A small, but vocal crowd gathered Wednesday at St. Mary's Episcopal Church for a town hall meeting hosted by Senator Mark Begich.
"I think he did a real good job answering every question," said Anchorage resident Regina Vinales.
Vinales is concerned offshore drilling may hurt subsistence living. Others brought up concerns ranging from student loan debt and how the Affordable Health Care Act affects small businesses.
Immigration, like in many communities, is also an issue in Anchorage where Pastor Moyce Polanco said it can take up to 12 years for some people to get citizenship.
"It is very difficult to find a path to legalization," said Polanco. "You can only do it if you have a relative that can petition for you."
Polanco left the Dominican Republican for Anchorage in the 1980's and has remained here ever since. He's hoping the next generation of Hispanics living in Alaska will get the same opportunity.
"As soon as I graduated from high school, that was the first order of the day, get out of the islands, come to the US, I went to UAA and got my degree."
"I remember growing up here as a kid there weren't that many people in the latin community, it's grown quite a bit," adds Vinales. "There are more people from Latin America, Central America, countries in South America, it's more diverse."
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