Bethel City Council Candidate Profile: Alisha Welch

by Lakeidra Chavis on September 22, 2015

Bethel City Council candidate Alisha Welch. (Photo by Lakeidra Chavis/ KYUK)

Bethel City Council candidate Alisha Welch. (Photo by Lakeidra Chavis/ KYUK)

Twenty-five-year-old Alisha Welch is running for city council.

“I have lived here for the past 25 years, so all of my life,” Welch said.

She was born and raised in Bethel.

“So I know the community values and what the city would like. I hope to bridge the people of the city and the council, to work together so that we can make a better Bethel,” Welch said.

She says she would like to see a stronger female presence on the council to increase gender diversity. Heather Pike is currently the only female councilmember on the Bethel City Council.

Welch, who is a graduate of Bethel Regional High School, says she was an active member of student council, and served as a representative for the Alaska School Board.

After graduating, she says she interned for former Senator Ted Stevens during his last term.

She says she’d like to assist with the city’s tougher issues, like drug use.

“I’d like to help Byron Maczynski in his stand for the fight against heroin and drugs in the community,” Welch said. “I think that’s a really big problem and we need to help solve it or address the best that we can.”

And although she’s not a councilmember, she has been working with city council.

“Currently, I am the vice-chair of the public safety and transportation commission and also an alternative on the Public Works Committee. So, I’ve been working on that this year, with the committee on different issues,” Welch said.

And Welch, like other candidates, acknowledges that Bethel is growing.

“I think that Bethel is starting to get more of the community┬áinvolved┬áin different issues, and just working together. It’s starting to grow a lot more and build itself,” Welch said.

In order for the community to grow, she says she’d like to focus on problems like infrastructure and the city’s more recent issues.

“There’s different issues, like vandalism, that hinders the city from becoming the best it can,” Welch added.

And for people who say might she is too young?

Welch says her age shouldn’t be a problem. Current Councilmember Chuck Herman is 24 years old.

Welch currently works as a judicial assistant for Bethel’s Superior Court Judge Charles W. Ray, Jr.

The regular election will be held on Oct. 6, 2015. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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