I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the winter and staying warm through this cold snap. I wanted to take a minute and provide you with an update on the passage of the federal infrastructure legislation, some upcoming holiday events, and the new legislative districts for our East Anchorage neighborhoods.
I am proud to congratulate the Bettye Davis East Anchorage Thunderbirds Football State Champions! Second year in a row!
Federal Infrastructure Bill
President Biden's infrastructure bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. My office reached out to our federal delegation for information on how this bill will impact Alaska and to find out how it will help rebuild our state's aging infrastructure. Here is a summary of some ways those federal funds will be allocated in Alaska and nationwide:
Roughly $3.5 billion in highway funding for Alaska over five years to construct, rebuild, and maintain our roads and highways.
$225 million to address more than 140 bridges considered to be “structurally deficient” in Alaska.
$11 billion for highway and pedestrian safety programs, including significant investment in the Safe Streets Program, which aims to prevent death and serious injury to cyclists and pedestrians on roads and streets.
$362 million over five years for a mix of transit formula grants. Creates a new set-aside within the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) for projects in rural areas.
$15 billion in formula funding nationwide for the FAA Airport Improvement Program which supports projects such as planning, installing and expanding runways, gates, and taxiways and improving runway lighting and navigation.
$1 billion for a new program that establishes an essential ferry service to support rural communities. This program will provide funding to the Alaska Marine Highway System.
$250 million for an electric or low-emitting ferry pilot program, with at least one pilot to be conducted in the state with the most Marine Highway System miles—Alaska, which has more than 3,100 miles of Marine Highway, much of which is in Southeast Alaska.
$342 million for the Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program, of which Alaska should receive
$73 million. Authorizes Federal-aid highway funds to the Alaska Marine Highway System to be spent on operation and repair.
$5 billion nationwide for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Program, which will assist the Alaska Railroad with critical capital projects and rail safety technologies.
Provides more than $180 million over five years for water and wastewater projects in Alaska through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs.
$10 billion for states to address PFAS contamination through Clean Water and Drinking Water programs, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities.
Authorizes $230 million for the EPA Alaska Native Villages grant program to support communities with new and improved wastewater and drinking water systems. Increases the federal cost share from 50 percent to 75 percent. There are currently 245 communities eligible for this grant funding in the State.
Provides a minimum allocation of $100 million for each state in grants for the deployment of broadband.
Provides $75 million for the Denali Commission, which funds economic development and infrastructure in rural Alaska.
$2.25 billion for the Port Infrastructure Development Program which provides critical support to ports big and small throughout Alaska.
Provides $250 million for remote and subsistence harbor construction. This will go toward building ports in rural areas, many of which are not connected to a road system and in need of a port—a lifeblood to rural communities in Alaska.
Includes $465 million for U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers’ Continuing Authorities Program, which will help smaller communities across the country.
Funds $429 million on the Coast Guard’s unfunded priority list. This funding will support our Coast Guard personnel in Kodiak, Sitka, and Ketchikan. An additional $5 million has also been funded for the operational and maintenance costs of these efforts.
Upcoming Holiday Events & Activities
Thanksgiving Blessing Today – Dinners Provided
Need help getting a Thanksgiving meal? Today, Monday, November 22, you can drop by and get a free Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. On the East side, stop by St. Patrick’s between 3-8 PM.
Downtown Anchorage Holiday Market – Beginning November 26th
The 2nd annual Downtown Anchorage Holiday Market will begin on November 26 and take place each weekend until December 19. The market will feature over 60 Alaska vendors and lasts from 12–8 PM. The Holiday market is located at 49th State Brewing at 717 w 3rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501.
Light Up Downtown – November 27th
Join the Anchorage Downtown Partnership on Saturday, November 27 to celebrate the official start of the holiday season in downtown Anchorage! This event is family friendly and fun activities will take place at multiple locations downtown throughout the day. For more information please click HERE.
Chanukah on Fire – November 28th
Join in the celebration of Chanukah on Fire this year in Town Square Park, on Sunday, November 28 at 5 PM. Enjoy family activities including music, a fire breathing performance, extreme air jump, and treats including hot soup, cocoa, doughnuts, and potato kugel.
Chanshtnu Muldoon Park – 2021-2022 Season
The ice rink at the Chanshtnu Muldoon Park officially opened for the 2021-2022 winter season! Since opening in 2018 this park has been a great addition to our neighborhood and has provided our friends and family with a great spot to spend time having fun together during these long winter months.
