Fairbanks Candidate Forum brings together community and candidates
The climate, jobs, and justice: Fairbanks Candidate Forum brought together candidates for Fairbanks Mayor, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, the Board of Education and the Fairbanks and North Pole City Councils.
They discussed an array of different subjects pertaining to the Fairbanks community. All questions at the forum were asked anonymously by the audience and from students around the borough. For the first half of the forum, the candidates answered simply if they were 'for’ or 'against' certain policies by holding up red or green cards.
Unanimously, all candidates were for the right to unionize, to drink clean water and breathe clean air. They agreed there's a need to better address suicide, that first respondents need more de-escalation training and that major factors associated with climate change are human caused.
They disagreed on issues such as whether transgender persons may lawfully use the bathroom they feel fits their preferred gender. It's unclear the candidates' views on this due to the question containing a double negative.
Everyone except William Pawlirzyn answered that they were against health care provider’s right to refuse someone service based on personal beliefs or politics.
During the question and answer section, questions were asked on discrimination in schools and how to help students feel safe.
"It should not be that they are afraid because of their ethnicity. That is not the way to live. Those were the 70's and 50's. We are now in the 20th. We need to let our children know." Quoted Kimba Manning, A candidate running for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District seat C.
There were questions about district behavior. As Jennifer Luke, A candidate for seat D of FNSB School District stated.
"In the school district we are here to educate the youth."
Along with questions about the climate change task force and ideas of how the district can help.
"The ones that are going to save our grandkids, are in school now and why not a kid from our school district?" Said Mike Kenna, running for seat D.
The debate finished off with each candidates personal statement on what they plan to do if elected.
All local candidates were invited, according to organizers. Ten candidates including current mayor Jim Matherly either could not make it or did not respond.