U.S. House of Representatives - Alyse Galvin

(Photo Courtesy Alyse Galvin)

Name: Alyse Galvin

District: U.S. House of Representatives

Area: Alaska

Party Affiliation: Independent

Where were you born? Riverside, California

If you weren't born in Alaska, when did you come here?
When I was three months old, my mom brought me back to her home state of Alaska.

Age on election day: 53

If you've attended college, which schools did you attend? What's your highest degree achieved?
I attended Pitzer College; University of California, Santa Barbara; and University of California, San Diego. I graduated from UC-San Diego with my Bachelor’s in Political Science.

What is or was your main career?
I am a proud mom of four kids, who were all raised here in Alaska. I’ve worked all kinds of jobs in my life — in construction, on the slime line, as an owner of two small businesses, and as a hotel manager. Five years ago, I co-founded Great Alaska Schools, a non-profit public education advocacy organization, which I helped direct until I decided to run for Congress.

If you've held or run for public office before, which one(s)?
I have never run for public office before.

If you have a spouse or significant other whom you live with, what is their name?
Pat Galvin

If you have children, what are their first names and ages?
I have four wonderful children. Cooper (27), Sean (24), Bridget (21), and Camden (18).

Why are you running for office?
I’m running for Congress to bring our democracy back to the people of Alaska. After spending the last five years advocating for children’s education in DC and Juneau, I realized that things aren’t going to improve if we don’t change leadership. Our representatives need to reflect our values.

Rep. Don Young is out of touch with what ordinary Alaskans need. I’ve raised four kids here. I’ve stretched leftovers for a week to make it to payday, and agonized over whether a child’s fever required an expensive doctor visit. Alaska needs a representative who understands the struggles and anxieties of Alaskan families.

I’m a different kind of candidate. I’m not taking a dime from corporate PACs. Rep. Don Young’s campaign, on the other hand, gets most of its money from corporate donors, special interests, and people outside of Alaska. I’m running for Congress to again put Alaskan families first.

What are the most important issues facing Alaska?
I have traveled all over our state to talk to Alaskans about what matters to them. Out of thousands of conversations emerged a common theme. Alaskans want our federal government to get things done for healthcare costs. They want lower prescription drug prices. They’d like to be able to access educational and vocational opportunities and to work good-paying jobs, if they don’t already. Our seniors and elders want to know that their Social Security and Medicare benefits will continue in perpetuity. All of us want to feel safe on the streets and in our homes.

Alaskans also want our one representative to serve them, not lobbyists or special interests, and certainly not the blind politics of the current administration.

Rep. Don Young has been missing in action for Alaskans and their needs. What’s worse is that he has remained silent as President Trump’s policies have been disastrous for Alaska.

What would you do to reduce crime in Alaska?
Public safety is important to every Alaskan. As a mom of four kids, I understand the fear about not knowing whether our children and homes will remain safe.

We know why crime in Alaska is on the rise. Alaska has limited resources to deal with the problem.

The federal government needs to do more to address our crime rate, as well as the high incidence of violence against women, especially Alaska Native women. In Congress, I will work to incentivize recruitment and retention of Alaska state troopers. I will also seek increased funding for tribal police recruitment and training.

Most importantly, I will fight to strengthen substance abuse and mental health programs to help end the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities. Alaska deserves a champion for funding better treatment and recovery programs, strengthening re-entry support programs, expanding access to mental health services, and improving research for and treatment of intergenerational trauma.

Have humans contributed to climate change, and if so, does the state bear any responsibility to undo some of the effects?
We all cherish the natural beauty of Alaska, but our changing climate is threatening our way of life. That is why our state must pioneer climate action, and why I will work to make this happen as your next Congresswoman.

The scientific community has concluded that humans are contributing to climate change, and that Alaska is on the front lines. I accept the truth of scientific findings. We already have coastal villages facing relocation because of coastal erosion and changing sea levels. Our current representative chooses to cast doubt on science, and has voted against climate action policies that our state desperately needs.

We are going to be dependent on oil over the next few decades. It’s a reality. At the same time, however, Alaska can also build climate resilience while leading the world in new energy production and innovative energy conservation. We should be at the forefront of renewable energy development.

Do you agree or disagree with Gov. Walker's decision to expand Medicaid in 2014? How much do you believe that decision cost the state treasury?
Without Medicaid, thousands of Alaskans struggling to make ends meet can’t take their children to the doctor, afford their medications, or stay healthy and go to work everyday.

I commend Gov. Walker’s decision to expand Medicaid in Alaska. Alaska has some of the highest healthcare costs in the country. Without Medicaid expansion, thousands of Alaskan seniors, elders, adults, and children would be virtually unable to access care. In particular, two out of three Alaska Native children are covered by Medicaid.

For this reason, I strongly oppose reducing federal assistance for Alaska to maintain its current Medicaid program.

The future of Alaska’s Medicaid expansion is highly uncertain under the Trump administration, and with Congressman Don Young as our representative. Trump’s administration has approved work requirements, stripping coverage from thousands of people. Rep. Young has also voted to take away Medicaid expansion.

As your Congresswoman, I will oppose proposed funding cuts to Medicaid.