Today, more than 40 local businesses came together to announce their opposition to Prop 1, which would remove comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for transgender people from Anchorage law—and, as these businesses warned today, have major impacts on Anchorage’s economy and tourism industry
These businesses join the three major entities that have already voiced their opposition: the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage (the city’s major tourism bureau), and the Anchorage Economic Development Council (AEDC).
“We are against Proposition 1,” said John Kauffman, attorney at Stoel Rives in Anchorage—who hosted today’s press conference “As business owners, we are concerned that this proposition, if approved, would result in significant negative publicity for our city and harm our economy. As lawyers, we are concerned about enacting such an ambiguously written law of questionable enforceability that has no reasonable justification. And as residents of the Anchorage community, we cannot support a proposition that so clearly and intentionally singles out members of our community for discrimination and unequal treatment.”
The coalition includes iconic local businesses such as Beartooth Theaterpub & Grille and Snow City Cafe, as well as large multinational corporations including BP.
Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC described his organization’s opposition to Prop 1 in a statement:
“AEDC’s ‘Live. Work. Play.’ initiative is a business-led effort to improve the quality of life in Anchorage, making the city not only a better place to live, but a better climate for business investment. The AEDC Board of Directors has voted to oppose Proposition 1. It is directly contradictory to our values as a community and as businesses we must foster and protect diversity and inclusion in Anchorage.”
One of the most pressing concerns regarding Prop 1 is the effect that it could have on tourism, a key component of Anchorage’s economy. Visit Anchorage’s executive director Julie Saupe offered:
“Visit Anchorage’s Board of Directors opposes Proposition 1. As we have witnessed in other destinations, similar discriminatory initiatives threaten our industry and community interests. Tourism helps maintain private sector jobs and a strong economy. Passage of Proposition 1 will reduce Anchorage’s competitiveness as a welcoming destination for visitors and conventions.”
Right now, #Anchorage business leaders are making the case against Prop 1! Julie Saupe from @VisitAnchorage says Prop 1 will damage our city’s tourism industries: #NoOnProp1 pic.twitter.com/222i39K6Xs
— Fair Anchorage (@FairAnchorage) March 7, 2018
For the first time ever, the people of Anchorage will vote by mail in a municipal election. Ballots will be mailed on March 13, and must be returned by April 3 at 8:00 PM. Visit our Election Center to learn all the specifics of how and when to vote. To view all the businesses who have joined our No on Prop 1 coalition, click here.