Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce hosted Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard on a Facebook Live video last night, posted to the mayor’s public page.
Allard represents Eagle River and Chugiak on the Anchorage Assembly. She came under fire last month for defending Nazi terminology on Alaska custom license plates, which read “FUHRER” and “3REICH.”
After photos of the plates circulated on Facebook, Allard wrote that the words are German words and that progressives were putting a spin on them. Her comments prompted Gov. Mike Dunleavy to remove her from the state Human Rights Commission. The Anchorage Assembly considered an ethics review on Allard but ultimately took no action.
Pierce and Allard didn’t talk about that controversy in the 22-minute video, which showed the two sitting next to each other in armchairs. But Allard did say she admires the way Pierce has been leading and has sought his help with “challenges along the way.”
“One thing that has helped me get through it, which you know, is that I’ve reached out to you," she said. "A lot of times. I don’t have a mayor to depend on. I don’t have a majority in the assembly to depend on. I’ve reached out to your legal team, off the record, just trying to figure out how we do this. How can I be a better representative for the assembly, for my district? I really leaned on you a lot.”
Pierce encouraged viewers who want to see change to run for elected office. As an example, he said those who believe in Christain values should run for the school board.
“You know, a lot of people I hear complaining about taking the Bible out of the classroom, or prayer out of the classroom, or the pledge of allegiance out of the classroom," he said. " And some of those national things that — in God that we’ve trusted, along the way, and yet we no longer see the importance — in a lot of the newer teachers today, that’s not instilled in them, that’s not a value system of theirs.”
They asked for support from conservatives and said they want to hear from people who disagree with them, too.
Both Pierce and Allard have been proponents for opening their respective localities amid the pandemic. Pierce said he thinks Anchorage went too far in its coronavirus response and that it had damaging effects on small businesses.
Allard said she had just spoken with a constituent who was unaware she no longer had to take a COVID-19 test when flying back home from the Lower 48.
“And it was almost like she was a POW," Allard said. "That if she left the gates of the POW camp, ’cause she was going to get shot in the back. And it was really weird of her mindset. I literally then said to her, ‘You are actually free.’ And she almost started crying. The bottom line is we can’t live that way.”
In parting, Pierce encouraged viewers to be respectful of others’ opinions and urged Alaskans to come together.