Anchorage Assembly decides against formal action after member defends Nazi license plates online

A white woman in a red suit speaks at a microphone
Assemblywoman Jamie Allard speaks at a Jan. 26, 2021 Assembly Meeting (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly unanimously dismissed a resolution Tuesday to reprimand Assemblymember Jamie Allard for being in “breach of the public trust” by defending two Nazi-themed license plates online.

Last month, Allard argued on social media that two Alaska plates reading “FUHRER” and “3REICH” were simply displaying German words, not generating Nazi connotations.

The resolution, proposed by Assemblymember Meg Zalatel, said Allard used her social media platform to “defend language unequivocally associated with Nazis.” 

The resolution acknowledged there is no clear path for the Assembly to request an Ethics Board review of a member’s actions, and called for a review of Municipal Ethics Code.

Assemblymember Crystal Kennedy, who proposed throwing out the resolution, argued it wouldn’t accomplish anything substantive. A few members said they didn’t think the Assembly was the right group to weigh in on another member’s actions. Allard said she hadn’t violated any ethical codes, and said Zalatel was pushing a “hyper-political agenda” and “wasting time” with the resolution. 

Ultimately, all ten members of the Assembly, including Zalatel, voted to postpone the resolution indefinitely. In an interview, Zalatel said she expected the outcome but was glad to open a broader discussion on codifying acceptable social media conduct for Assembly members.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting: The Assembly heard several hours of testimony on transitioning the city’s mask mandate from an emergency order to regular city code. It would have provided a more robust process for enacting a mask order, one that involved Assembly discussion and public input rather than a unilateral decision from the acting mayor. Most testimony was opposition to any mask order. The Assembly ultimately voted to throw out the ordinance, and the emergency order remains the vehicle of the mask mandate.