A free public education is key to a robust democracy. Ignorance and neglect have crippling effects in a society. Schools are reflective of the communities they are part of. That means that there are stark realities that come to light in school assessments and data collection. We know there are huge disparities in performance for students based on income, education of families, stability of their homelife and opportunities accessible to them.
We must continue to provide a safe, high quality, accessible education to every Alaskan and we must start earlier. As a society we will only benefit from investing in early childhood issues. This includes supporting families needing childcare, parents needing guidance, and prevention and intervention programs to improve the lives of the very youngest Alaskans. Every dollar we invest in early education, interventions, opportunities and nutrition saves us money in the long run.
We can not continue to spend more then we take in. Revenues, taxes, user fees, profits from investments, we must produce a revenue stream to meet our needs. That is simple, basic economics. We must collectively decide which of our difficult choices we must make, but we must make some. With the lack of action, each year our options lessen. We have less in savings. We have less in investments. We have lower credit ratings and higher oil tax credits. We must do something. We can not cut our way to a balanced budget.
Environment and Fish
For the last fifteen years we have been involved in direct-to-consumer high quality fish marketing. In season we deliver to local clients. We supply a spin off Farmers Market business for my sister-in-law’s family in Pittsburgh, PA. Year-round we ship salmon and halibut to clients across the country.
Healthy salmon populations are critical to my family and most likely yours. We subsist on it. We earn a living on it. Salmon contribute to the vibrant ecosystem. We must protect this lifeblood of Alaska and that means protecting our water, our air and our land.
We are living during a time of grave environmental change and we must take both individual and collective efforts to slow the heating of the planet. Alaska is at the forefront of devastation that climate change can bring. We need to take steps to shrink our carbon footprint.