Remembering Representative Don Young

Don Young (2)

By Bryan Butcher, CEO/Executive Director

Like so many Alaskans, I met the passing of Representative Don Young with sadness, recognizing the tremendous loss of a fierce defender of our great state.

Congressman Young was passionate about the need to address child exploitation and fight human trafficking in Alaska. He was a vocal advocate supporting the rights of survivors and helping them to return to safe and productive lives with dignity. He worked tirelessly with us, and others, to provide compassionate care for homeless youth and the state’s most defenseless populations.

A Stalwart Defender

To illustrate a recent example, a few years ago, we requested a meeting with Congressman Young and he insisted on coming to our office. Often when we discuss an issue as complex as homelessness, people automatically think of individuals on street corners or standing in shelter lines. They are visual reminders of homelessness but don’t tell the whole story. We were prepared but the Congressman took control of the conversation as he was known to do, and said that across Alaska children make up one of the largest homeless populations. Congressman Young recognized the need to provide resources for all Alaskans at risk of homelessness.

Congressman Young’s legacy in Alaska is far-reaching and will be ever-present in our history.

In the photo: Bryan Butcher, AHFC CEO/executive director (left), Stacy Barnes, AHFC dir. public affairs (middle) with Congressman Don Young.