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East Anchorage Book Club with Andrew Gray
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East Anchorage Book Club with Andrew Gray

Author: Andrew Gray

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The East Anchorage Book Club is an interview podcast where Alaskan leaders discuss politics and community issues. 

121 Episodes
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This short episode is largely based on information gathered from the podcast interview with Jeremy Applegate, the chief of the Wage and Hour division for the State of Alaska Department of Labor, from May 6, 2024. To listen to the whole interview, click here. The plan is to release this short guide in Spanish, Tagalog, Hmong, Ukranian, and other languages so that non-English speakers will also have easy access to this information.All workers in Alaska are entitled to fair pay and treatme...
Amber Batts is a founding member of the Community United for Safety and Protection (also known as CUSP), an Alaska-based group of current and former sex workers, sex trafficking survivors, and allies working towards safety and protection in Alaska’s sex industry. Amber began working as sex worker at the age of 30 to escape an abusive marriage while supporting her two young children. We discuss her path through the Anchorage sex industry, the Alaska legal system, and her political advocacy tod...
Rebecca Braun of Juneau moved to Alaska about 30 years ago initially to work for the forestry service. She then taught math and science at Juneau-Douglas High School before randomly applying for a journalist position with The Alaska Budget Report. The Alaska Budget Report, which no longer exists, was a nonpartisan publication that covered state government in depth. In 2005 she purchased that publication and became the editor-in-chief; she did deep dives into the VECO bribery scandal as well a...
Donna Arduin is most well known in Alaska as Governor Dunleavy's 2019 director of the Office of Management and Budget. She is currently staff for representative Ben Carpenter of Nikiski. As Dunleavy's OMB Director, she advised major cuts to the state budget including eliminating the state ferry system, dismantling the University of Alaska, and drastically cutting funding for the K-12 public education system. Prior to her work in Alaska, she earned a reputation as a "budget fixer" for her work...
Jeremy Applegate is the chief of Wage and Hour for the State of Alaska Department of Labor. The goal of today’s episode is to inform workers, particularly seasonal workers who may have never worked in Alaska before, of their rights. Important things to know up front: workers are entitled to a written contract at the start of their employment which specifies how much they will be paid, when they will be paid, and how they will be paid. Most workers in Alaska are entitled to the state minimum w...
Municipal attorney of Bethel Libby Bakalar is today's guest. Libby became famous in Alaska for her blog, One Hot Mess, and then her social media presence as One Hot Mess Alaska. Her outspokenness led to her unlawfully firing by the Dunleavy administration when she was working there as an assistant attorney general. Today, we discuss all of that as well as her complicated feelings about the conflict in Israel as a Jewish woman and descendant of Holocaust survivors.
Today is the final episode in our series on Transgender Rights. I, Rep. Andrew Gray, explain the purpose of this series and broadcast the special order that I gave on the Alaska State House floor on April 17, 2024. It provides an olive branch to folks who may be on the other side with regards to these issues. It is my sincere belief that the vast majority of those opposed to trans rights have not had conversations with trans people, their families, or health care providers. If they had had th...
Dr. Marci Bowers is a pelvic and gynecologic surgeon with more than 32 years’ experience. She is the president of WPATH – the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Her gender diverse work has been highlighted through appearances on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning, Discovery Health and the TLC reality series, “I am Jazz." She was interviewed in 2021 by Leslie Stahl for “60 Minutes.” Dr. Bowers is recognized as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people on the Guardian’s World Pride...
Dr. Joshua Safer is the executive director of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York. He is the founding medical director of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, and he was the inaugural president of the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH). He serves on the Global Education Initiative for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Dr. Safe...
Becca Bernard is a former environmental lawyer and a Unitarian Universalist community minister based in Anchorage. She is also mom to two children, one of whom is trans. This episode is part of a series on trans rights. The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alaska State House: HB 183 which bans trans girls from playing girls sports; HB 105 which requires kids to get signed permission slips approving their preferred name and pronouns; and HB 338 which...
