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Donald Crocker runs for Borough Assembly Seat D

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 4:04 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Donald Crocker is running for seat D on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly. This seat is currently held by Christopher Quist, who is not seeking reelection.

Crocker said he is running because he wants to be able to be a voice for people that are specifically affected by budget cuts, economic shortfalls and loss of jobs.

“I’ve been a community leader and community organizer in the Fairbanks North Star Borough for 10 years. In 2019, I was working at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and still am. And I saw what happened with the Dunleavy budget cuts. And I saw a lot of pain felt by this community, and by people that I worked with, that I respected. We saw folks from the university, from the school district, decide that they wanted to leave Fairbanks because they didn’t know if they had a job,” he said.

Crocker added, “As we’re looking at the increasing post-pandemic economy, looming budget cuts from the administration, I’m fearful that these types of actions will happen again, and that our local leaders will not be there to advocate for folks that maybe aren’t as vocal, or don’t have as much of a voice.”

He identified one of his biggest priorities as ensuring adequate education funding for the school district. “Last year the school district saw a $1.5 million decrease in their funding. As we’re, again, moving into a post-pandemic economy and a post-pandemic education environment, there’s going to be, obviously, increased costs due to PPE for staff and teachers. Also, internet connectivity for online learning. So I want to make sure the school district is properly funded.”

He also wants to address environmental issues within the borough. “We are still in a climate crisis, and the fact of the matter is, every decision that’s made by the borough, be it land management, solid waste disposal, beautification of parks and rec, those are still environmental decisions.”

Crocker added, “The fact is that we need the joint climate change task force that was initiated by Assembly Member Sanford and Assembly Member Williams last year to start meeting again. So I will work to make sure that the funding for that task force is present, and that we develop a strong environmental plan to address climate issues in the borough.”

He believes one way to address budget shortfalls would be to build a stronger private-public partnership with nonprofits in the community. “Two years ago the Foraker Group came out with a study that showed that nonprofits are the number two job-producers in this state, behind oil and gas. The nonprofits are able to maximize funds that the borough cannot access while also providing essential services. So building a stronger partnership between our government, our local government, and the borough’s nonprofits would be a benefit for all of us and continue to build jobs within the borough as well.”

Crocker is running against Tammie Wilson and Chris Ludtke in the municipal elections on October 6th.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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