Commentary: Signature gathering continues with Recall Dunleavy campaign

By Bruce Jamieson
For The Cordova Times

A recent article about recalling Governor Dunleavy fails to highlight the adaptive nature and operations of the recall movement. Unlike countless people-powered initiatives in the Lower 48 that have shuttered in the face of COVID-19, Recall Dunleavy continues on with innovative ideas, steadily collecting signatures during this pandemic. Our “sign at home” petitions, drive through events and pop-up signature collection are active and ongoing today, one year after a committed group of Alaskans joined together to recall Governor Mike Dunleavy.

Alaska is empowered with a viable recall. If we want change on a national level, we lead this change by first upending the tenure of Governor Dunleavy, right here in our great state.

Governor Dunleavy has not become more competent, more ethical, nor more capable over the last year. Unsurprisingly, he has simply become more adept at slipping through unpopular actions during a distracting and difficult time for every Alaskan. We remain thankful for the true professionals that remain in government, and we sincerely hope that — in the interests of Alaskans’ health moving forward — he heeds their expertise and guidance moving forward.

In 2019, the recall effort was not born of anger or frustration over the last election, but rather in shock and disbelief over the Governor’s blatant disrespect for Alaska’s constitution, incompetence, inability to do the job required, and his lack of basic budgeting abilities.

A group of committed Alaskans, including Republicans, Independents, non-partisans, and Democrats, watched in dismay as Governor Dunleavy weakened and dismantled nearly everything he touched; from constitutional separation of powers, cronyism, to dignified support to our seniors and students across all levels of education — and we knew we had to do something about it.

In February and early March 2020, the second round of signature gathering kicked off and Alaskans organized events around the state. Once again, thousands of Alaskans turned out to show support for the recall — this time stepping out in snowstorms to ensure their inclusion in a historic movement in our state. Shortly after the launch of the petition phase, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of large gatherings, and signature collection naturally slowed as Alaskans chose to stay home. While volunteers and supporters around the state assessed next steps, they were heartened that in less than three weeks prior to the pandemic setting in, we had collected over 30,000 signatures together.

Of course signature gathering has slowed down; it would be insane to not expect it to —  especially compared with our movement’s track record of working at breakneck speed. However, progress has been steady throughout the spring and summer. We will continue collecting signatures because our commitment to Alaska and our Constitution have not wavered in the slightest.

The recall’s tireless, dedicated Alaskan supporters continue to believe that our state needs to replace Governor Dunleavy. We will carry on collecting signatures in order to guarantee all Alaskans are free to make their own choice on who will lead us through the challenging economic recovery ahead. If you have yet to sign the recall petition in 2020, find an in-person location to sign:

Bruce Jamieson has lived in Alaska over 50 years. He spent his career as a small business owner, and currently serves as a Recall Dunleavy Steering Committee member.