Anchorage Assembly will decide tonight whether to override Bronson’s veto of masking measure

masked woman with glasses
Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel during an Oct. 12, 2021 meeting. Zaletel introduced the emergency mask ordinance that was vetoed by Mayor Dave Bronson. (Wesley Early/AKM)

The Anchorage Assembly will vote tonight on whether to override Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of an emergency mask ordinance it passed Tuesday evening. 

The ordinance requires face masks to be worn in public indoor places in Anchorage, with a wide-ranging list of exemptions. 

Read the emergency ordinance here.

Bronson derided the Assembly and the ordinance on social media shortly after it passed late Tuesday, and he vetoed the measure on Wednesday afternoon. 

The Assembly had passed the emergency ordinance in a 9-1 vote, with Chugiak/Eagle River Assembly member Crystal Kennedy voting against it. The measure was introduced by Assembly members Meg Zaletel and Pete Petersen.

In order to override the mayor’s veto, the Assembly would need a supermajority of eight members.

RELATED: Anchorage Assembly approves emergency mask mandate

As an emergency ordinance, the measure did not need public testimony in order to be taken up by the Assembly. In-person testimony on an earlier ordinance, with more stringent masking rules, had been going on for days — part of what masking opponents said was a tactic to stall the measure. Rhetoric and behavior in the Assembly chambers throughout the testimony was chaotic and there were several arrests. 

RELATED: Discord over masks escalates with arrests, Holocaust comparisons at the Anchorage Assembly

While there is no scheduled public testimony on the veto override Thursday evening, Mayor Bronson posted on social media calling for supporters to “respectfully express your right to be part of the public process.”

The Assembly’s meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Assembly Chambers at Loussac Library.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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