Port of Seattle Commission candidates were invited to by the API Candidates & Issues Forum—King County to answer a questionnaire of four questions. Of the 15 candidates for Position 1, Position 3, and Position 4, 11 responded. The following are their responses.


Position 1 Candidates: Ryan Calkins, John Creighton, Claudia Kauffman, and Bea Querido-Rico

RYAN CALKINS

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Ryan Calkins is a business owner, nonprofit professional and lifelong Democrat active in progressive politics. For over ten years, Ryan ran an import company, working directly with shipping operations at the Port. He now works for Ventures, a nonprofit that supports low-income entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. Prior to being in business, Ryan worked in Latin America for human rights and disaster relief nonprofits. Ryan and his wife Lindsay, an attorney, live in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood with their three children, the oldest enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. Ryan was born and raised in Edmonds.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I’m running for the Port of Seattle Commission to improve economic opportunity and environmental sustainability. As a former small business owner that operated an import business in the Georgetown neighborhood, a nonprofit professional working with economically disadvantaged communities in our region, and a father of three children, I’m uniquely qualified to carry out the responsibilities of the Port Commission.

The economic boom we are experiencing is both an opportunity for our region and a source of conflict. We need civic leaders who ensure that economic prosperity reaches all members of our community. Currently South Seattle, home to most of the Port of Seattle’s assets, is experiencing increasing rates of poverty as the cost of living skyrockets while wages stagnate. The Port of Seattle has the economic power and the responsibility, as outlined in its mission, to address this disparity. The Port Commission should expand the already successful apprentice programs such as the collaboration between Seattle College and Vigor industries that trains hundreds of maritime welders and places them in family-wage jobs. The Commission should also expand outreach to South Seattle neighborhoods, taking into account cultural and language barriers, to engage new Americans who are seeking well-paying jobs.

At a time when the Port of Seattle is struggling to keep up with demand at SeaTac while also advocating for the continued viability of the seaport, environmental sustainability must be at the forefront of every discussion about Port management and expansion. We can no longer make decisions that sacrifice our long term economic and environmental well-being for short term economic benefit. Forty percent of the landed catch of the domestic fishing industry comes from the commercial fishing fleet based here in Seattle (principally moored at the Port of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal). The livelihood of the thousands of men and women who work in the fishing industry is at stake as a result of ocean acidification caused by global warming. Our response as a Port Commission ought to be both local and global. Locally, we need to electrify the vehicles and equipment that serve the airport and the seaport. While the upfront investment would be high, the benefits for local air quality, for Port competitiveness and for the indirect effects of reducing emissions would far outweigh the costs. Globally, the Port of Seattle needs to take a stand against further extraction and transport of fossil fuels. Specifically, the Port of Seattle should block the transport of coal and oil through its facilities.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

The Port Commission needs to improve its oversight and leadership of the Port staff. Since I first became a close Port watcher in 2005, I have witnessed instance after instance of the Port Commission being asleep at the switch as the executive leadership engaged in ethically questionable practices. The search is on for a new CEO which gives the incoming Port Commission a rare chance to set a new tone. One of my first roles as Port Commissioner would be to ensure that the new CEO is someone with a sterling ethical record, ample experience in the management of a public entity, and with local roots. In addition, the new Commission should initiate an evaluation of the Commission itself for consideration by the State Legislature. Possible reform should ensure independence from Port staff and a composition that reflects the community. The current composition of the Port – five at large commissioners elected by the entirety of King County – may not result in the most representative body.

4. Why should we vote for you?

As a manager of teams of people for over a decade, I’m regularly evaluated by colleagues and employees. The trait that is most often ascribed to me is integrity. And I take no credit for that. Rather, I was raised by two people for whom honesty and ethics were non-negotiables. Watching the litany of scandals at the Port over the last decade, I finally felt compelled to step up to run for the Port Commission. Some progress has been made to improve the culture of ethics at the Port, but there is still much more work to be done.

