Huge Win! Anchorage Makes History as First City to Specifically Affirm Transgender Protections by Popular Vote

By Adam Polaski • April 6, 2018 • 9:25 pm

The municipal election in Anchorage, Alaska drew to a close on Tuesday, April 3, and election numbers have now affirmed that the people of Anchorage have voted to defeat Proposition 1, a ballot measure that would have removed nondiscrimination protections for transgender people from the’s city ordinances.

This makes Anchorage the first and only American jurisdiction to uphold transgender protections on a standalone ballot measure. The victory ensures that Anchorage remains one of more than 250 cities and 18 states across the country with similar protections in place.

The victory is a testament to the hard, steadfast work of Fair Anchorage, the local campaign to uphold transgender protections in Anchorage. Freedom for All Americans was a leading member of Fair Anchorage, serving on the campaign’s executive committee and advising on overall strategy, messaging, advertising, digital and earned media. Through in-kind donations of a campaign website, digital assets and staff time, Freedom for All Americans was the top contributor to the campaign to defeat Proposition 1.

Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, said today:

“Today’s victory is a turning point for transgender equality under the law. Anchorage voters turned out to the polls in record numbers and affirmed their core values of treating all people fairly, even in the face of desperate and misleading tactics pushed forward by our opponents. Our triumph in Anchorage shows that advocates for nondiscrimination protections know what it takes to win voters and change hearts and minds. The local campaign mobilized early, put together a strong and diverse coalition, spearheaded a citywide conversation, and identified the messages that move people to a place of support. The campaigns ahead won’t be easy, but Anchorage will serve as a shining example of what we can achieve when we have honest, one-on-one conversations about who transgender people are.”

Fair Anchorage has run a robust campaign since spring 2017 that features local Anchorage residents who would be directly and negatively affected by repeal of the law, particularly transgender youth and their families. In addition, Anchorage’s leading experts on public safety and women’s privacy, including the executive director of STAR, Anchorage’s leading organization to prevent sexual violence; the Anchorage Education Association; more than 110 local bipartisan community leaders; 50 Anchorage businesses including the Anchorage Chamber, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Visit Anchorage; and 40 faith leaders and congregations have all called on voters to oppose Proposition 1.

More than 250 Fair Anchorage volunteers completed 515 volunteer shifts, knocked on over 2,000 doors, made over 66,000 phone calls, and engaged in over 13,000 direct conversations with Anchorage voters. The campaign garnered nearly 1,200 individual grassroots donors.

Lillian Lennon, field organizer for Fair Anchorage, the campaign to defeat Proposition 1, said:

“Today Anchorage voters rejected fear and intimidation to affirm that everyone in our city should have the same fundamental dignity and protection under the law. As a transgender woman, this victory is deeply personal to me and to so many of us in the transgender community. It means voters saw past misleading tactics by opponents of transgender equality in order to treat people like me fairly. In a world that can be so hostile to transgender people in our daily lives, to know that the city of Anchorage has our backs means everything. I’m grateful to the voters, volunteers, and hard-working supporters of our campaign who worked tirelessly to make this night possible.”

The win is the latest step forward for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in just the past few weeks! Check out six huge wins from 2018 alone – the past four months! – including victories in New Hampshire, Georgia, Tennessee, and in the courts at the 2nd Circuit and 6th Circuit!

Together, we’ll keep pushing toward comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide!


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