From Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson <[email protected]>
Subject Elvi's Updates- September Newsletter
Date September 2, 2023 1:00 AM
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From Juneau to You! Dear Friends, I hope all students have had a restful summer break and are ready to dive back into their studies for the new school year. As your Senator, I want to express how excited I am to see students continuing their educational journey. Getting an education is so important for future success and will help prepare our students to be leaders in our community. This year will no doubt present new challenges and opportunities for growth. I know that with hard work and perseverance, students will achieve great things. Students, please remember that you are not alone on this path. Reach out to your teachers and family if you need help. As always, my office is here to support you any way we can! I wish all students the very best for a productive and rewarding school year! National Conference of State Legislators A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of joining legislators and legislative staff from all over the country for the National Conference of State Legislators. The National Conference of State Legislatures, created by state legislators and legislative staff in 1975, serves America’s 50 states, commonwealths, territories, and the District of Columbia. The conference offers several opportunities to learn and network. One of the conference's highlights was the artificial intelligence (AI) session. The summary for the session was: The potential of artificial intelligence to transform our daily lives is quickly becoming a reality. Learn about the latest AI developments and their potential impact on businesses and governments. Explore what a commitment to “responsible AI” looks like in practice and how to prepare the workforce for the digital future. Also during the conference, we discussed and considered a wide range of policy directives and resolutions. You can read both, here! I also serve on the Budget and Revenue Committee which is responsible for protecting states' interest in federal decisions regarding fiscal matters including annual action on the federal budget. Ombudsman's Office The Alaska State Ombudsman investigates citizen complaints about administrative acts of state agencies and determines appropriate remedies. The Ombudsman is not an advocate. They look at complaints with an independent, objective, and neutral eye. The Ombudsman investigates to determine whether an agency’s actions were unlawful, unreasonable, unfair, arbitrary, erroneous, or inefficient. If appropriate, the Ombudsman will recommend a way to resolve the complaint and/or prevent future complaints. Ombudsman investigations are confidential. When there is a substantial public interest involved, the Ombudsman will publish a public summary of an investigation, findings, and any recommendations. The Alaska State Ombudsman is relaunching a quarterly newsletter to help people stay up to date about what their office does. You can read and subscribe to the newsletter at Alaska Performance Scholarship The Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) is a merit-based award for Alaska high school graduates. Students qualify for one of three award levels by meeting specific criteria: • Grade Point Average (GPA) • Completion of a specified rigorous curriculum • Earn a qualifying score on a standardized exam Standardized test scores such as the ACT, SAT, and WorkKeys are required for APS eligibility. Students must earn a qualified score on one of these tests in order to meet the testing requirement of the Alaska Performance Scholarship eligibility. Additionally, submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the application for the APS. Students should submit the FAFSA by June 30th each year they plan to pursue education after high school. Community Engagement Recently, my Chief of Staff and I joined numerous Legislators and staff on a tour of a state-run facility in Palmer. The 270-acre Plant Materials Center (PMC), near Palmer was established by the Alaska Legislature in 1972 to promote the state's agricultural industry. Grains, grasses, fruits, potatoes, shrubs, and trees are evaluated for potential use in Alaska climates. Small quantities of these plant materials are released to Alaskan commercial growers who then increase the production of these materials and make them available for food, ornamental, and conservation purposes. A special thank you to the State employees who work tirelessly to keep our beloved environment afloat! Earlier this month, I visited Alaska’s largest electric utility to see power generation in action. Chugach Electric hosted this special event for Alaska’s legislators at its Headquarters Campus. During the tour, we discussed power generation, renewable energy, and their plans for energy generation for consumers. I had the privilege of meeting with these wonderful individuals from Cameroon. On the right is the Mayor of the Tiko Council in Cameroon, HRH Chief Peter Ikome Mesoso lll. In the middle is Welisabe Mokwe Nkeng, diplomat, journalist, and gender advocate. We were able to speak about the opportunity for partnership and support. I look forward to working with such dedicated individuals in the near future! Now that summer is near its end, community councils are gearing up to meet again after the usual summer break. I look forward to providing notes and attending my Community Council meetings via Zoom or in person. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office at: Besse Odom Chief of Staff 907 269-0174  Jeff Stepp Legislative Council Aide 907-465-4930 Send us an Email Follow Me on Facebook Follow Me on Twitter I’m Senator Elvi, always..... "Listening and Representing Your Interests!” Alaska Senate Democrats | Capitol Building, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801 Unsubscribe [email protected] Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected]
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