Alaska in Brief

Q&A with Alaska Senate District G candidate Elvi Gray-Jackson

By: - July 28, 2022 12:36 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.

Elvi Gray-Jackson, 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?

The current formula was set in the 1980’s which provides for 50% of the net income to be available for distribution. I would like to see the formula revisited in order to determine what is more appropriate based on the current economic environment.

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

The biggest need throughout Alaska is to establish a comprehensive and sustainable fiscal plan. With a plan in place, we can stably provide other needs within our communities which includes Public Safety, Healthcare, childcare, Education, Infrastructure, and increasing services for our most vulnerable citizens – homeless, disadvantaged, seniors and disabled citizens.

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

The fundamental right to “reproductive choice” under the Constitution which also includes not limiting public funds for abortions.

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

Pass legislation that addresses “gun safety.”

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


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

Re-instate a Defined Benefit retirement plan.

What does an ideal state ferry system look like?

The ferry system is critical to southeast Alaska and all of Alaska. We need a ferry system that provides the services necessary to move Alaskans throughout the state and, in particular, rural areas where destinations are not accessible by car. I’m encouraged by the fact that we are getting a billion dollars in federal funds through the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the next five years which will help us greatly improve our ferry system.

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

Eliminate voter suppression by making voting more convenient and prohibiting intimidation, of any kind, at the polls. Legislation that would make election day a paid state holiday or allowing employees to take paid leave time to vote during the day and improving voter education. Implement sustainable and equitable voting system security measures.

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?

This is a complex question, and we don’t really know exactly what is causing this problem. I have supported efforts and will continue to support efforts that provide funding for research to develop solutions.

What constitutional amendments, if any, do you support?

None at this time.

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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].