New State House & Senate Districts
The Redistricting Board approved new state legislative districts on November 10. You can read more about the redistricting proclamation and the materials associated with it on the Board’s website HERE.
The Board’s proclamation House and Senate Districts for East Anchorage neighborhoods and JBER have changed significantly from our current district. The most notable change will be that Muldoon will be divided into three separate House Districts. The South Muldoon/Eastern Foothills House District will be paired with western Eagle River to form one Senate District, while the Northeast Muldoon House District, along with JBER, Mountain View, and Government Hill, will be paired with eastern Eagle River to form one Senate District.
Due to the substantial changes in the district boundaries, 19 out of 20 Senate seats and all 40 House seats will be up for election in November 2022. The Board’s proclamation may be challenged in court up to 30 days after its adoption. There are lawsuits likely to be filed in the coming days.
Here is a link to the statewide redistricting map, which is interactive. Below are images of the new districts of our neighborhoods and the Redistricting Board’s description of these new districts.
House District 19 – U-Med
District 19 is bounded by a line beginning at the intersection of Lake Otis Parkway and Northern Lights Boulevard, east on Northern Lights Boulevard to Nichols Street, north to E 20th Avenue, east to Bragaw Street, north to Reka Drive, east to the powerlines extending south from Pine Street, north to Pine Street, north to Debarr Road, east to Boniface Parkway, south to a non-visible line extending west from E 20th Avenue, east to E 20th Avenue, east to Penn Circle, north to Craig Drive, east to the end of Craig Drive, southeast along a non-visible line to the southern boundary of Nunaka Valley Park, east to Beaver Place, south to Baxter Road, south to Tudor Road, west to Elmore Road, south to Dowling Road, west to Lake Otis Parkway, north to the point of beginning.
House District 20 – North Muldoon
House District 20 is bounded by a line beginning at the intersection of Debarr Road and Pine Street, north on Pine Street to McCarrey Street, north to the Glenn Highway, east extending north from Boundary Avenue near Patterson Street, south along a non-visible line to Boundary Avenue, east to Muldoon Road, south to Duben Avenue, east to the boundary of Fort Richardson, south to a non-visible line extending east from the end of Debarr Road, west along a nonvisible line to Debarr Road, west to a non-visible line extending east from Debarr Road and Muldoon Road, west along a non-visible line to Debarr Road, west to the point of beginning.
House District 21 – South Muldoon
House District 21 is bounded by a line beginning at the intersection of Debarr Road and Boniface Parkway, south on Boniface Parkway to a non-visible line extending west from E 20th Avenue, east to E 20th Avenue, east to Penn Circle, north to Craig Drive, east to the end of Craig Drive, southeast along a non-visible line to the southern boundary of Nunaka Valley Park, east to Beaver Place, south to Baxter Road, south to Tudor Road, east along the north boundary of Far North Bicentennial Park, east to the boundary of Fort Richardson, north to a non-visible line extending east from the end of Debarr Road, west along a non-visible line to Debarr Road, west to a non-visible line extending east from Debarr Road and Muldoon Road, west along a non-visible line to Debarr Road, west to the point of beginning.
House District 23 - Government Hill/JBER/Northeast Anchorage
House District 23 is bounded by a line beginning at the intersection of the Glenn Highway and McCarrey Street, north on McCarrey Street to Mountainview Drive, west to Pine Street, north to McPhee Avenue, west to the boundary of Elmendorf Air Force Base, west then south to Taylor Street, south to Thompson Avenue, west to the boundary of Elmendorf Air Force Base, west to Reeve Boulevard, south to E 5th Avenue, west to Juneau Street, north to E 4th Avenue, west to L Street, north to the end of L Street, north along a non-visible line to the Alaska Railroad, northeast to a non-visible line extending east near W 2nd Avenue, west on the non-visible line to the shoreline of Knik Arm, west then northwest along a non-visible line to the boundary of the Municipality of Anchorage, north to the northern boundary of Elmendorf Air Force Base, southeast then south then east then south to Loop Road, east to the Alaska Railroad, east then northeast to Fossil Creek, east then northeast to the boundary of Fort Richardson, north then east to the Glenn Highway, southwest to the western boundary of Fort Richardson, south then west to a non-visible line extending northeast from the end of Peck Avenue, southwest to Peck Avenue, southwest then west to the boundary of Fort Richardson, south to Duben Avenue, west to Muldoon Road, north to Boundary Avenue, west to a non-visible line extending north from Patterson Street, north along a non-visible line to the Glenn Highway, west to the point of beginning.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.
Alaska Senate Democrats | Capitol Building, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801