Surprise: the Anchorage Assembly played a political game of musical chairs Tuesday night, voting out the conservative Debbie Ossiander and choosing Patrick Flynn as the new leader, with Mike Gutierrez as the new vice chair.
In Ossiander's brief time as chair, she rubber-stamped Mayor Sullivan's agenda against the majority and was unable to provide a balance to his veto-heavy style. Flynn better reflects the Assembly's positions.
Debbie Ossiander is infamous in the gay community for being the roadblock to the passage of the equal rights ordinance that would have added LGBT protections to the city's nondiscrimination law.
- As chair, she overruled a motion to limit repetitive testimony and instead allowed hundreds of religious opponents to preach anti-gay hate at the hearings.
- She allowed Wasilla residents to testify on the Anchorage measure, dragging out the hearings for months.
- In her comments before the vote, she admitted that LGBT people face prejudice and discrimination in Anchorage and need protection, then voted against the measure anyway.
- She could have been the deciding vote against the mayor's veto, but instead she chose a legacy of caving in to pressure and supporting an agenda of hate.
Patrick Flynn and Mike Gutierrez both voted in favor of the non-discrimination ordinance. Flynn introduced the version of the ordinance that was passed by the Assembly 7-4 and vetoed by the mayor. Gutierrez, the Assembly's only Hispanic member, supported the ordinance as a civil rights issue.
Congratulations to the Assembly and the new leaders!
Reprinted from Bent Alaska
Other Anchorage progressive blog coverage:
Anchorage Assembly Chairwoman, Debbie Ossiander, YOU’RE FIRED!
Chair of the Anchorage Assembly, Debbie Ossiander, receives her holiday lump of coal in the form of a dismissal from her leadership duties. Buh-bye!