The majority of Alaskans rely on food and goods imported through the Port of Anchorage, which began operations in 1961. The aging port has infrastructure that could fail if an extreme weather event were to impact the city. Therefore, citizens face a constant threat of food shortages if the port were to become damaged or inoperable after one of these events.
Anchorage is one of 10 cities that took part in the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program. Through this program, the city built and is sustaining resilience in low-income communities by developing education initiatives that use volunteer-built greenhouses to teach students and families how to grow food in their own backyards. Learn more about results of their efforts.
Anchorage has been a member of the Cities of Service Coalition since 2015.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz
Prior to being elected as mayor in 2015, Ethan Berkowitz worked as an assistant district attorney before serving for ten years in the Alaska State Legislature, eight as minority leader. In the private sector, he worked on technology, energy, and geothermal projects in Northwest Alaska.
Chief of Staff Ona Brause
Ona Brause is focused on intergovernmental affairs, energy efficiency, resilience initiatives, and municipal enterprises. Before joining the Municipality, Brause worked as the director of finance and operations for Intelligent Energy Systems, LLC, an Anchorage-based business focused on accelerating renewable energy in Alaska.
What's Happening in Anchorage
Anchorage is working to combat the threat of food shortages, which could occur if the local port were to become damaged in an extreme weather event. Through the Resilience AmeriCorps program, the city launched the Resilience Training Ground, which educates adults and youth about local food security concerns. The Training Ground uses citizen volunteers to build and maintain greenhouses at schools and edible landscaping in parks, and encourages them to start their own home gardens. These activities help train people to be more resilient and self-reliant should a food shortage occur.
“Cities of Service is the reason I came up to Anchorage. They have helped guide us with curriculum and ideas on what we can do to work toward a more resilient, more sustainable community, not just from a municipal and government level, but also from a ground-up community level.”
Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA Alumnus Jared James