There’s a lot going on this month and almost all of it is good! The federal government passed another relief bill that will pump $1.9 trillion into the economy through existing programs like the PPP and EIDL as well as through new programs targeting restaurants and bars, live venues, commercial fishing, child care, and other industries. State and local governments will also get funding that can be used for a variety of things including lost tax revenues potentially helping Alaska and our communities offset some of the lost tax revenues due to COVID-19.
Speaking of COVID-19, on the amazingly good news front Alaska became the first state in the nation to provide vaccines to anyone working in the state over the age of 16. I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week and am looking forward to my second dose soon! HUGE thank you to the Southcentral Foundation who provided my shot and to all of the amazing Alaska native health care providers who are the main reason Alaska is leading the nation in vaccinations. If you haven’t scheduled yours yet, get on it! The sooner we get this done the sooner we can get back to normal.
While we’re on the topic of thanks, in honor of women’s history month I want to give a huge shout out to all of the amazing Alaskan women who made Alaska what it is today. There’s a fantastic article below about an amazing Alaskan woman, Mary Jane Fate. She was a Koyukon Athabascan from Rampart, Alaska who was integral to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. I encourage you to use this month to learn about the great women in your family. I always think of my great-great-grandmother who moved to Nome to open a dress shop during the Yukon gold rush, my grandmother who is in the cowgirl hall of fame, or my mother who became one of the first women accepted into Georgetown Law School.
I hope that the good news that has been coming in these last few weeks has brightened your days and helped offset a very long year of COVID-19 and the things that came with it. There’s something kind of fitting in things getting better just as Spring is starting. I hope that you can help us keep that momentum going by supporting local businesses through our BuyAlaska program, talking with your state and local policymakers about the importance of using some of the new relief funding they’re about to get to help businesses and nonprofits in your communities, and by signing up to get your vaccination!
Hang in there Alaska, we’re in the home stretch!