Bipartisan group of former Anchorage mayors announce support of One Anchorage Initiative
One Anchorage is holding a press conference today with a bipartisan group of five former Anchorage mayors announcing their support of the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative, which is on the ballot for the April 3 Anchorage municipal election.
The press conference was scheduled for 1:30 PM today at the 5th floor board room of Credit Union 1 at 1941 Abbott Road. The five former mayors are U.S. Senator Mark Begich, former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles, Rick Mystrom, Jack Roderick, and Matt Claman. Due to a last-minute vote in Washington, DC, Senator Begich is addressing the group through a pre-recorded video. Look for further coverage of the group’s announcement in Anchorage print and broadcast media.
If passed, the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative will amend Anchorage’s equal rights code to provide the same legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity that are already provided based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability.
Here is the media advisory issued earlier today by One Anchorage.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Marquette, (907) 378-4330
Former Mayors Announce Support of One Anchorage Initiative
Bipartisan Group Calls for Same Legal Protections for
Anchorage’s Gay and Transgender Community
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Five former Anchorage Mayors met today to announce their support for the One Anchorage Initiative – a voter initiative that will provide the same legal protections to gay and transgender Alaskans in employment, housing, financial practices and businesses, as are already provided to others.
The bipartisan group consists of:
- US Senator Mark Begich;
- former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles;
- former Mayor Rick Mystrom;
- former Mayor Jack Roderick, and
- former Mayor Matt Claman.
“Across the nation, you see more and more communities passing similar laws because it’s the right thing to do,” said Senator Begich. “I am proud to see Anchorage take a stand and ensure that the city’s laws protect everyone fairly and equally.”
“This initiative is about giving all Anchorage residents the same legal protections,” said Former Governor Knowles. “I believe that if someone works hard and plays by the rules, they should be given a fair shake to earn a paycheck and put a roof over their family’s head.”
“When I talk with new minority residents of Anchorage, I often hear them talk about how welcoming and tolerant our city is,” said former Mayor Rick Mystrom. “As a former Mayor of Anchorage I’m proud of that and as an owner and operator of apartment buildings in Anchorage, this amendment is consistent with my beliefs and my company’s practices.”
If passed, Anchorage would follow almost 150 states, counties, and cities across the United States which have established similar laws. Among those places are Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Currently there are no federal, state, or local laws that protect an individual from being fired solely because she is a lesbian, for reasons having nothing to do with her job performance. Many of the leaders stressed that point and said that is why it is necessary for this initiative to pass.
“The One Anchorage Initiative is an important way to protect all of our city’s residents and I encourage voters to support it on Election Day,” said former Mayor Jack Roderick.
“It’s time that our gay and transgender neighbors receive the same legal protections the rest of us already enjoy,” said former Mayor Matt Claman. “The One Anchorage Initiative protects religious freedom and small landlords, while still ensuring equal opportunity.”
If passed, the One Anchorage Initiative would expand the current Anchorage Equal Rights Code to include “sexual orientation and transgender identity,” along with current protections for race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, and physical and mental disability.
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