Occupation:  I am the General Assistance Caseworker for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Social Services Department. In my position, I administer the financial assistance programs for STA, as well as advocate for financial self sufficiency.

Current community involvement: My board service includes The Greater Sitka Arts Council, Youth Advocates of Sitka, The Island Institute and The Sitka Community Land Trust. My current community involvement includes being a strong supporter of Braveheart Volunteers. I’ve enjoyed attending their board meetings and sitting in on their ad hoc committee meetings. I also helped form the Student Activity Fund at Sitka High School, which assists families by providing scholarships to help cover the cost of extra curricular activities. We are now creating the Community Youth Activity Fund, which will offer scholarships for families with younger children.

Previous government or other relevant experience:  I am a Tribal Citizen of Kotzebue IRA, and my children are Tribal Citizens of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. As an Alaskan Native, I find it extremely important to be an advocate of knowing the laws and process of our land and resources. I have spoken out to protect our fish and land. My work has been published in writing journals, speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), as well as challenging the Bureau of Indian Affairs to change their usage of, “Eskimo.” I was also trained in village management which includes grant writing and economic development.

Why are you running for the Sitka Assembly this year? I am running for the Sitka Assembly this year because I see how exceedingly difficult it is becoming to live in this town. I also want to represent those who find themselves on a budget. As a woman and as a mother, I feel my input would be invaluable.

What are your top two priorities if elected? My top two priorities if elected would be tackling the infrastructure deficit and family sustainability. Right now, I believe the city is trying to stay healthy but at the cost of Sitka’s families. I believe that we need to look at the budget and work together to find ways to cover the cost of these upgrades. As for family sustainability, I believe the city could do a number of things to help families stay in Sitka–from lowering the $250.00 penalty to turn your electricity back on to finding a better way to administer the senior sales tax. We need to address the need of affordable housing and offer incentives to property owners to make their rentals more energy efficient. Strengthening our tourism and businesses will also create a structure that is less dependent on our families.



What’s your philosophy for funding city government, which includes enterprise funds (electricity, etc.) and the Sitka School District. Is Sitka living within its means? If not, what should be done to change that?

As an advocate of financial self sufficiency, I believe Sitka needs to look at what we can afford.  As a writer who supports the arts and as a mother of three children in the school district, I believe the communication between the Sitka School District and the Sitka Assembly could strengthen.  I want to find a balance, and work from there.


The city will soon enter negotiations to sell Sitka Community Hospital to SEARHC. Do you support the merger of Sitka’s two hospitals? Why or why not? And if elected, what would you do to drive or reverse that process?

At this time with Sitka’s financial outlook, the merger had to happen. I have listened to both sides and from my perspective, the next step is to walk to the table ready to negotiate. I am ready to do this.There are people who may think that since I am a beneficiary, I wanted this to happen. This is untrue. I am a Sitkan. I want what is best for the longevity of this town.

Ballot Questions 

There are two question on the ballot, one calling for the sales tax exemption for senior citizens to be reinstated, and the other exempting Sitka from thestatewide public smoking ban. Where do you stand on these issues?

I believe we can rethink the Senior Sales tax.  As a caseworker, I understand what type of undertaking it is to implement a social program.  I think we could make the process less invasive while also saving time and money. Personally, I do not support the opt out but I do believe in letting the people vote.  I have faith that Sitka will speak and decide what they want.


Sitka has a severe lack of affordable homes, as well as a homeless population without shelter. What role – if any – does the Assembly have in supporting affordable housing and shelter?

I believe Sitka’s Assembly has a substantial role in supporting affordable housing.  Affordable housing is the key for our long term success.  Now is the time to look into our options. Is it tiny homes or a floating village? The Sitka Community Land Trust has worked towards affordable living.  What else can Sitka do?  I am willing and able to work towards finding these answers.The Sitka Assembly needs to look into ways to restructure the short term rentals offered in Sitka as well as offering incentives for the construction of long term rentals.


Sitka has deferred maintenance on multiple pieces of infrastructure. To replace harbors, for instance, moorage rates have been raised. The city is seeking state bonds. What do you think of the city’s approach to capital repairs?

These topics are crucial to Sitka’s sustainability.  How do we find funding for these projects?  These are viable projects that we need in order to keep a safe community.  This is where we need to come together to find ways to strengthen our tourism, and economic holdings. I am extremely proud of this current Assembly for working towards providing a float plane dock.  This means more money coming into our town.  Let’s build from there and find other avenues of strengthening our economic development.


Describe your decision-making style. If elected, what kind of Assembly member do you want to be? What do you want the public to know about who you are as a leader?

I believe in making informed decisions.  My utmost attribute is my ability to listen.  My voice maybe soft but I was raised by a strong Irish woman. She instilled in me the ability to speak up. I have never given up in life. I am a leader because I have willed it.  I am a leader because I am not alone. I do not work alone.  Sitka is an extraordinary place to call home and it deserves that we try our best to find the answers to these issues that we face.  No matter where you stand with your politics, I am willing to work with you.  I want Sitka to succeed.