FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/22/2014
Mark Begich has received endorsements from 9 former mayors in Southeast Alaska who recognize the results Begich has delivered for coastal communities. When it comes to delivering mine permits, funding Coast Guard facilities, delivering health care for Alaska veterans, and protecting postal service, Mark Begich has a record of accomplishment in Southeast.
Fred Shields, Former Mayor of Haines
Sally Smith, Former Mayor of Juneau
Bob Weinstein, Former Mayor of the City of Ketchikan
Bill Williams, Former Mayor of Saxman
Joe Williams, Former Ketchikan Borough Mayor
Al Dwyer, Former Mayor of Petersberg
Scott McAdams, Former Mayor of Sitka
Dennis Egan, Former Juneau Mayor
Bruce Botelho, Former Juneau Mayor
“Mark Begich stands up for the unique needs of Southeast Alaska. Mark has helped bring job creating investment to Southeast mines and Coast Guard facilities and he is honored to have the support of local leaders and will continue to work alongside them to support Southeast families, veterans, fishermen and Alaska Natives,” said Susanne Fleek- Green, Alaskans for Begich campaign manager.
Begich has risen fast in the Senate leadership, securing key committee spots as the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard and Senate Appropriations Committee that have helped him bring resources back to rural Alaska. He has also used his seat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee to advocate for improved postal service delivery to Southeast Alaska.
Begich’s accomplishments for Southeast include:
Secured Permits for Local Mines - Begich helped secure permits and create local jobs at the Kensington, Niblack, Bokan and Greens Creek mines.
Support for Local Small Businesses – Begich helped secure a $500,000 USDA grant for Alaskan Brewing Company to complete a biomass boiler.
Bringing Three New Coast Guard Ships To Southeast – Secured funding for three new Fast Response Coast Guard Cutters, two in Ketchikan and one in Juneau.
Resources for Local Schools - Begich helped secure $240,000 for Haines public schools.
Health Care Upgrades and Resources - Begich successfully pushed for more than $4 million in SEARHC funding, including Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and the Haines medical clinic, and secured an amendment for Medicare payment assistance for Mt. Edgecumbe.
Infrastructure Improvements - Recovery Act provided $6.3 million for Hoonah to expand broadband services, resources for Mt. Edgecumbe High School for an alternative energy project, $4.7 million to upgrade the Ketchikan Federal building to a biomass heating systemm $2.2 million for Coffman Cove road improvements, $2.4 million for projects in the Tongass and Chugach, $27 million for the Ketchikan dock, and over a $1 million to the Ketchikan shipyard.
Rural Veterans – A successful Begich initiative allows veterans in rural Alaska to receive health care at tribal health facilities, saving veterans thousands of dollars in travel costs and allowing them to get care close to home.
Postal Service Reform – Begich secured a commitment to maintain local sorting for Ketchikan mail and successfully protected Douglas and Auke Bay post offices from scheduled closings.
Transportation Support - Begich & Senator Lisa Murkowski blocked efforts to cut Essential Air Service, which provides critical access to 44 rural communities across Alaska. Begich also fought for $3 million to improve the Hoonah ferry terminal, $3.6 million for the Auke Bay loading facility and $7.7 million for a dock and causeway in Gustavus.