This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag. The state on Thursday reported a modest population growth between April 2020 and July 2021. It's the first time since 2016 the state has reported a population increase. (

Opinion: Constitutional convention poses great risk

Join me in voting no on Proposition 1.

  • George Davidson
  • Thursday, October 6, 2022 2:35pm
  • Opinion

At the Nov. 8 general election, Alaska voters will vote to determine if an Alaska Constitutional Convention will be held. This question is asked of Alaskans every 10 years as required by our Constitution. Since statehood, there has been little interest in holding a convention as Alaskans have consistently voted down the measure by a substantial margin. Today circumstances are different, and there is reason to believe the voters may consider voting for a constitutional convention. Some Alaskans are frustrated. Many believe our state is heading in the wrong direction — a stymied Legislature unable to make decisions, falling employment and loss of high paying jobs, inadequate funding for education, rising crime rates, crumbling infrastructure, etc. and on top of all that several years of COVID.

​Keep in mind that a constitutional convention is not limited to any one subject. Any subject/issue can be addressed. Some suggest a constitutional convention would provide the platform to right our ship i.e. make changes that some believe will move Alaska forward. Others, like myself, feel the potential risk to Alaska’s residents by holding a constitution convention is great. Here are just a few of the issues that might be brought up.

— Moving the capital

— Education system – move the financial responsibility from the State to the local government and to your local tax burden. Another issue that might be considered would be to provide equal government financial support for private & public schools.

— A spending limit that will impact funding for the Marine Highway System

— Modifying our legal system to change how State judges are selected and create an election process for selecting our State Attorney General.

— Voter approval required before any changes to State taxes

— Modifying the Permanent Fund provisions to increase the payout to an unsustainable level to the detriment of future Alaskans by devoting too large a portion of the payout for the yearly dividend

— Right to privacy matters which takes into account the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade

​In my mind the list of issues that may be considered and acted upon are unpredictable. Please remember that changes promised and pushed by politicians could have unintended and undesired consequences affecting your lives for years. You and all Alaskans would then need to live with those negative changes for the next 10 to 20 years.​

​Other states hold our state constitution in high esteem. In 1955 much background research led to development of our constitution. Shortcomings found in the constitution of other states were considered and corrected. Thus our constitution, as currently written without change, is considered a model constitution and the one to be looked up to by other States. Let’s keep it that way.

​So in the November State election please help Alaska continue to be that model by joining me in voting no on Proposition 1. We have successfully fought to keep the capital in Juneau since 1974 but a Constitutional Convention could be a disaster for Juneau, Southeast Alaska and rural parts of our State. Thanks for reading my opinion and considering my NO recommendation for your vote on proposition 1 this November 8th.

• George Davidson is a 60-year Juneau resident. He was in private business beginning in 1969, was previously director of the Alaska Marine Highways and was a member of the Juneau Assembly for three terms (1983-92). Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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