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The Big Implications Of Small-Town Politics In Haines, Alaska

A plane flies over the town after taking off from the dirt runway in Kivalina, Alaska. Supplies needed for the town are brought in either by barge or plane since there are no roads leading to the other towns from the village.
A plane flies over the town after taking off from the dirt runway in Kivalina, Alaska. Supplies needed for the town are brought in either by barge or plane since there are no roads leading to the other towns from the village.

Although the fight to defund police in densely-populated urban areas may seem removed from the small-town politics of an Alaskan town and its police chief, Alaskans are quick to assure you that issues of police brutality and systemic racism are affecting citizens there too.

In the state’s three largest cities, Alaskans have taken to the streets to protest against the systemic oppression of Black people and Native Americans, who make up a disproportionate amount of people killed in police shootings.

Author and politician Heather Lende was inspired to run for office by women around the country. She says there’s no such thing as politics that are too big or small for her town. She spent just 1,000 dollars to run for assembly in Haines, a town that’s only accessible by boat or plane.

Lende’s book is called “ Of Bears and Ballots:  An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics.” We talk to her about the big implications of small-town politics.

 

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

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