Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Calendar | Discussions | Moderated Chat | Home Delivery| How to cancel
It’s our kind of Legislature: The first act of the Alaska Territorial Legislature gave women the right to vote. As would become usual, Alaska was in the vanguard, years ahead of the U.S. Congress.
It was 100 years ago Sunday — March 3, 1913 — when the First Territorial Legislature met for the first time.
Current legislators and others marked the day Sunday at Rockwell, a restaurant in downtown Juneau, in the same building — the same room — where the first legislature met a century ago, according to the Juneau Empire.
Gov. Sean Parnell and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell spoke, along with Sen. Gary Stevens, who chairs the Alaska Legislative Centennial Commission.
Ketchikan figured in the celebration, too, as former Speaker of the House Terry Gardiner, then a Ketchikan representative, chaired a panel that featured former legislators’ memories of their time in the Capitol. John Sund, another former Ketchikan representative, joining former Senate President Clem Tillion, former Rep. Clark Gruening and former Sen. Arliss Sturgulewski.
Gov. Parnell made a point that was true of that first Legislature in 1913, and true today. The Empire quotes him as calling the Legislature “a direct reflection of the people. ... Think about your reflection in the mirror. Sometimes you like what you see and sometimes you don’t like what you see. The Legislature is a reflection of all that is Alaska. It represents the highest ideals and dreams and aspirations of every Alaskan. And yes, it represents the imperfections of Alaskans as well.”
It does indeed. It is our job to tell legislators what we want — and many of us want the exact opposite of what many others want. It’s our legislators’ job to figure out how to make that work.
We thank those who have stepped up to do that wonderful, dreadful job of governing those most individual of people — Alaskans. It’s no easy job. And there might be none better.
One hundred years: A milestone worth noting, and celebrating.
Now on to our second hundred years.