Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson
Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson was raised by working class parents in a rural logging town in northern California. She worked herself through high school and college, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a law degree from the University of California at Davis. As an attorney, she worked for a large law firm on housing and renewable energy projects, as in-house counsel to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and as a law clerk in federal court. She also served as the Legal Affairs & Land Transactions Director for the Great Land Trust.
Austin was sworn in to serve as Acting Mayor in October of 2020 after proudly serving as a member of the Anchorage Assembly since 2018. Throughout her time representing West Anchorage on the Assembly - as a member, Vice Chair, and then Chair immediately before she stepped into the Acting Mayor role - Quinn-Davidson focused her efforts on optimizing public safety, bolstering our local economy and supporting working families, championing environmental sustainability in our community, and improving quality of life for all Anchorage citizens. A common thread in all of her work is her commitment to justice, equity, and bringing unheard voices to the table. After the 2018 earthquake, she worked with Alaska's federal delegation to change FEMA regulations so Anchorage residents could get disaster relief and repair their homes. She also collaborated with Native leaders to ensure the Anchorage Police Department's processes and data collection were transparent and enabled identification of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW). As the Municipality of Anchorage navigated a long-overdue economic pivot, she supported a tax structure to incentivize downtown residential development and helped the Mayor's team increase affordable housing throughout the city. She worked with the ACDA to ensure free parking for Purple Heart recipients - an effort made possible by her collaboration with a local Purple Heart recipient in our community. She was a champion of the Municipality's Climate Action Plan and co-chaired the Health Policy Committee, where she brought forth life-saving Tobacco 21 legislation increasing the legal smoking age from 19 to 21, which then became federal law. She championed the Municipality's investment in a more comprehensive mental health first response system, first as an Assembly member and later as Acting Mayor. She was also one of the three sponsors of the successful alcohol tax and has been an outspoken advocate of using this new revenue stream to fund early education and programs that reduce the incidence of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Alongside these more substantive matters, she worked to optimize the public process and reimagine Assembly meeting agendas to promote more community participation. Her holistic, inclusive approach to supporting her community has translated well into her role as Acting Mayor, where her office is focused on managing the COVID-19 pandemic and getting as many resources to as many Anchorage residents as possible.
Austin currently lives in West Anchorage on Dena'ina land with her wife Stephanie and their two dogs. They enjoy taking advantage of all the adventure Alaska has to offer and love being community dwellers - regularly visiting farmers markets, local businesses, and community events. Austin loves Anchorage because of the tight-knit and supportive communities, the outdoor opportunities, the entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit of its residents, and the love of place, modeled by our Alaska Native friends and neighbors whose peoples have lived here for thousands of years. The Quinn-Davidson family feels lucky to call Anchorage home.