I work hard. In the last few years, I’ve run a business, simultaneously served as a corporate officer to two other businesses, started a 501(c)3 nonprofit, sat on the boards of two other nonprofits, volunteered on various campaigns, and, most important, raised three children. While the Port Commissioner role is not a full time position, I plan to put my strong work ethic toward the goals of the Port, whether that is developing new international trade, negotiating mutually beneficial outcomes among competing Port stakeholders, or engaging with the Port staff as part of the leadership team.

JOHN CREIGHTON

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

I grew up in East King County, graduating from Interlake High School in Bellevue. Before becoming a commissioner, I worked as a lawyer specializing in complex international transactions in the port cities of Singapore, Helsinki and Istanbul prior to returning home and establishing my own practice.
As a commissioner, I have focused on keeping the Port strong as a jobs creation engine while increasing the agency’s commitment to the environment and making it a more accountable, socially responsible public agency.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I believe that as everyone pays taxes into the Port of Seattle, all communities should benefit from the economic prosperity that the Port generates. I have been a vocal critic of I-200 and it’s restrictions on public agencies’ ability to expand contracting with minority and women-owned businesses (MBEs and WMBEs). I 2015, I proposed a motion calling for the legislature to repeal I-200, which was unanimously approved by my colleagues.

I have championed the need for the Port to expand contracting with local MBEs and WMBEs. I have challenged Port staff to come up with methods for more inclusion of MBE and WMBE business in ways that push the envelope on I-200. Port staff in the legal and contracting departments has developed a program similar to the City of Seattle that seems to be producing better results and still remain legal under I-200.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

In addition to continuing my work to expand opportunities for local minority and women-owned businesses, I intend to continue my work with the Seattle Building Trades and the AGC of Washington to develop a Priority Hire Program at the Port of Seattle to increase the number of young people from disadvantaged communities in good-paying maritime and aviation-related careers.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I have been a vocal advocate for the Port to (i) expand its contracting with minority and women-owned businesses and (ii) work to ensure career paths for port-related jobs are open to all members of our community. And I have been a strong champion for increasing diversity within the Port, voting to hire the Port’s first Asian American CEO and supporting the hire of the Port’s first African American airport director and first openly gay seaport director.

I have supported increased Port funding for workforce development targeted at underserved communities and the tripling of the Port’s summer intern program, introducing underprivileged youth to port careers. I championed the Port conducting a disparity study in 2014, which documented that minority-owned businesses were under-represented in Port contracting. Out of that disparity study the Port requested and received permission from the FAA for its DBE program (projects with federal dollars) to be race conscious. There is still a lot of work to do with respect to contracts not supported with federal dollars. The results of the Port contracting are positive and the Port is moving in the right direction with small business programs under the Economic Development Division that are more open to MBE and WMBE firms. I have been a champion of Sea-Tac Airport concessions program small business opportunities, and I spoke out when I felt that Sea-Tac Airport minority concessionaires were not being treated fairly.

CLAUDIA KAUFFMAN

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Hello my name is Claudia Kauffman, long time resident of this area and have been involved in racial, social, justice equity, and policy work for over three decades. I am a former state senator from the 47th LD and currently work intergovernmental affairs and manager of the charitable giving program. I have dedicated my life to serving my community and have done so through many areas on nonprofits, advocacy, commissions, boards, and direct service.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I am running for the Seattle Port Commission position 1 to bring much needed transparency and accountability, thoughtful leadership and integrity to this important local government. Having served in the State Senate, I worked on transportation and economic development and trade committees, championing job creation, workforce development, and education priorities. I am deeply concerned about recent news reports detailing unlawful bonuses authorized by the Commission, costly lawsuits that should have been avoided, and Commission led closed door meetings. King County residents deserve the kind of thoughtful leadership that I will bring to the Commission. It is time to move past the bad decisions, get the Port’s house in order, and focus on growing living wage jobs, protecting our environment, and serving our taxpayers with integrity and honesty.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

