty in an already challenged local and statewide economy.”Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation Position Statement
The Alaska Federation of Natives voted at its annual Fall convention in support of a resolution to oppose the Constitutional Convention ballot question. AFN is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Its membership includes 158 federally recognized tribes, 141 village corporations, 10 regional corporations, and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and compact to run federal and state programs.
In expressing opposition, both AFN and NANA cite concerns relating to the negative impacts a Convention would have on rural Alaska and Alaska Native communities, while the Alaska Bankers Association, FEDC and others highlight the economic uncertainty a convention would bring to the Alaska economy.