Story last updated at 1/8/2014 - 4:41 pm
Gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott on Jan. 3 opened a Juneau campaign office that he and those on his campaign hope will be a “warm and welcoming” place. Communications Coordinator Claire Richardson said they want the office to be a place people feel comfortable stopping in, having something hot to drink, charging their phones, registering to vote and, of course, learning more about Mallott.
The office showcased some of Mallott’s “conversations with Alaskans,” something he says he’d like to continue at his Juneau office.
“I try to sit down with members of the community — community leaders, but also folks who live and work and make their lives in Alaska communities, and just engage in conversation,” Mallott said. “It’s important for public policy makers to be informed by as many Alaskans as is humanly possible in order to make the best decisions possible, and so these conversations will be a part of the campaign throughout.”
They’re still determining the office’s hours (they’ll be available soon on the campaign’s Facebook page and at the office itself) but volunteer coordinator Geron Bruce said they hope to be open all week and on Saturdays. The office should be on a normal schedule by the legislative session.
“It’s going to be a hub,” Bruce said.
They also plan to be open during all First Fridays, where they’ll offer activities for kids, and for special events, Richardson said.
At January’s First Friday, kids were busy making snowflakes out of beads. There was also a table of “place-based” books about snow, one of which was both in English and Inupiaq, in part to highlight Mallott’s focus on early childhood education.
She encouraged people, especially those visiting Juneau from out of town, to call ahead to ensure a meeting with campaign workers or, if possible, Mallott.
“The whole idea is that we’re getting Alaska talking,” Richardson said.
For the most part, the office will be staffed with volunteers, but Mallott will also be stopping by when his campaign allows.
Richardson said more than 150 people signed in at the Gallery Walk on Friday, some of whom plan to volunteer.
The campaign office is at 209 Seward Street in downtown Juneau and is reachable at 907-586-1084. It will remain open through the November gubernatorial election.
“Because Juneau is home, as well as my hometown of Yakutat, it’s going to be the campaign headquarters,” Mallott said.
The campaign is also opening an Anchorage office on Jan. 18.