Anchorage Assembly member removed from state Human Rights Commission
BY VICTORIA PETERSEN
Jan. 26, Gov. Mike Dunleavy removed Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard from her position on the state Human Rights Commission over comments she made on social media defending two vanity license plates that used Nazi terminology.
Photos of two Alaska license plates that read “FUHRER” and “3REICH,” referring to Adolf Hitler and the era of Nazi rule in Germany, went viral across social media.
Multiple Alaskans complained about the license plates to the state Department of Administration, which handles the Division of Motor Vehicles, the state agency permitting customized license plates.
Allard, who represents Eagle River and Chugiak on the Anchorage Assembly, weighed in on the matter on Facebook, posting that “Fuhrer” means “leader” in German. “Fuhrer means leader or guide in Deutsch; Reich is the realm. If you speak the language fluently, you would know the English definition of the word, the progressives have put a spin on it and created their own definition,” she wrote in a Facebook comment.
Before deleting her public Facebook pages, Allard posted that some have “misinterpreted” her recent comments. “Let me state this plainly, my father was 100% Chilean, and I am proud of my heritage as a Chilean Latina,” her Jan. 26 post said. “As a person of color, myself, I unequivocally condemn racism and white supremacy in all forms. I understand some have misinterpreted my recent comments as defending a specific license plate; that was never my intention, nor have I done so. In fact, I find that the plate in question is in poor taste. I do not support any application of racism or race supremacy in any way. My apologies that this came across as offensive. I was posting as a private citizen, and I realize I no longer have that luxury.”
In response to the comments, Dunleavy removed Allard from the state’s Human Rights Commission. In a statement released Tuesday, Dunleavy said Allard’s comments became a distraction for the commission and “its mission to ensure equality and fair treatment of all Alaskans.”
Appointed to the commission in 2019, Allard’s term was set to end in 2024, but by Jan. 26, her name had been removed from the commission’s website. Later that day, at the Anchorage Assembly meeting, residents spoke about the issue during public testimony, who both criticized and defended the comments the assembly member made about the license plates.
On Jan. 25, Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka released a statement saying the DMV had already recalled the two plates and that replacement standard plates had been issued as well. Police were notified that the plates were unauthorized by the DMV, Tshibaka said in her statement.
“The Alaska DMV has strict guidelines and protocols for issuing personalized license plates, which prohibit references to violence, drugs, law enforcement, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other government entities,” her statement said. “The DMV has a recall process in place should a plate be issued that later is determined to be inappropriate or offensive, which was used in this circumstance.”
Tshibaka said she is also ordering a review of the DMV’s guidelines and processes in hopes of determining how the plates were issued in the first place. An online petition calling for Allard’s removal from the assembly has started, along with a new private Facebook group called “Recall Jamie Allard.”
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE CO. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska