Get to know a candidate: Robert Shoemake

Read about the District 2 candidate in his own words.

Name: Robert Shoemake

Date and place of birth: Memphis, Tennessee

Length of residency in Alaska and Juneau: four years

Education: Clatsop Community College: Advance Fire Fighting; QSE Solutions: Internal Auditor Training; Pacific Maritime Institute: Designated Person Ashore; Fremont Maritime: Basic Safety: Basic Fire STCW; Clatsop Community College: Unlimited Radar Observer; University of Alaska Southeast: 200 Ton Master course; Hawaii Maritime License Center: 100 Ton Master/ Mate course; U.S. Navy Submarine School: Electronics Technician School; Kapiolani Community College; Lambuth University; Military Service: U.S. Navy 1996 to 2004.

Occupation: Owner, Budget Appliance Repair

Family: Married with Children

Community service: Treasurer, Rugby Hawaii Union, Women’s rugby referee

Other experience: President, Nihi Gardens HOA; Board officer, Moiliili Gardens HOA; Port Captain Pierce County Ferry; Operations Manager River link Ferry; Vessel Captain/ First Responder to Hurricane Sandy, New York, New York; Port Captain Corpus Christi Harbor Ferry.

Assembly Candidates’ Questions

1. How should CBJ respond to the Governor’s budget cuts? Are GO bonds a legitimate tool to stimulate economic activity in this environment?

GO Bonds should be used to make infrastructure improvements that will pay for themselves in the long run, like shore power connections to the new cruise ship docks, and energy-efficient upgrades. We also need to look at the way we as a city do business and look for areas to reduce overall cost. There should be an incentive program that would encourage city agencies to spend less.

2. COVID-19 has caused disruption to tourism, including the cruise ship industry. What lessons learned during this time can the Assembly address and work on once we are in the new normal?

We need to look at other industries that can bring jobs and income into Juneau. We need to attract people here who can work remotely!

3. What can the Assembly do to help lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Juneau community and move Juneau forward in economic recovery?

Shutting down the economy is no longer an option. We need to encourage business owners to not give up shop and potentially leave Juneau. If we can attract more remote workers, our restaurants could thrive. Better roads and smarter transportation infrastructure could bring us together as a region.

4. What can the Assembly do to help alleviate the critical shortage of child care options for Juneau families?

We need to create a realistic plan to fully reopen public schools. Our work force has been crippled by this decision. It would be nice to provide some sort of credit to employers that provide in-house child-care. We must work with potential childcare providers to find out what the obstacles may be.

5. What is the most important community need the Assembly must address?

We need to find ways to make Juneau affordable for working families, by addressing childcare, schooling and affordable housing.

6. What is the most significant Assembly accomplishment in the last year?

The Assembly was able to produce a balanced budget despite the governor’s budget cuts.

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