Today (and every day), we show love to our Alaska community by ensuring that every person is afforded the civil rights and individual liberties enshrined in the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions. We’ve modified the Love Languages – the different ways we give and receive love – to share the specific actions we can all take to show civic love to our fellow Alaskans.   

We hope you’ll join us in taking an action of love for Alaska’s civil rights and liberties this week.   


Acts of Service: Help a friend or family member make a plan to vote  

Alaskans’ right to vote is fundamental, and our democracy requires that all cast ballots are counted. This year is a big election year in Alaska and the U.S.- we want to ensure strong voter turnout and that all the votes are counted.   

Currently, Alaskans do not have a system to fix problems on their ballot before their vote is counted. During the 2022 all-mail special election primary held following Don Young’s death, the state rejected thousands of ballots because of easily fixable and benign errors. These rejections disproportionately impacted Alaska Natives and Alaskans with limited English proficiency who did not understand the ballot requirements but could have easily fixed them before the election.   

Until we have a ballot curing system, we can serve our friends, loved ones, and neighbors by ensuring they are registered to vote and making sure they are completing the voting requirements at the ballot box or on their mail-in envelopes.   


Words of Affirmation: Use someone’s correct pronouns  

You may have noticed that people share their pronouns in introductions, on name tags, and at the beginning of meetings. This allows everyone in the room to self-identify instead of assuming someone’s identity or which pronouns they use. Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting people’s identity and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders.  

We should strive to use someone’s correct pronouns always. Still, sometimes misgendering happens when someone is labeled by others as a gender other than one that a person identifies with. Because many (not all) associate their pronouns with their gender identity, using the wrong pronouns intentionally or unintentionally is a form of misgendering. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun when identifying someone, please apologize or say “thank you” and immediately use the correct pronoun.  

Show some extra love: tell a queer person in your life or community that they matter and speak up against queerphobic and transphobic statements in school, at work, and in social settings.   


Quality time: read a banned book with a young person and make space for discussion  

banned books, Alaska, Mat-Su
Last year, the Mat-Su Borough School District banned 56 book titles from school library shelves because the titles contained ideas that it did not agree with. Books written for young readers and those focusing on the experiences of women, people of color, and gay or transgender people are especially at risk of being challenged and banned.     

It’s crucial that young people have the opportunity to explore ideas and books. ACLU of Alaska Legal Director Ruth Botstein said it well in our litigation against the Mat-Su Borough School District: “ This representation matters to these students, and access and exposure to new ideas is crucial for their growth and development. The harm to the students goes beyond simply checking out a library book. There is nothing that can compensate for the lost opportunity to explore an idea, to read a book that might help a student navigate the world.”   

The ability to read what we want free from government interference is a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment. Show love for the young people in our community by reading a banned book with them and creating space for discussing the topics, ideas, and identities represented in the books.   


Gift-giving: Write a letter to an incarcerated loved one.  

Letters in prison
More than 7-in-10 (71%) people in Alaska personally know someone who has been incarcerated or has been incarcerated themselves. We won’t sugarcoat it- prisons in Alaska have abysmal conditions and are incredibly dangerous. Many incarcerated Alaskans are experiencing first birthdays, holidays, and significant life milestones in prisons and jails across the state. They’ve expressed strong emotions of sadness, fear, and hopelessness- but also strength in finding purpose, rehabilitation, and learning from mistakes.   

A handwritten letter to an incarcerated person is a gift of time and love that can brighten someone’s day and lift spirits, even in the darkest places.   


Physical action: Testify at a local board meeting or give testimony on legislation that furthers civil rights for all Alaskans  

One of the best ways we can collectively advocate for the civil rights of all Alaskans is to physically show up in places where the public can provide input. No matter the issue, we have a responsibility to share our voice and ensure that decision-makers know precisely where members of the community and their constituents stand on civil rights issues.   

Sign up for email alerts with us to be ready for the next call to action to testify or provide comments.   

Want something you can do today? Sign our petitions to hold Alaska’s Department of Corrections accountable for deaths in prison and send a message to elected officials to advocate for the rights of all Alaskans, regardless of gender identity.   

The ACLU of Alaska is grateful for every Alaskan who stands with us in justice and advocacy work, gives generously so we can hold strong, and for the love you show your community today and every day.   

We want to see your civic love in action! Tag us in your social media posts so we can see the ways you’re showing love to your Alaska community and the civil rights we have in this state and country.