Looking back on 2022, the Justice committee can report one highlight and one frustration for our efforts.
The frustration is with the Anchorage Police Department and their failure to implement the use of body worn cameras. Twenty-two months after the community of Anchorage sent a clear message to the Municipality that body cameras should be required to ensure the transparency and accountability of law enforcement and public safety, APD and the Administration have failed to honor the will of the people. We have monitored this lack of progress, and have advocated for greater transparency and accountability. This next year we need to renew and increase our advocacy to see body cams on the streets. The Alaska Black Caucus invites our allies and community partners to join us in strategizing how to accomplish this goal.
The highlight for this year has been the litigation in a redistricting lawsuit in which the Alaska Black Caucus joined as Amicus Curiae with plaintiffs challenging a plan that would have disenfranchised diverse communities of the power of the vote. Plaintiffs’ attorneys won the day, but it was heartening to see the cooperation of multiple community organizations coming together in our efforts to support this litigation, and for the courts to find this was “unconstitutional gerrymandering.”