A second Sitkan has filed to run for one of two open assembly seats. Steve Lee threw his hat in the ring on Monday (7-27-20). Lee made an unsuccessful bid for the office last year, but he says he’s learned some lessons since then and hopes his campaign will be stronger as a result.
Last year Steve Lee ran for a seat on the Sitka Assembly, and while he didn’t win, he says people are asking him to run again. He says it’s because he’s positive and direct.
“I’m honest, straightforward person, and when I say stuff I always go through,” he said. “I keep my promises, that’s the most important thing.”
44-year-old Lee works as a patient housing clerk for SEARHC. And he’s running on the same platform as 2019. He’s interested in more local services for drug and alcohol addiction and mental health, and making Sitka more affordable. He says he learned a lot from last year’s run.
“I was nervous last year, I didn’t know what to say,” he said. “But now I’m confident [in] what I say and how to be stronger with my mentality.”
If elected to the assembly, Lee says he would use his vote as a conduit for the people rather than to pursue his own agenda.
“I’m not here to make my own decisions. I’m the voice of the people,” he says. “Whatever the voices comes from the people, I just follow through.”
He says he supports recent assembly votes that aligned with public comment: Moving the Baranov statue and voting down a public masking order. But he says he still wears a mask, and is concerned about how the assembly will respond in the future to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“People are worried, people are losing their jobs, people not working. As for myself, I was a COVID-19 positive,” he says.
Lee says he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 14. He didn’t have symptoms but the diagnosis forced him to quarantine along with his girlfriend who was unable to work from home, so says he knows the economic impact of the virus first-hand. He says he would support more legislation to reduce the economic stress on Sitkans by reducing sales taxes for groceries and small businesses.
Lee says he wants to help heal “political divisiveness” in Sitka, and as an assembly member would try to improve communication between people on both sides of the aisle.
“Sitka itself, right now, the foundation is kind of broken up, but we need to heal that process,” he said. “I think, I believe in myself that I can be that person to heal that foundation and be the bridge.”
Lee is running for one of two open seats on the Sitka Assembly. Sitka’s municipal election is Tuesday, October 6.