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Jan 4, 2024

This week features our first episode of the year, recorded live at NewDEAL’s 13th Annual Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. Host Ryan Coonerty speaks with Representative Maxine Dibert, our first Alaskan guest on the show. They talk about the state’s political dynamics, such as the unique bipartisan coalition system of government and their ranked-choice voting system. Dibert, an elementary school teacher for twenty years, also shares with listeners how her daughter influenced her to run for office and how her career in education has helped her connect with constituents. As the first Alaskan Native woman in the legislature, she has co-sponsored bills to protect her native language and has taken a leading role in the legislature's efforts to address various tribal issues. Dibert also outlines her legislative priorities for the session ahead, including climate change, childcare, and the economy. Tune in to learn what Representative Dibert thinks everybody can learn from Alaska's legislative leadership and why the Last Frontier is worth visiting at any time of the year.


  • (01:11) A warm welcome to Alaska Representative Maxine Dibert

  • (01:50) How Alaska state politics differ from other states’

  • (02:33) The Alaskan House’s bipartisan coalition committed to problem solving

  • (03:25) Representative Dibert’s first year in office

  • (04:49) Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and what it means for candidates

  • (06:32) Dibert’s career as an elementary school teacher and how the needs of her students informed her decision to run for office

  • (08:06) How Representative Dibert’s daughter forged a path for her in Juneau

  • (10:11) The skills Dibert took from the classroom to the capital, including building a sense of family with her colleagues

  • (11:50) Alaska’s freshman caucus and how new legislators have been able to uplift one another

  • (13:14) Representative Dibert shares a story about connecting with a voter during her campaign and convincing her to vote for the first time ever

  • (15:39) What it’s like serving as the only Alaskan native woman in the state legislature

  • (17:01) Her efforts to protect native languages and how the state legislature is addressing tribal issues

  • (19:50) The threats of climate change on the Alaskan economy and landscape, and how the state legislature is working with Congress to build resiliency

  • (22:28) What’s coming up for Representative Dibert in the next legislative session

  • (23:30) Why the rest of the country should keep an eye on Alaska’s ranked choice voting system, climate issues, and childcare

  • (25:16) Dibert’s pitch for listeners to visit Alaska