DEMOCRATIZE AIDEA to advance Alaskans’ interests
Who decides? Diverse Alaskans! Imagine if AIDEA’s board members had a depth of knowledge in non-extractive (ie regenerative) economic sectors to strategically target investments in industries that generate sustainable returns without sacrificing the health and wellbeing of our communities, lands, and waters. What if AIDEA board members were approachable and highly regarded for their honesty and trustworthiness? What if AIDEA board members came from all walks of life and represented the vast breadth of Alaskan communities, especially those most impacted by, and reliant on, extractive industries?
Legislative oversight of AIDEA could
- Expand composition of board (there is precedent for this) and lengthen to extend beyod governor terms because it is in the interest of all alaskans to have more stable AIDEA board that’s not at the whims of each governor.
- Evaluate AIDEA board appointments by:
- Honesty & trustworthiness
- Openness to new information & willingness to change their perspective in response to public testimony
- Innovative vision for AIDEA’s role and overall development in Alaska
- Tribal and rural representation (esp members of communities that are most dependent on dying industries like oil)
- Small business representation
- No significant current or potential conflicts of interest with AIDEA’s mission and activities.
Who benefits? Alaskan communities! Imagine how AIDEA’s $1.42 BILLION in assets could spur economic development, growth and resilience; for example by investing in locally owned and operated tourism ventures, upgrades for energy efficiency and renewables, and much needed infrastructure for food security and sovereignty! Alaskans deserve a state development agency that is transparent, accountable, and innovative. What if AIDEA financed wind turbines in Kaktovik, instream hydro in Ambler, and unified transmission lines for cheaper, more efficient, renewable energy across Alaska? What if AIDEA held regular public forums to gather input not just to inform their decisions but also to tailor economic incentives for communities to meet their self determined needs?
What other impacts will this have? AIDEA can proudly fund Alaska’s next economy today that future generations will thank us for! The proposed Green Bank, or Alaska Energy Independence Fund, could be an economic engine of a just transition beyond fossil fuels (instead of a “green washed” status quo). There’s a lot that’s needed to get us from here (Bad AIDEA) to there (Democratized AIDEA):
Decision-making criteria like bylaws to align AIDEA with the public it serves
Transparent public accountability
Public process that encourage people to stay engaged because they see
the impacts of their efforts on the decisions made and how projects are run
Profits return to the people and places that generate them