Priorities

kelly cooper smiling

Our children are our most valuable resource.

Kelly Cooper at a restaurant table with two of her grandkids

Education

Our kids deserve a high-quality education that prepares them for tomorrow’s careers. That’s why I advocate for STEM programs in K-12 schools and support postsecondary education — whether through trade schools or universities. We must adjust to 21st-century needs and teach our students how to think for themselves and find their passions.

If we’re going to ask teachers to be experts in not only their subjects but also in technology, child development, lesson planning, and classroom management, we need to make teaching one of the most desirable careers out there. We have a retention problem with teachers in Alaska, and we need to grow our own through a stable university system. Then, once they are employed in our schools, we have to give teachers the security to stay in Alaska with the forward funding of education.

Education affects more than just our families — it drives the business community. The students of today will be providing the goods and services you rely on tomorrow.

Alaska needs to attract new business and diversify its economy.

crab boat Cape Caution, back from opilio crab fishing

Economy

I’m a small business owner, which means I see firsthand how local families are affected by fluctuations in our local economy — whether from policy changes, shifting state budgets, or natural disasters. Alaska needs a stable fiscal plan to weather these storms.

Decision-makers in business have many options for where to establish themselves. They look for long-term stability in the local economy and a quality of life that will attract and retain skilled workers. This quality of life is built on a foundation of essential services, including well-maintained roads and Marine Highways, good schools, safe communities, and accessible, high-quality medical care. Our existing businesses need the same services to continue to prosper and grow. 

The Alaskan spirit of resilience and resourcefulness is one of our greatest assets as we face the many challenges ahead of us. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and doing the hard work to help all Alaskans thrive.

Sustainability isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a community issue.

landscape with snowmobiles

Sustainability

Significant warming trends in our rivers and oceans are beginning to harm tourism, subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries. Our statewide fire season has moved back from May 1 to April 1 and extended into August. 

We have to plan for short- and long-term solutions that make economic sense and put the value of our resources to its highest and best use. This won’t happen overnight, but our oil and gas supplies are finite. Renewable energy creates job opportunities and economic development, and I support the ongoing work to improve energy and climate security through such projects as Bradley and Grant Lake Hydroelectric. Working together toward sustainable solutions benefits everyone in our community.