Public Lands Access
Alaskans must NEVER take for granted the world-class opportunities we have to hunt and fish in the state we call home. In Congress, I will always fight against any policies that limit access to public lands for hunting and fishing.
Protecting Alaska’s Fisheries
For decades, Alaska has played an outsized role in the development and protection of healthy and sustainable fisheries management policies. I will work hard to ensure Alaska does not lose its voice within American fisheries policy. Working with stakeholders from across all Alaska user groups, I will always advocate for Alaska’s fishing interests, including addressing issues like salmon bycatch, ocean acidification, IUU fishing. Alaska has and continues to be the global leader in sustainable fisheries management and in Congress, I will work to ensure it remains that way.
I support a rural preference for subsistence. I support an Alaska constitutional amendment that conforms with P.L. 96-487, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
A strong education structure is imperative for the future health of our great state. An investment into our education system is an investment into Alaska’s future. The federal government plays a vital role in ensuring student civil rights, equitable access for English language learners, and access for students with disabilities and special education needs. The federal government, through both the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of the Interior also carry out the federal trust responsibility to provide education to American Indian and Alaska Natives students. I support robust, consistent and timely investments in student learning, however, these taxpayer investments should include parental input and be targeted at students and their academic, social and emotional growth, not the growth of governmental bureaucracy.
Drug & Human Trafficking
I recognize the devastating impacts of human trafficking, fentanyl and other illegal narcotics are having on our communities. From urban centers to the most remote regions, our communities are being destroyed by the trafficking of our loved ones and these illicit drugs. We must take a wholistic approach to stopping this dark rampage. From securing our borders; to innovative partnerships with tribal, local, state and federal law enforcement authorities; to increased direct service delivery and wrap around services for victims. Our communities must thrive again and pooling the necessary resources together to create a united front is the only way we can make progress. I will fight for Alaskan families to stop the progression of drug and human trafficking.
Too many of our communities lack law enforcement and public safety services. In those areas I am a proponent of innovative partnerships that involve the State of Alaska, our federally recognized tribes and credentialling through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. These types of partnerships have the potential to empower the State of Alaska to keep all of our communities safe with law enforcement and public safety services.
Access to Services
I fully support increased access to mental health and substance abuse services across the state. Due to the vast distances and infrastructure challenges across our state, we need innovative approaches for service delivery and the necessary infrastructure to deliver these services. I will continue to fight for access to these types of services for Alaskans.
Championing Our Military
As the infamous General Billy Mitchell once said about Alaska, it truly is “the most important strategic place in the world.” With Russia’s war in Ukraine, the rise of China, and North Korea’s continued provocation, Alaska is on the frontlines of freedom. In Congress, I will be a proud champion for our military and advocate for increased military presence in the state. A larger military footprint in Alaska is not only good for the country, but the good-paying jobs that come along with it.
Honoring our Veterans
Alaska has one of the most veterans per capita than any other state in the country. In Congress, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the federal government honors the commitment they made to our veterans when they answered the call to serve. I will also work to ensure that a one-size-fits-all decision made by bureaucrats thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C. does not negatively impact Alaska’s veterans.
A Changing Arctic
The United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska, and as an Iñupiaq, the Arctic defines who we are as a people. Alaskans must adapt and thrive in the face of more ship traffic due to thinner and less ice, changing permafrost on which our infrastructure has been built, and changing wildlife habits and habitats for subsistence. We need a strong leader who will advocate for the Arctic as the sole representative of the Arctic in the House. I am that advocate.
In Alaska we see the impacts of a changing climate every day. Whether coastal erosion, the shrinking footprint of multi-year icefloes, changing in our hunting, gathering and fishing seasons and disruptive migration patterns of our land, air and sea animals and mammals, these effects are real. I believe in a voluntary approach for industries to offset their carbon footprint. I further believe we need to take an incentive vs. punitive approach for carbon sequestration and reduction technologies and innovation.
Alaska’s Federally Recognized Tribes
There are 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States, and Alaska is home to 228, nearly half of the nation’s federally recognized tribes. As the former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, I support, respect and understand the importance of tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship Alaska’s tribes have with the Federal Government. I believe in transparent and meaningful tribal consultation throughout the federal process. I strongly believe we have more work to do in Alaska to build bridges within, and outside of, the Alaska Native community.
Tribes are important partners that substantively contribute to all facets of a better Alaska, including a robust economy, developing a strong labor force, and promoting healthy communities.
I encourage those unfamiliar with the tribal structure in Alaska to learn more and explore meaningful partnerships with our tribal entities. Alaska will be better for it.
- Tara Sweeney