Alaska community members consider secession from Anchorage

May 9, 2019

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (AP) — Residents of two Alaska communities are discussing the possibility of leaving the municipality of Anchorage to form their own local government, according to the group.

More than 100 people attended an informational meeting in Eagle River Friday to discuss what organizers call “EaglExit,” The Chugiak-Eagle River Star reported Wednesday.

The two communities are within Anchorage’s municipal boundaries, but Eagle River is 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of the city, while Chugiak is another five miles (8 kilometers) north.

The group hopes to raise $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study for a municipality separate from Anchorage consisting of Eagle River and Chugiak, as well as neighboring Peters Creek, Eklutna, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a combined Army and Air Force facility.

EagleExit was formed by residents seeking greater self-determination, said group chair Michael Tavoliero of Eagle River.

“We like the idea of local self-government, and by that I mean being able to determine what’s going on in your community and have a voice in that,” Tavoliero said.

The group’s name was inspired by “Brexit,” the informal title given to the British government’s ongoing effort to separate from the European Union.

Chugiak-Eagle River does not have adequate representation on the Anchorage Assembly or the Anchorage School Board, members said. District 2 has two of the assembly’s 11 seats and its school board representatives are elected as at-large members.

“I do not believe they understand the needs of District 2,” Tavoliero said.

A San Antonio, Texas, conservative organization called the Justice Foundation is collecting donations on EaglExit’s behalf.