Anchorage is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and with this diversity comes an inherent economic power. George is focused on resetting the city’s economic engine through innovation, education, infrastructure, and tourism to build a stronger, more prosperous, and inclusive economy with employment and business opportunities that support improving the quality of life for individuals and families.
I- Open for Business
- Reducing barriers and red-tape for businesses to open and stay in Anchorage.
- Helping local businesses pivot forward through digital adaptation and value-added growth.
- Unleashing community entrepreneurs to help tackle some of the city’s challenges.
- Creation of a robust Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program to stimulate increased economic diversity through procurement.
II- Ready to Build – Getting to Yes, Responsibly and Efficiently
- Activating federal Opportunity Zones to create master development corridors to drive new investments. (East Downtown Corridor)
- Incentivize development (and redevelopment*) to increase mixed-use and affordable housing units to eliminate blight and foster more attractive, high-performing, land-conserving, and durable development.
- Leverage the Port of Alaska and Ted Stevens International Airport capital construction projects to stimulate hundreds of local jobs as a full-service hub city.
- Reorganize the Office of Economic and Community Development, streamlining the permitting and review processes to stimulate development. Increase uniformity of decisions to encourage confidence.
- Developing new business improvement districts to support neighborhood economies.
III- Destination Anchorage – For Us and Our Visitors
- A vibrant, safe, clean, colorful, and cultural downtown for every resident and visitor to enjoy.
- Foster culturally relevant placemaking and strengthen the arts and culture sector to enhance the visitor experience.
- Continuing investments in parks and trails. Increase public-private partnerships for localized maintenance.
- Bring regular and reliable public transportation service that will help us grow our economy and keep our city safe, connected and working.
- Focus on pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle safety.
- Enhance public art mapping programs to leverage the millions of dollars of art assets in new ways.
- Collaborate on innovative models for seasonal festivals and marketplaces throughout the municipality.
IV- Creative Economy and Innovation Industries
- Open Anchorage for investments into our high-speed internet/ remote working infrastructure.
- The development of local added-value processing, assembly, and light manufacturing will create hundreds of jobs and increase our resilience.
- Recognizing the arts, culture, and creative economies as a vital pillar of the city’s economic engine – Launch Make Anchorage.
- Commitment to the development of the UMED Innovation District and the East Downtown Design District.
- Nurturing emerging high-tech sectors, positioning the city as a research hub for northern applications. e.g., advanced aviation (National Laboratories and Space Command).
V- Workforce Development
- Help get people back to work with expanding the job shops program for up-skilling and cross-sector skill acquisition.
- Launch the City LAB (Local Apprenticeship Business) Initiative, which will raise graduation rates and prepare the workforce we need by turning business and cultural institutions across Anchorage into extended hands-on learning classrooms that support career and technical education, workforce readiness, and adult back to work programs.
- Develop a “Daily Dignity Jobs” program to match underemployed, reentering, or unhoused individuals with labor opportunities and wrap-around services, including education.
- Create a local credentialing mechanism with UAA, post-secondary vocational schools, and labor unions to eliminate talent/brain waste of skilled and internationally credentialed residents.
VI- Regional Development
- Anchorage is the region’s economic engine, and the stronger we are, the better the region will be.
- Regularly convene regional leaders to align economic growth and public transportation needs.
- Build the foundation for regional public transportation infrastructure by using federal transportation and infrastructure resources, including local Opportunity Zones activation.
- Develop regional food security plans and leverage local farming initiatives and food processing opportunities.
VII – Attract New Global Investments
- Already known as the “crossroads” of the world, Anchorage has one of the busiest international and freight airports globally and boasts thousands of visitors annually. It is also the home of America’s most diverse neighborhood and the most diverse high schools in the nation in a school district where over 100 languages are spoken. Anchorage is a unique global city in need of leadership that can harness all of the diversity our community has to offer, strengthening our economic and civic foundation while connecting us to global markets and new economic opportunities.
- Support year-round world-class arts, music, and cultural festivals and gatherings.
- Bring professional and other high-level sports/ activities to Anchorage during the off-seasons.
- Reconvene the Anchorage Olympic committee to explore new opportunities to bring the games here.
- Reposition Anchorage as an innovation city to drive northern research and high-tech development opportunities.