Conrad ‘CJ’ McCormick seeks another term on Bethel City Council
KYUK is running a series of profiles on Bethel City Council candidates ahead of the Oct. 5 election. There are six candidates running for four open seats, and each seat is for a two-year term. KYUK municipal reporter Olivia Ebertz spoke to incumbent Conrad “CJ” McCormick about his priorities for the city.
At age 24, McCormick is the youngest candidate on the ballot this year, and the only candidate who grew up in Bethel; he’s lived here his whole life. McCormick has sat on the city council for a year, and in that time has proven himself to be a measured speaker who often refers to the pros and cons of each side of an issue before voicing a decision.
During his term, McCormick has been a vocal advocate for the pandemic mitigation measures taken by the city, including mask mandates and the employee vaccine mandate. He works at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in public relations and has acknowledged the influence of his employer in his COVID-19 strategies for the city. McCormick has said during city council meetings that he prefers when the city takes measures that are aligned with guidance from YKHC.
McCormick also said that if elected, he would like to address the city’s relationship with local tribes during the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
“I'd like for Bethel to have a better relationship with some of the tribes. Not just ONC in town, but also also a bit further on, you know. I think there's a lot of work we can do related to COVID-19 with other local tribes that would really help us be better at combating COVID,” said McCormick.
Another issue important to McCormick is sexual violence. He says that the police department could be better at handling this violence.
“We currently have someone evaluating the police department's handling of sexual violence cases right now. And I think really taking hold of that information that we get from that survey is paramount, because that's been a prevalent problem forever out here,” said McCormick.
McCormick said that the police department can help address sexual violence by appointing officers who specifically deal with this type of assault. And he said that the city should provide more resources to survivors. McCormick also said that there should be greater dialogue across different city bodies, As an example, he pointed to a forum that occured last year with Tundra Women’s Coalition, the Bethel City Council, and the Bethel Chief of Police about how sexual assault cases are handled in Bethel.
McCormick said that voters should choose him because of his pragmatism and perfect council attendance record. He said that he hopes to be re-elected so that he can keep serving his community.
The municipal election will be Tuesday, Oct. 5 and early voting has already begun. You can click here to listen to a full interview with McCormick, and here to hear the entire Bethel City Council Candidates Forum.