Dear ,

Fall is here. Students are adjusting to a very abnormal school year, and parents are doing the same. Many Alaskans continue to work from home, while others are required to return to work physically. My heart and best wishes go out to all as we continue through this pandemic.

Within this bulletin, you will find information on Anchorage schools reopening, CARES funding, crime rates, the Census, voting absentee, and more. As I write this, I know we are preparing for the uncertainty these next few months will hold. While there are many unknowns and uncontrollable components, the elements in our hands are our compassion, our right to vote, and our right to vote absentee.

Back to School
The Anchorage School District is rolling out plans to reopen schools. On October 19, elementary school students may have the opportunity to return to the classroom, while middle and high school students will return in mid-November and January, respectively. The Anchorage School District is updating the public on student re-entry plans on their website.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
All eligible Alaska businesses are now permitted to receive CARES funding, even if they accepted federal loans. Previously, businesses that received federal loans were automatically ineligible for CARES funding. Alaska was the only state in the union to have such a standard. Fortunately, the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee convinced the Governor to release CARES funds after months of pressure. This unlocked $290 million in CARES funding for Alaska small businesses. After months of waiting, $111.2 million of that amount has been distributed to relieve 2,786 businesses, as of September 23. The application period for these funds closed on September 15. Here is the State's economic recovery portal for businesses and more information.

Decreased Crime Rates
I am pleased that Alaska's crime rate is down 9.3% from last year. This includes a decrease in violent crimes by 2.6% and property crimes by 12.1%. The Uniform Crime Report from the Department of Public Safety can be found here.

When it comes to COVID-19, we all have the right to make our own decisions about how we protect ourselves and our loved ones. I encourage all of you to wear a mask while in public and limit exposure to crowds. I hope you take the time to educate yourself about a vaccine with scientific facts and take full advantage of the vaccine when it is released after being safely tested. In the meantime, I please consider voting absentee, or early in person, complete your Census (due by September 30!) and continue being considerate of others. Below are more details and resources.
All my best,
Senator Tom Begich
Senate District J
The Census: Ensure You Count!
Please, complete your 2020 Census today to help fund schools, roads, and public services. Otherwise, Alaska may miss out on millions of dollars of federal funding over the next decade. Remember to encourage your neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers to complete the Census as well. The deadline is September 30.

Additionally, results from the 2020 Census are used to determine political representation at all levels of government. This has a direct impact on regulations influencing your neighborhood and laws governing Alaska.
Visit to complete your Census report– it will only take 10 minutes.
Vote Safe Alaska, Vote By Mail
During the Primary Election this fall, 45 percent of Alaskans voted in some form of absentee. It is a normal, safe, reliable, and easy process.

Voting is important to our democratic process. It is our civic duty and a critical component to ensuring your voice is heard. As Alaska continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, it is essential to stay safe. Going to a polling location may be risky and could put your family and friends in danger of exposure to COVID-19.

To stay safe and protected from COVID-19, I encourage you to request an absentee ballot from the Division of Elections here:

You may also contact them via email at [email protected] or (907) 270-2700 or toll free at (877) 375-6508 if you have questions or if you would like an absentee ballot application mailed to you.

Upcoming Voting Deadlines

  • Sunday, October 4: Deadline for voters to register to vote or update registration
  • Monday, October 19: Absentee In Person, Early Vote, electronic transmission and Special Needs voting begins
  • Monday, October 19: Deadline for Official Election Pamphlet candidate pages to be posted on the web
  • Saturday, October 24: Deadline to receive absentee by-mail applications
  • Thursday, October 29: Deadline for write-in candidates to submit a letter of intent
  • Monday, November 2: Deadline to receive absentee by electronic transmission ballot applications
  • Tuesday, November 3: GENERAL ELECTION DAY. Polls open from 7a.m. to 8p.m.
Adopt a Polling Place
The Division of Elections is looking for folks to help staff voting precincts during the general elections. Without staff, voting precincts will have to close, which we saw happen in five Alaska communities during the primary election. For additional details or to learn how your civic group can Adopt a Precinct, visit the Election Workers and Registrars website.
Resource Links
Here are a few websites to you may visit to get direct updates on many of the policy issues near and dear to this office (click a bullet point or image to be redirected):

Contact Me!
(907) 465-3704 (Juneau / session)
(907) 269-0169 (Anchorage / interim)