Kitty Sopow is one of seven candidates running for three open seats on the Assembly. The municipal election is Tuesday, October 3rd. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

My name is Kitty Sopow and I am a write-in candidate for the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly.

Downloadable audio.

Since registering to run as a write-in candidate, many of you have come to me to discuss your views on city issues. Others have come to me and disclosed how hard it is to run as a write-in, especially since many haven’t had the opportunity to know me and where I stand on the city’s issues. I have genuinely enjoyed this aspect of the campaign — that is, listening to the concerns of Sitka’s diverse community.

For those of you who have yet to meet me, I enjoy working with people! As an anthropologist, I have been involved with many different kinds of people throughout my career. This experience has shown me that people do the best work they can, no matter what.

I’m running for Assembly to add my skill set to the table, a table that hosts some of the finest folks in town, folks that citizens like you have elected to represent this town and your concerns.

Sitka is a great and beautiful place with a constant stream of implications facing the city’s boards, commissions and Assembly. Problems exist. To solve these problems, we must interact with them in a particular context. Our context? An island town with a rich history of sustainability and growth.

My task will not simply be to figure out how to solve the problem, but to discover in the first place what the problem is and how it should be approached. Assembly candidates should be judged based on what they can DO, not what they already know.

When initially faced with a problem, our Assembly members should be unsure of what needs to be done. Their decisions should be made only after gathering quality information about how the problem was formed, who it has impacted, and how to mitigate that impact. As Sitka changes, so too will the criteria for our policy makers.

I see Sitka as a community that has the capacity to offer many opportunities for young, single adults and the next generation of families. I recognize that the cost of living is discouraging to young, up and coming families who wish to settle in this town.

I see Sitka as a community with a lot of unmet needs for our elders. Our population is aging. The number of individuals who are 65 years and older will increase by 50% in the next ten years. My numerous conversations with community members has raised an alarm. The amount of elder care needed in this town is about to expand, but is there a plan in place to care for our elders?

If elected to the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly, I will offer tolerance and patience. Because I am intellectually and socially curious, I look forward to learning and trying new things to make Sitka a more healthy, affordable and prosperous community.

As an Assembly member, I can promise that I will listen, stay engaged, and empower the residents of this town.

The municipal election is Tuesday, October 3rd. Both precincts will vote at Harrigan Centennial Hall.  Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Absentee and advanced voting is available weekdays from 9am to 5pm at City Hall (3rd floor) through October 2nd. Absentee voting by mail is available through September 26.