Alaska in Brief

Q&A with Alaska Senate District F candidate Janice Park

By: - July 28, 2022 12:38 am

The Alaska State Capitol on April 22, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney)

The Alaska Beacon asked Alaska’s legislative candidates to answer a 15-question survey about their positions on a variety of issues. Read all of their responses here. Answers have not been edited.

Janice Park, Democratic candidate from Anchorage

Yes/No questions

The Alaska Constitution allows legislators to call a constitutional convention at any time. Are you interested in calling a convention?


Would you be willing to join a coalition majority in which the opposite political party controls a majority of seats?


Should new public employees have access to a pension?


Should the state take over the federal permitting process that regulates construction in wetlands?


Should Juneteenth be a state holiday?


Open-ended questions

How should the state of Alaska set the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend each year?

If we don’t improve on the issue of oil tax credits we cannot have a stable formula to determine the amount of PFD payout. There will not be a PFD if we keep sending $1.3 billion per year out of state. That money should provide jobs for Alaskans.

What’s the biggest need in your district, and how would you address it?

We need to shore up our infrastructure, particularly in roads and school maintenance. This District has schools not up to code and in need of extensive rehabilitation.

What policies and laws should Alaska follow with regard to abortion?

Alaska’s Constitution guarantees the right to personal privacy. There is no way to enforce heartbeat or similar radical bills without extreme invasion of person’s bodily autonomy and personal rights. Abortion is legal under Alaska law, and is subject HIPAA protections as any medical procedure.

How should the state reduce the threat of gun violence and mass shootings?

Red flag laws can identify risk factors. A red flag bill in Alaska polls with favorability over 80%. Responsible gun owners favor red flag and background check laws.
I also support the #BeSMART gun security education program.

How much should a legislator’s faith or religion determine state law and policy?

Religious preference, regardless of form, should have no effect on the law. Imposing religious dogma on others violates the rights of others to practice their own personal religion.
Religious beliefs can not override the rule of law. Separation of church and state should be maintained as stated by the US Constitution.

What should the state do to improve retention of public employees, including teachers?

There must be a defined benefit pension package. We are losing our best and brightest to outside employers who offer a better future.

What does an ideal state ferry system look like?

Southeast Alaskan communities deserve the basic services that should be given to all Alaska citizens. The ferry system should be fully funded. We have an opportunity to do this with Federal infrastructure funds.

What, if any, changes does the state need to make to ensure voting is equitable and secure?

Rural Alaskans should have better access and education around ranked choice voting. Parts of this new system are confusing, and the State is responsible for making sure voters know how to use the new system. The requirement for an additional signature to vote by mail may be impossible for some voters and there should be an allowance for that.

What do you intend to do about the poor returns of salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim drainages, and what are the main causes of the problems?

The main causes of poor return are overfishing and global warming. I support legislation to protect and build more hatcheries. I also support a transition to clean energy.

What constitutional amendments, if any, do you support?

I would support an amendment to codify the right to personal medical bodily autonomy.

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected].