The Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Vote yes for the JACC

It will help Alaska’s economy to thrive.

I’d like to say a word in support of a yes vote on Proposition 3 to help finance the JACC project. The diversity and quality of the arts and the work of the producing artists in Juneau and all across Alaska’s panhandle are a really big deal. It is important that our community give ourselves and our artists a message that we want the JACC to be more than a simple building; we want the JACC to continue working with others in the arts industry in Southeast to create a regional arts center; a center capable of attracting talented artists, investment and visitation by people and organizations from Canada, from the Pacific Northwest and, indeed, from all around the world.

Sealaska Heritage Institute has shown us the way with their proposal for a new multi-million dollar arts facility. I say we, the people of Juneau, need to follow their lead and join with many others already personally and financially comitted to build our future economic base with the arts and a New JACC at its strong heart.

What the JACC needs now — and what we need now — now are the yes votes of people who want to do all they can to make sure Juneau has a solid and vibrant year-round ecomony when the oil either runs out or the current political power structure in Alaska are successful in giving whatever is left of our oil “wealth” in the State of Alaska treasury back to the out of state oil campanies.

Thank you Bob Banghart for giving us some facts about the JACC project on last Thursday’s editorial page. Facts are needed to balance out the number of people who want no votes for no particularly good reason except to protect their personal assets against losing money or property if the local economy sinks. Taking $1 billion out of Alaska’s public treasury to give to the oil industry — as is currently proposed — is a bad idea for our community and a bad investment that will surely cause Alaska’s economy to sink.

I would rather be more positive. The JACC is a good investment that will help Alaska’s economy to thrive. Vote yes for the JACC.

Jerry Smetzer,


My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.