North Pole representative leaves post for DHSS job

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R - North Pole, resigned her post effective Jan. 25, 2020 to take a position with the Office of Children's Services.

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - North Pole Rep. Tammie Wilson resigned from her post Friday afternoon on the House Floor, effective at the close of business Saturday.

Wilson, a Republican, said she had accepted a job to work with the Office of Children’s Services. Wilson has scrutinized the Office of Children’s Services and its practices in the past.

Wilson said her position would be in the DHSS Commissioner’s office. “My biggest goal here, is not just to help parents through the system,” she told House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, “but to get it so, Mr. Speaker, they’re not in the system.”

After Wilson announced her resignation on the floor, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced that she would be a Policy Advisor in the commissioner's office.

"She will act as a parent resource and help support family resiliency, by helping families navigate the child welfare system and by working with OCS on positive reform," the release said.

“I’m going to give 100 percent of what I have to make sure that we have better families, children are able to grow up where they need to, and when families just hit a bump in the road, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, we’re your community, and we’re going to help you through those spots,” Wilson said during her address to lawmakers.

Wilson said the decision to leave a “safe” place – a role she’s held for the last 10 years – for the unknown was tough, and that she had been praying about the decision.

“I’ve been advocating for families, helping them through it, and it’s been really difficult, being on this side of it,” Wilson said. “I don’t think we need more legislation, I think we need to fix the problem, follow the policies and procedures,” Wilson said. Though she later said that her farewell to the Legislature may not be goodbye. “I will probably be here asking for things if I was wrong, and we do need more legislation.”

House members gave Wilson a standing ovation and stood to speak about her mentorship, knowledge of OCS, and work for her constituents in District 3.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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