Alaska Grantees Strengthen Democracy
Alaskans transformed their political landscape in 2022—thanks to a coalition led by Progress Alaska, AKPIRG, The Mobilization Center, Alaska Voter Hub, Native People’s Action, and Alaskans for a Better Government. That coalition mobilized Native, young, and women voters with well-executed strategies, including canvassing, communications, and legal fights.
Thanks to this innovative coalition, many foundational pro-democracy policies were established in 2022. In contrast to many states, Alaska now has fairly drawn election districts for the next ten years. AKPIRG partnered with Alaska Native corporations, Tribes, and labor organizations to create their own consensus State House maps, which were then approved by the Independent Redistricting Board. They challenged racial gerrymandering of the State Senate Maps in court, and after over 2,000 public comments, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled for fair maps. The coalition also led the effort that resulted in state recognition of Alaska’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
In addition to the transformational state policy, the coalition defeated the Constitutional Convention initiative, were able to maintain a tri-partisan governing majority in the state legislature, and helped Congresswoman Mary Peltola pull off an upset victory. Peltola will be the first Alaska Native woman in congress. Her campaign was a model for connecting with working-class voters— championing a “Pro-Jobs, Pro-Fish, Pro-Family, and Pro-Choice” message.
Photo Credit: Native People’s Action. This article was originally published in RDI’s 2022 Impact Report.