David Leslie is an Inupiaq Sipiniq (Two-Spirit) living in Fairbanks. He is a frequent testifier against the anti-trans bills moving through the Alaska State House. We discuss his specific perspective as a queer Alaska Native man.To check out the book recommended by our guest, Yuuyaraq: The Way of The Human Being, by Harold Napoleon, Click here.This episode is part of a series on trans rights. The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alask...
Henry is a 15 year old trans boy. He and his mother are the guests today discussing their experience in Alaska. No last names will be given in the interest of their safety.This episode is part of a series on trans rights. The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alaska State House: HB 183 which bans trans girls from playing girls sports; HB 105 which requires kids to get signed permission slips approving their preferred name and pronouns; and HB 338 whi...
Jessica Kalarchik was an Army First Sergeant who deployed with me and the Alaska Army National Guard’s 1-297th infantry battalion to Kosovo 2019-2020. 1st Sergeant Kalarchik presented as a very masculine man, and I never suspected that she was a trans woman. She was medically retired after 31 years in the military during her next deployment to Poland. Leaving the military gave her the freedom to begin her life as a openly trans woman, with the support of her wife, her daughters, and her grand...
The Banning family consists of:Lindsey, clinical psychologist, momCharlie, age 15, non-binary trans masculineEzzy, age 12, sisterEarl, neuropsychologist in the Air Force at Elmendorf, dadThis episode is part of a series on trans rights. The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alaska State House: HB 183 which bans trans girls from playing girls sports; HB 105 which requires kids to get signed permission slips approving their preferred name and pronouns;...
Aaron Poe has been a wildlife biologist in Alaska since 1998. He is the father of a trans daughter in the Anchorage School District, and today we discuss that experience.This episode is the first in a series on trans rights. The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alaska State House: HB 183 which bans trans girls from playing girls sports; HB 105 which requires kids to get signed permission slips approving their preferred name and pronouns; and HB 338 ...
Alaska State Senator James Kaufman represents the Abbott Loop and Hillside areas of Anchorage. Although in his teens and 20s he was a guitar player & song writer for several successful rock bands, James began earning real money as an aircraft mechanic in Houston, Texas. He quickly found himself taking on bigger and bigger management positions which ultimately led to him transitioning to the oil and gas field which eventually brought him to Alaska with BP. He was elected to the state...
Reggie Joule of Kotzebue is a former Alaska State House Representative and the former Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor. He is listed in the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame as: “the greatest practitioner of the blanket toss in the long history of the World Eskimo Indian Olympics.” His skill in that Alaska Native sport led to his appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson twice. He ran for the Alaska State House the first time in 1988, but it he lost. Eight years later he ran and won and repres...
Judge Sharon Gleason is the Chief Judge of the United State District Court for the District of Alaska. She was appointed by Barack Obama in 2012 after serving 11 years as a judge on the Alaska Superior Court. She is the first woman to serve as a federal judge for Alaska. On March 29, 2024, she released a 29-page decision against the fishing of the Kuskokwim River by urban fishermen, reserving subsistence fishing only to rural Alaskans. Read more here.Her fame as a federal judge stems from imp...
With over 20 years of experience in Alaska's guardianship system Lisa Warzonek has been our statewide guardianship compliance officer since the position was created four years ago. A guardian is a person that the court appoints to manage the affairs of another person. In spite of the sensationalized negative headlines we see, most guardians do a difficult job for the right reasons with very little recognition or compensation. To learn more about guardianship and conservatorship in Alaska, cli...
The Mobile Home Owner Town Hall EpisodeToday our show is about mobile home parks. As the state representative for house district 20, I have several mobile home parks in my district. Mobile home owners face unique challenges: they own their home but must rent the land on which their home sits. Every year that rent goes up – yet the value of their home tends to go down. This can create a vicious cycle that can be incredibly difficult for a mobile home owner to break out of. This podcast episode...
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