Tag Archives: Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson will face off in November for the District 35 House seat. Kreiss-Tomkins would be returning for a second term, while Samuelson is hoping his third try at a house seat is successful.
In 2013, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins went to Juneau as a 23-year-old novice lawmaker. He returned last week, at the end of his freshman term, as the sponsor of a successful Native languages bill that got national attention. Kreiss-Tomkins is up for reelection in November. He stopped by KCAW to discuss his summer plans, the virtues of sometimes doing nothing, and how to cope with Juneau when you’re a freshman in the minority.
When the Alaska Senate passed House Bill 216 just after 3 a.m. Monday, nobody was more thrilled than its primary sponsor: Sitka Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. Kreiss-Tomkins introduced the bill, which makes 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages. On Easter Sunday, supporters staged a 15-hour sit-in at the Capitol to demand it get a vote.
About 40 people turned out in Sitka last week to discuss House Bill 77. The bill is part of an effort by the Parnell Administration to streamline the process for permitting projects on state land. But some Sitkans are joining a chorus of critics who say the bill goes too far, and would curtail public participation in natural resource decisions.
The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday night approved a loan of $350,000 to the Baranof Island Brewing Company. Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins told assembly members, "The state is going broke." And City Administrator Mark Gorman reported on why cruise companies said they see Sitka as different from Ketchikan or Juneau.
Supporters of the state’s new oil tax regime have launched a major campaign to defeat a citizen initiative which would restore the old tax. Former Sitkan Rocky Elerding traveled from Ketchikan this week (1-22-14) to speak to Sitka’s Chamber of Commerce on the issue. The 1995 Sitka High graduate's 20-minute Powerpoint echoed much of the tax reform debate that dominated the Alaska legislative session last year.
The second session of the 28th Alaska Legislature opens today (Tue 1-21-14), and Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins has something he lacked last year: Experience. While he’s still the youngest legislator on the hill in Juneau, and still a member of the minority, the Sitka Democrat has already pre-filed one bill on Native languages, and remains deeply skeptical of the governor’s efforts to boost oil production by reducing taxes on industry profits.
Governor Parnell’s capital budget will send several million dollars to Sitka, but the lion’s share of district funding will be for transportation projects in Haines and Prince of Wales Island.
A local legislative race in Alaska has caught the attention of national media, and is being held up as model for political change elsewhere in the country. The April 22nd issue of The Nation magazine calls the election of 23-year-old Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins to the to the House District 34 seat a “lesson” for the left.