On April 3, Anchorage municipality residents will have the opportunity to vote on the ballot proposition known as Proposition 1. Prop. 1 is Anchorage’s form of the so-called “bathroom bill,” and will require citizens to use public bathrooms that match their sex, not the gender they identify with.
The ballot was proposed by Jim Minnery, Alaska Family Council president, and is based off a certified petition. The proposition, if passed, does not have direct language determining how it would be enforced.
The proposed petition states that the Anchorage Municipal Code shall be amended to “protect the privacy of citizens by requiring that certain intimate facilities such as locker rooms, showers, changing rooms, and restrooms within municipal buildings be designated for and used only by persons of the same sex; and provide that private employers, public accommodations and other persons may lawfully choose to designate intimate facilities for use only by persons of the same sex.”
Generation Action – Students for Reproductive Justice at the University of Alaska Anchorage is strongly against the passing of Proposition 1.
Nile Morris, natural science major and secretary of Generation Action, views the proposition as unnecessary and discriminatory.
“Proposition 1 is based on a false statistic,” Morris said. “Proposition 1 is a waste of our communities valuable time and resources.”
The Anchorage Assembly passed non-discrimination laws in 2015 to protect equal treatment for the community. The equal rights ordinance laws protect the equality of Anchorage citizens, with focus on the transgender community. Since the implementation of the ordinance, there have been no reported problems with bathroom use.
Liz Rangel, junior psychology and languages major and incoming president of Generation Action, stands against Proposition 1 to continue to ensure the equal treatment of her peers and community.
“Prop. 1 directly attacks civil rights and public health. It’s discriminatory, dangerous, and we can’t allow it in our community, or our campus,” Rangel said. “Generation Action won’t stand and watch our peers be attacked, and we hope other students won’t either.”
Generation Action strives to “achieve reproductive freedom,” and stives to gain the support of as many UAA students as possible.
“It’s not equality if it isn’t for everybody,” Rangel said. “Our advocacy is intersectional, and everyone experiences different varieties of injustices. Right now, it’s Anchorage’s trans community that needs the public’s attention and support.”
The club hosted a campaign kickoff, as well as phone canvassing and other events. The kickoff sought to educate students on Prop. 1 and introduce ways their voices can be heard on the issue.
“We hope through hosting a series of canvassing days on campus, we can make that more accessible to students,” Rangel said. “We’re passionate about our campaign, and are excited to share it with the rest of UAA.”
Generation Action members encourage students to take action by voting by mail in April.
“The students at UAA have a responsibility to vote no on Proposition 1, and to protect those most vulnerable in the community,” Morris said. “Refusing to vote makes you complicit in advancing the potential for harm.”
Generation Action’s meetings, open to all students, begin on Friday, Jan. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Leadership Lab of the Student Union.