Dear Neighbors,

On February 27, Mike Brander passed away due to complications from COVID-19. He was a former Speaker of the House and one of Alaska’s legendary journalists. Mike’s passing is a huge loss because he was a statesman who played an instrumental role in guiding and shaping the Alaska we love and cherish. I’m especially saddened by his passing because Mike Bradner was my friend. 

Mike Bradner was a walking, talking wealth of knowledge about Alaska politics and he never stopped digging for the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I would pick up my phone to find Mike Bradner on the other end asking about what’s going on and why. More often than not he already knew the answer because no one was more turned into the work of the Alaska Legislature than Mike Bradner. I loved to talk to him and will greatly miss our conversations.

If you don't know who Mike Bradner was, I highly recommend reading the column published this week by Mike's brother, Tim Bradner, entitled "My brother's role in building the Alaska we know." There's a link to the column below.

I’m here to serve you. If you have questions or concerns, please contact my office at or call (907) 465-2095.

Please be safe,
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Several years ago, I met with an impressive constituent from District 23, working to recover from a traumatic brain injury. In 2012, Annette Alfonsi was a passenger in a rollover car accident. Her life has never been the same because of the injuries she suffered that day. However, that has not stopped her from raising awareness of the issue. For many years, Annette has led a brain injury awareness project in Alaska and hosted community conversations among stakeholders. She’s been a tireless advocate for survivors of brain injuries.

After meeting with Annette and hearing her story, I become convinced that more attention and resources are needed to prevent and treat brain injuries that all too often go undiagnosed and untreated.

  • It’s estimated that between 3 to 5 million Americans live with long-term disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injuries. 
  • The Brain Injury Association of America reports that every 9 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury.
  • Approximately 137 people die every day in the U.S. because of traumatic brain injuries.

This week, I introduced House Resolution 7 proclaiming March as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Alaska, and on Wednesday I spoke on the House Floor to commemorate Brain Injury Awareness Day. (Click this link watch the speech)

Most of the time, physical injuries are easy to see. Someone has a broken arm or they are bruised and battered. That's not the case with many brain injuries, which largely go unseen. It's my hope that by raising awareness we can prevent people from getting brain injuries and support the millions of Americans living with these injuries.

A great resource for more information is the Brain Injury Association of America. Visit their website at