June 12, 2019 Featured on: Glacier City Gazette
To the Editor,
For two decades, a group of dedicated volunteers have been watching over Girdwood’s interests and navigating the fabric of Alaska politics. Initially established as Girdwood 2020, the organization’s board is made up of over 20 individuals with various backgrounds and expertise, and one similar characteristic: a strong passion for Girdwood as a mountain resort community and a great place to live. The group meets regularly throughout the year, addressing the challenges and needs of our community.
The organization was the brainchild of Chris Von Imhof and a small group of passionate Girdwoodians, who recognized that Girdwood was a growing mountain resort community that needed a strong voice to address community infrastructure with an eye towards the community’s future needs. In more recent years, Diana Livingston was the center point and lifeblood of this organization. Diana worked closely with other community organizations and community members in seeking funding for community projects like the Girdwood Public Library and Community Room and the restoration of the historic Alyeska Roundhouse.
Throughout the years, Girdwood 2020 has been a critical partner in development of the Girdwood playground, utility improvements, the Girdwood Nordic ski trails, significant improvements to the Alyeska Highway and bike path, and a tireless advocate for improvements and safety on the Seward Highway.
Passing lanes and highway improvements are a direct result of Girdwood 2020s pressure on State of Alaska/Dept. of Transportation to make the highway safer for Girdwood residents and visitors alike. Just this year, Girdwood 2020 successfully lobbied the Alaska Department of Transportation to include an improved intersection at the Tesoro as part of the Mile 79 Seward Highway improvements.
Like all things, organizations evolve. Moving forward, Girdwood 2020 continues under the new name of Girdwood Alliance to advocate for the Girdwood community. Girdwood Alliance Board Members agree Girdwood is a unique, special place, and is dedicated to having a voice in the community needs as they change and grow. Girdwood Alliance’s name best reflects today’s challenges and the collaboration needed now and in the future.
Last month, Girdwood Alliance Board Members approved a new Executive Director, Krystal Hoke, to advance their Mission “Advocating for Girdwood’s People, Infrastructure and Recreation.” Girdwood Alliance maintains the Vision of “A Sustainable Mountain Resort Community with a High Quality of Life” and showcases this mission and vision at its well-known annual banquet, both a fundraiser and an outreach to state and local officials, Girdwood Alliance’s members, and community supporters.
Aside from infrastructure and safety projects, Girdwood Alliance has lent support and guidance to the popular Lecture Series, a collaboration with Girdwood, Inc. with several lectures that have important tie-ins to life in Girdwood highlight Girdwood’s residents and people and organizations from out of town that have unique perspectives on communities with high life qualities. Additionally, Girdwood Alliance is engaged with the Girdwood Area Plan and stands ready to advocate for the completion of the plan while addressing the needs that the plan brings to light.
The sun may be setting on Girdwood 2020, but Girdwood Alliance continues bright, energized, and advocating for the people and businesses of Girdwood, along with the unique and special way of life that we all enjoy for many more years to come. We welcome your input and comments by reaching out through our website www.girdwoodalliance.org.