North Anchorage Assembly candidate Q&A: Stephanie Taylor – Anchorage Daily News


Stephanie Taylor is a candidate for the North Anchorage Assembly seat in 2022. (Photo provided by candidate)
The Anchorage Daily News asked Anchorage Assembly candidates for District 1, North Anchorage to answer a series of issue questions. Read all of them here.
Stephanie Taylor | Age: 59 | Occupation: Home school mom/professional volunteer | stephanieforak.com
Candidate background:
Stephanie Taylor is a 51-year resident of Anchorage. She graduated from Dimond and earned her B.A. at Seattle Pacific University. In 1989, she met and married her husband, Michael. They have five children ages 30-18. She spent the last 30 years homeschooling their children and serving her community as a volunteer. She initiated her Neighborhood Watch in 2016 and served as the secretary for her House District from 2019-2021. She decided to run for Assembly (District 5) after watching Anchorage decline over the past few years. The recent reapportionment process created a unique opportunity for her to run for the new District 1. Stephanie is a public servant, not a political servant. She is passionate about listening, serving and making the best possible decisions for the city she loves.
Why are you running?
I am running because the Anchorage Assembly needs public servants, not political servants. Anchorage is my hometown. I grew up here and my husband and I have made Anchorage our home, raising our family here. Having momentum from my last Assembly campaign, I felt compelled to step into this opportunity to serve my neighbors and, ultimately, serve my hometown. I want to help restore balance and common sense to the Assembly.
What makes you qualified to represent District 1, North Anchorage on the Assembly?
As a longtime Alaska resident (51 years), I have a unique perspective and insight into the history of our city, and personal concern for its wellbeing. I have resided in North Anchorage for the last 34 years, spending two years in downtown Anchorage; 32 years in East Anchorage. Prior to that I lived in South Anchorage. I have served this city through decades of volunteer work and have reared and homeschooled our five children who are all successful, caring, and responsible members of their communities. I know this city inside and out, and my active community participation has led to fresh ideas and the ability to work alongside people from all walks of life. I respect my neighbors and have the ability to listen well and make reasonable decisions for the good of all.
What is the most important problem facing North Anchorage? How would you address it?
District 1 includes ten diverse community councils. Airport Heights-Tikishla Park: roads, Seward to Glenn; downtown: speed limits, homelessness; Fairview: Seward to Glenn, closure of mass shelter, traffic concerns; Government Hill: Port of Alaska; Midtown: 36th Avenue interchange, homelessness; Mountain View: children, safety, crime; Northeast: Chanshtnu Muldoon Park, homelessness; North Star: homeless camps, underground utilities; Russian Jack: navigation center; South Addition: affordable housing. Everyone wants: safe neighborhoods, well-maintained streets, a thriving economy, safe and effective schools, solutions for homelessness. People want leadership that works cooperatively, truly cares about them and the impacts of their decisions; leaders that listen and put citizens ahead of politics, political posturing and power pursuits. The Assembly needs to get back to the basics with appropriate priorities for the city, and must guard against believing they know better than the people they serve.
Name one thing the Anchorage Assembly and/or Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has accomplished in the last year that you support, and why.
Under Mayor Bronson’s leadership, Public Works has streamlined, simplified and integrated the permitting process for builders and contractors. He has also prioritized and secured some funding for the much-needed restoration of the Port of Alaska. These actions help business and industry thrive in Anchorage, both now and in the years to come.
What is your vision for what North Anchorage looks like in 10 years? What specific steps would you take on the Assembly to help achieve that vision?
I envision a unified community with a bustling downtown that attracts new businesses and residents. I will work to find bridges across political divides and treat constituents and colleagues with decency and respect. I would like to see people now experiencing homelessness finding mentors and bridges out of poverty (including treatment for addiction or mental health) to gainful employment and affordable housing. I’d begin by following the examples of nonprofits who are doing this successfully. I want families and individuals to feel safe on our streets, as they build positive relationships with one another. We must also provide law enforcement the tools, training and resources they need to do their jobs well. I envision small businesses and nonprofits springing up from the creativity and ingenuity of our brilliant residents, unencumbered by unnecessary regulations and heavy tax burdens. I will focus on controlling spending and eliminating waste, empowering individuals to solve our greatest challenges.
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