I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

It’s election eve, and might as well be Christmas Eve because I’m so excited. I love voting, and I really love this feeling the night before, in part  because I know this may be as good it gets– but that’s okay– because tonight, I’m going to be optimistic that tomorrow I will vote for the first Alaskan congresswoman, Alyse Galvin. I’m not joking– she is that close, it is they say, a dead heat. She really may defeat Don Young. Imagine that? When I met Alyse at the Fair in Haines in July I liked her, and her independence (she is not affiliated with a party), but worried she was too nice, too polite, too thoughtful, but the mother of four and public school booster has proven tenacious and courageous in this campaign. Talk about persisting!  She’s amazing.

 I’m happy to be voting Yes on the Stand for Salmon initiative to protect Alaska’s salmon and waterways like the Chilkat River in Haines. 45,000 Alaskans signed the petition to get it on the ballot. That’s heroic. And for life-long Alaskan Mark Begich for governor. What a scene it’s been this last month. I am sorry Governor Walker dropped out, but so grateful now that we have Mark on the ballot. He’ll be a good governor for all Alaskans.

I hope to send another woman to the state house, Juneau’s Sara Hannan, and Jesse Kiehl to the state senate. Jesse is a hard worker, and smart. He has helped Haines for years while on former Senator Egan’s staff. 

I am lucky to have such good people (and fish) to vote for.  I hope you have a few wise women (and caring men) to choose from, too.

Now, all I have to do is read about the judges up for retention and make dinner.

Maybe tomorrow night we will all be pleasantly surprised. Maybe results will be mixed. Maybe it will be a bummer. One thing we can all agree on is to be civil and respectful when we speak or comment about  the elections and our choices, to make sure that as E.B. White said,  American Democracy really is “the don’t in don’t shove.”