This afternoon, Anchorage assembly member Kameron Perez-Verdia issued a statement in support of the proposed mask mandate AO 2021-91.
In his statement, Perez-Verdia wrote that a line had been crossed between passionate testimony and abuse of the process to delay consideration of the proposed solution.
“Shamefully, while opponents to the ordinance bring weapons to public meetings and harass members of the press, the mayor and his administration have further corrupted the process by removing security from the Assembly chambers in an effort to intimidate its members,” Perez-Verdia wrote, also noting that he was also in favor of a potential emergency order that would “effectively end this mockery of due process and allow us to move forward with the critical business of making hard and important decisions for our city.”
His statement, made today on Facebook, can be found below.
“Over the past 24 hours I have received an outpouring of correspondence from folks who are concerned about the ongoing deliberation regarding AO 2021-91, the proposed mask mandate. It seems there is a general misunderstanding about where I stand on this issue, and I want to set the record straight. I am in favor of the proposed ordinance.
I pride myself on being a listener. During my campaign for the Anchorage Assembly back in 2019 one of my core promises was a commitment to listening and asking the hard questions it takes to distill problems down to their root causes. Ever since you elected me to serve, I have worked hard to consider the various perspectives on every issue brought before the Assembly. I am a process-oriented person and – as with every preceding issue – I approached consideration of AO 2021-91 with the same commitment to the process of public testimony and reasoned discussion. Unfortunately, that process has been corrupted.
There is a line between passionate testimony on an important issue and abuse of the process to delay consideration of the proposed solution. This week, we crossed that line. Thankfully, thousands of Anchorage community members have stepped up to offer their genuine perspectives on the proposed mandate – both in person and through email – and after reviewing their statements I am very much decided on this issue. Regrettably, members of our community have abused the public process in an attempt to prevent myself and the rest of the Assembly from translating those perspectives into much needed action. Shamefully, while opponents to the ordinance bring weapons to public meetings and harass members of the press, the mayor and his administration have further corrupted the process by removing security from the Assembly chambers in an effort to intimidate its members. That is why I am also in favor of an emergency order that would effectively end this mockery of due process and allow us to move forward with the critical business of making hard and important decisions for our city.
I truly appreciate the engagement from so many members of our community on this important issue, and I understand the general feeling of frustration in the face of uncertainty regarding when we will have a final decision on the matter.
Thanks to the process of public testimony and the opportunity to consider all of the relevant facts and perspectives, I have reached my decision and am firmly in favor of the proposed mandate. Unfortunately, due to the misuse of that same process in an attempt to delay a vote, I am also in favor of a potential emergency order that will allow us to act.
Thank you all for your commitment to the health and wellbeing of our city. I look forward to continued dialogue and cooperation as we work to make our city a healthier, safer place for all who live here.”