Democrat Jeremiah Youmans runs for District 2 in the Alaska State Legislature

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 4:05 PM AKDT
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Democrat Jeremiah Youmans is running to represent District 2 in the Alaska State Legislature. This seat is currently held by Steve Thompson.

Youmans said he decided to run because he didn’t see any candidates for his district who represented him. “The little voice in the back of my head went, ‘You have your own values. You can run,’” he said.

According to Youmans, he wants to provide realistic solutions to Alaska’s problems. “We basically run every year, having the same problems with our budget, with the PFD [Permanent Fund Dividend], and yet we don’t have any solutions. We suggest solutions, like cutting the deficit and stuff like that, but I don’t see anyone offering what they’re going to cut.”

He added, “They just say, ‘We should cut the budget’ and leave it at that, and get elected. And then the problem continues year after year after year.”

Youmans said, “We need to be exploring new revenue, and getting our fair share of the resources that we have now. Instead of giving away money in tax credits to the oil companies, we should be getting our fair share of that. We should be exploring some sort of progressive broad-based taxation and we should be talking about those things too, not just pointing at cuts.”

He said people should vote for him because, “I’m not going to say one thing and then do another. I’m willing to explore options and discuss things with the other side, but at a certain point, we need to actually move on from talking and actually do something about these problems.”

Youmans discussed other issues in the state, from climate change to suicide. “Climate change is happening in front of us, from having to move villages and stuff because of coastal erosion. We’re going to have to come up with real solutions and listen to experts to be able to solve those problems.”

He went on to say, “There’s high suicide rates, and we need to actually, instead of just policing these problems, we need to actually go to the root causes of these problems and address our houselessness and our poverty in the state.”

According to Youmans, a statutory PFD needs to be paid out, or else the statute needs to be changed. “I’m not a politician. I am just a citizen who’s concerned about the direction the state is going. I watch these boring legislative hearings year after year on the budget and on the PFD and see no traction, and see just a deadlock in the legislature. That is just incredibly frustrating,” he said.

Youmans added, “We need to address the problems in Alaska instead of continuing to kick the can down the road. We’ve spent our savings down to the bone, but I don’t see anyone offering an actual path out of the fiscal crisis.”

Youmans is running unopposed in the non-Republican primary ballot on August 18th.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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