On Tuesday, October 4, 2011 voters rejected Proposition 2 on the Fairbanks North Star Borough ballot. Two candidates who supported Prop 2 were elected with strong majorities: John Davies for Assembly and John Eberhart for City Council.
Question, absentee, and early in-person ballots will be counted after the October 11 deadline for receiving absentee ballots.
According to these unofficial results, voters decided “yes” for Prop 2 in 11 of 42 precincts. Residents in those 11 precincts–and over 39% of all voters–want better air so much they voted to regulate themselves. Turnout on Prop 2 was less than 22% of registered voters. The outcome hinged on 1,550 voters who decided “no” rather than “yes”.
The right to breathe healthy air belongs to every Borough resident, including 25,000 children too young to register to vote. Our town cannot be condemned to be the “Bad-air-banks” it has become. The responsibility to address the imminent harm to health remains in the hands of public agencies, individuals, and the courts.
On the federal deadline for PM 2.5 nonattainment, the state may seek up to eight more years of extensions, until 2019. Postponing action and PM 2.5 attainment undermines the health of every resident and risks damaging the region’s economy.