Second vote on Best Starts fails

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski asked for a reconsideration of a vote to not put the early childhood and child care question on the ballot.

    The proposal was considered a way to solve the issue of a lack of early childcare options in the borough.  Gladziszewski said it has been a growing problem for years.  She explained a group of citizens Best Starts Juneau have worked on the issue for some time and parents have had difficulty with child care issues.

    "They brought forth an idea several years ago and the assembly wasn't supportive.  We don't have the money to start a new program of this magnitude.  I was not supportive of the funding.  I did support putting it on the ballot to find out if citizens support the measure enough to raise their own taxes."

    The ballot question would not be binding but provide a poll or survey on whether citizens would support the tax increase for early child care.

    Gladziszewski said it is an important issue that belongs with the voters, "Even if you didn't support it as an assembly member and wouldn't vote for it on the ballot I think you should vote to bring it to the voters,  It is really important to get engagement on these issues and get people's opinion on these issues,  I would like to think that even if I don't' support the issue I would support bringing it to voters."

    She added that not everything is warranted and you can't give voters everyting, "It is a big money issue to so many families and the reason young families are struggling here.  It belongs in teh public square to be debated."

    Gladziszewski said she had hoped her colleagues would have reconsidered this issue, "I have no idea if it would pass the voters.  I think that is where it belongs.  Supporters should have been given the chance to put the issue before the public, make their best case, and see what the broader community of Juneau thinks."



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