Last month I wrote about Sami Graham, Mayor Bronson’s pick to serve as Anchorage’s head librarian. The piece directly focused on Graham’s lack of educational background or work experience related to public libraries.
According to the listed requirements and preferences for the position, it seems that if Ms. Graham were applying for this position, she likely wouldn’t be considered, and sources within the Anchorage Public Library system say that they are concerned about the lack of qualifications of Mayor Bronson’s appointee.
According to Alaska Public Media, a spokesman for Mayor Bronson did not respond to a question about why Graham was appointed if she didn’t meet the posted qualifications for the job.
Aside from being a Save Anchorage member herself (since July 2020), Graham enjoys great support from the group whose members have promoted baseless election fraud and COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Members of the group openly celebrated the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection — with one member referring to the attack on Democracy as a “necessary evil.“
Last October, Graham thanked Anchorage resident Dustin Darden “on behalf of all of us” for his efforts related to recalling Progressive Assembly members Kameron Perez-Verdia and Austin Quinn-Davidson.
The Bronson supporters of Save Anchorage and Alaska Parents’ Rights in Education have been aglow at the prospect of a Graham confirmation hoping that she will bring an end to Drag Queen Story Hour and that Graham would rid the public library system of any book even remotely associated with Critical Race Theory — and it’s easy to see why those Bronson supporters would be excited.
When asked at a Growing Alaskan Leaders School Board Candidate Forum in February what came to mind when candidates saw the acronym LGBTQIA2S+, Graham responded, “Not age-appropriate for elementary.”
Graham’s answer seems to jive with local political activist Annie Massey of the far-right anti-critical race theory Alaska Parents’ Rights in Education group. Massey and her group supported Graham when she ran for Anchorage School Board, writing that Graham would “implement wise techniques” if elected.
Parents’ Rights in Education is staunchly anti-LGBTQ, evidenced by this statement which claims children are being groomed and easy prey for pedophilia advances by adults via the American Library Association.
“The American Library Association promotes events in libraries across the nation. Drag Queens, men dressed as women, reading children’s books portraying little boys who want to become girls (Jack Not Jill) and animals’ choice of underwear or none at all (What Color is Your Underwear?) are grooming 3-5 year olds to normalize and embrace homosexuality and transgenderism, easy prey for pedophilia advances by adults.”Parents’ Rights In Education
Eagle River Assembly Person Jamie Allard also shared her support of Graham during this year’s school board race. Then on July 29, 2021, Allard ’roundaboutly’ solicited emails supporting Graham’s appointment from the Save Anchorage group. Worth noting is a comment under Allard’s post, which says Graham wouldn’t have drag queens reading to children.
Also in July, Allard made concerning comments about Anchorage’s transgender community as a whole on the Louisiana-based Dan Fagan show.
“I truly believe those who are transgender are mentally ill,” Allard said, sharing with listeners that if one were to “mutilate your body and cut off your body parts because you want to be something you’re not, it will never change your DNA, you need mental health (help).”
I’m sure Mrs. Graham is a wonderful person, but that in itself doesn’t qualify her to head the Anchorage Public Library System. Graham lacks any educational background or work experience related to public libraries.
Support for Graham’s appointment stems from at least two concerning social media groups (Save Anchorage and Alaska Parents’ Rights in Education). In addition, that support is derived from those who believe Graham should end a popular and successful LGBTQ program and take aim at reading material related to critical race theory.
Graham’s support of an effort to recall two Progressive members of the Anchorage Assembly should not be overlooked.
Graham’s confirmation hearing is tomorrow, August 19, at 12:00 pm. Interested individuals can email the Anchorage Assembly with their thoughts about her appointment here.