Through Alaska’s strength and unity, we can overcome challenges

Democrat Mark Begich, with his wife Deborah and son Jacob, and at his left Debra Call, his running mate for lieutenant governor, announced on Sept. 4 that he’s staying in the three-way race for governor. (Photo by Margaret Bauman/The Cordova Times)

By Mark Begich

For The Cordova Times

On Nov. 6 Alaskans have a decision to make -who will be the best person to lead Alaska? This election is about the next generations, about our kids and grandkids, and about how we bring Alaskans together to build the best future for our state with a strong economy, safe communities, and great schools.

We have some challenges to overcome, but Alaskans don’t shy away from big challenges.  We put on our boots, grab our tools, join our neighbors and get to work. We need that same spirit in the governor’s office to put our state on a sustainable and secure path for the next generation of Alaskans.

But I hear from too many Alaskans who fear the Alaska they love is slipping away. We face low school achievement, high crime and soaring unemployment rates. Families are struggling just to make ends meet, much less investing in their retirement or children’s education. This election is truly about Alaska’s future – and the stakes have never been higher.

This is our moment to come together and build Alaska’s future and create the legacy we will leave behind for our children and grandchildren. If we unite and put Alaska first, we can tackle these problems no matter how big they are.

There are stark differences between my opponent and I on how we would address our state’s challenges.

I have a plan to constitutionally protect the PFD allowing it to grow with no cap, while Mike Dunleavy has voted nine times against your PFD.

I have laid out a comprehensive crime plan to make our rural and urban communities safer, while Mike Dunleavy has said he is, “too busy campaigning” to tell Alaskans how he would crack down on crime. Just as I did as Mayor, I will hire more prosecutors to ensure those who break the law actually go to jail. Mike Dunleavy voted to cut state troopers, prosecutors, village police, and corrections officers.

I support constitutionally guaranteeing long-term education funding to provide a stronger education for all Alaska students, while Mike Dunleavy wants to drain public school funding and send kids to private school. He even wants to close rural schools and send kids to boarding schools, breaking apart families and communities.

I got into this race because I don’t sit on the sidelines when there are problems to be solved. I know our best days are ahead of us and that is why I have laid out a positive vision and clear plan to build a better future for all Alaskans. I hope you will join Debra Call and me in working together to move Alaska forward. We can’t afford to go backwards. We would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.