Campaigns and Elections
2018 omnibus ethics/good government ballot initiative: The initiative collected the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot, however, the legislature passed "substantially similar" (heh) legislation that spiked the initiative.
2016 PFD automatic voter registration (PFD AVR) ballot initiative: Passed 64-36. Because of its unique AVR trigger (PFD registration), PFD AVR effectively constitutes best-in-nation voter reg policy.
Legislative Side Projects
Alaska Artistic License: We created a statewide license plate competition in which any Alaskan, from a third grader to the next Sydney Laurence, could submit a design. As deemed by a celebrity jury, the five best designs advanced to a statewide vote, American Idol style. 17,355 Alaskans' votes later, we had a winner. The aurora borealis design is now on track to be featured on a 100,000+ vehicle bumpers across Alaska by 2022, at which time it will be retired, a new competition held, and new winning design selected, thus beginning a quadrennial tradition of turning Alaska's license plates into a modest but ubiquitous canvas for new public art. ADN: "UAA Student has Winning Design for First Alaska Artistic License Plate."
Alaska hold music: The State of Alaska used to have hold music so bad that Kenny G sounded like Coltrane by comparison. Now our hold music is on fleek, featuring Alaska's most amazing music and artists, from Paul Rosenthal's "Bravura Variations" to Portugal. The Man's "Feel it Still." APRN: "Can you hold for a minute? State replaces default music with songs by Alaska artists."
Alaska Native Language Digest: The digest started in our legislative office, spearheaded by Reid Magdanz and David Russell-Jensen, and connected the several hundred language warriors we had worked with to pass a bill making Native languages official languages of the State of Alaska with regular updates about Native langugage revitalization activity and opportunities across Alaska. The digest is ongoing, self-sustaining, and independently run.
Regional Fisheries Trusts
Alaska's commercial fisheries are increasingly difficult to enter unless you have a boatload of cash to buy in. This fact is especially pernicious for coastal communities with a century — or millenia — of fishing tradition, but that are increasingly divorced from the commercial fisheries that are their livelihood and lifeblood. RFTs are an original policy idea to solve the problem.
By far, RFTs were the single biggest expenditure of time (four full years), creativity, thought, and grunt work of our legislative office, especially the considerable ability of Reid Magdanz. Yet, we didn't get far. But there is value in the policy thinking and creativity behind RFTs as well as the reams of legal analysis, as we sought to navigate our idea through a thicket of thorny state and federal constitutional precedents.
Relevant docs: sponsor statement/summary; final draft of the legislation; the preceding 12 drafts; compilation of RFT media coverage; RFT constitutional considerations; financial model for a hypothetical Bristol Bay fisheries trust; limited entry fishing permits by state residency (Alaskan vs. Washingtonian vs. Oregonian, etc.); limited entry fishing permit ownership by Alaskan community, 1975-2015.
Partisan Voting Index
KTPVI is a data-intensive, weighted — and therefore potentially more nuanced and accurate — partisan voting index imagined up in the aughts. Electoral data has always fascinated me. A good PVI is to electoral data as the S&P 500 is to the stock market. The most commonly used PVI has always struck me as a bit simplistic. The KTPVI was an effort to create something different.
I needed to write a term paper for a class and drafted the KTPVI idea into service, which doubled as an excuse to exposé the idea and methodology and create an example dataset for Alaska's 40 legislative districts.
Other Random Stuff
How to name or rename place names through the obscure federal entity the decides such things (also published in First Alaskans magazine)