Anchorage Economic Development Corporation opposes the establishment of a new constitutional convention as unnecessary, expensive, and risking significant harm to the economy of Alaska and Anchorage. We encourage voters to oppose the question on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Alaska’s original constitutional convention delegates drafted one of the strongest state constitutions in the nation and it has served Alaska well for the last 60 years. Voters have rejected the proposal of a constitutional convention at every opportunity in our history.
The Alaska Constitution gives plenary power to a constitutional convention to amend or revise the constitution, which could result in an entire rewriting of the document with unpredictable and unintended consequences. The Alaska Constitution already provides that any changes wanted by the public can be accomplished through an existing, targeted and transparent amendment process, including ratification by a public vote. This process for amendments to our constitution has been used 40 times, 28 times successfully.
The establishment of a convention would require multiple years to complete, come with significant costs to support, and would create years of economic, legal and regulatory uncertainty. This would have the potential to deter future investments in the Alaska and Anchorage economy.
The establishment of a convention would put into question the principles related to our natural resources of common use, equal access, sustained yield, public domain, access to fisheries, mineral and water rights, and access to navigable waters, creating broad uncertainty about which existing rights will be changed or eliminated, and how freedom of life choices may be affected.
A convention could seek to impede intergovernmental relations between the state, local governments and Tribes, thus thwarting the Alaska Constitution’s call for “maximum local self-government” and compacts made between the state and Tribes.
Therefore, it is the official position of AEDC and its board of directors to vote no on a constitutional convention at the upcoming general election.
AEDC is a private nonprofit corporation, operating since 1987. It exists to encourage growth and diversity in the Anchorage economy, promote a favorable business climate and improve the standard of living of Anchorage residents.
Emily McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org