Community is exactly what is needed at the Port of Seattle Commission. As a member of the community I will bring a fresh, new, and energetic perspective. Communities are impacted by port operations and we need to ensure that we have community input, for all communities, not just a selected few. We should increase community representatives on all levels of the Port of Seattle. We are blessed to have such diverse communities and great leadership, there are numerous opportunities and assets that we need to work with, not around. We need to have job creation that provides a living wage. The Port of Seattle has been cited for their lack of minority and women owned business in contract work. It is vital that we are inclusive and inviting to our community. I will grow jobs through connections with local community and technical colleges to provide the training for today’s growing aerospace advancement, cargo networks, and fishing and maritime industries. More than entry level jobs, but to have a larger vision, to seek higher goals, and train new generation for changing technology in the industries. Also I will make the airport more amenable for the customers. Such as the long walk between the Light Rail station and the Airport, this should have moving walkways, shuttles, or other means to help movement through that long corridor. In addition I would make sure we have effective directional signage on that corridor.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I am Claudia Kauffman, a member of the Nez Perce tribe, and a former state senator of the 47th LD. I am an active member of the community, deeply rooted in my cultural and heritage. Throughout the years I have been involved in thoughtful and meaning changes and advocacy that support our communities. I have established working relationships with our elected officials and I will bring integrity and a strong community voice to the table. We need to have our government reflect our community. You will have an experienced and strong leader when you vote for Claudia Kauffman for Port of Seattle Commission Position 1. Let’s give the Port back to the public, back to the community.

BEA QUERIDO-RICO

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Hello APACE, my name is Bea Querido-Rico and as a proud Filipino woman and first Filipino to run in 10 years, it is a sincere honor to introduce myself as the candidate for Port of Seattle Commissioner. My family immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when I was two years old, and like many people, sought to find quality jobs, live safely, and to be free.

I completed my education in business at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and in engineering from the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Center between Cambridge, Massachusetts & Zaragoza, Spain. I’ve worked in the industry for over 12 years primarily at The Boeing Company on the C-17, 787 Dreamliner, and Space systems programs. I also completed an internship at the White House and consulted for foreign government municipalities such as Istanbul as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. I recently went on leave of absence from my job at the Port of Seattle to run for office and I am pleased to share that I am the only candidate in the race that has direct Port of Seattle operations experience. Also, when at the Port, I was honored to serve as the Port co-Chair of the 2017 API heritage month celebration.

I volunteer my time at St. James Cathedral of Seattle, serving as a lector for her parish and actively contributing to the local Filipino & API community in Puget Sound. I spearheaded the institutionalization of the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), founded by past Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and led as President of the national nonprofit for two years, and currently serving as Board member. I established the Boeing Filipinos group as well as participated in the Executive Development Institute. Apart from staying active in the API community, I’m an active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Puget Sound Section, Airports Council International, and the American Association of Airport Executives.

I have stepped up to run for office to represent the disadvantaged communities that need the support from the Port of Seattle.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I am challenging the status quo that is currently exhibited by the governance and leadership of the Port of Seattle Commission. I believe that with my unique education in business and engineering, as well as experience in heavy manufacturing in Aerospace and the only on in the race with direct Port of Seattle staff experience, that I have the ability to contribute impactful change in local government. My top priorities are:

1-Focus on innovation to drive local economic prosperity and the jobs of the future
2-Challenge status quo policies that limit the participation of women, minority owned businesses
3-Drive transparency to honor the mission of the Port as a public entity

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

My priority if elected, will be to invest in the sustainability and protection of the heritage and culture of the Chinatown-International District. I would prioritize education, training, and workforce development in disadvantaged communities. I would also like to make the Port more accessible and easier to do business with for Women, Minority owned businesses.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I believe that as an immigrant and an API woman, I have the sensible leadership perspective that will contribute most to our community. I am committed to driving the attention of the Port of Seattle and other public officials to strengthen the support for the API community, which I often feel is ignored. Apart from sharing API heritage, I am also the candidate with the relevant engineering and operations experience that will be meaningful when designing and implementing policies. I’m a grassroots candidate and the only one in the race who did not pay to get on the ballot. I’m focused on the Port mission and not the position, prioritizing the people and planet always. Thank you for the opportunity to submit this questionnaire. I will truly honor the endorsement of APACE.


Position 3 candidates: Ahmed Abdi, Lisa Espinosa, and Stephanie Bowman

LISA ESPINOSA

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Lisa Espinosa is a West Seattle Native running for a seat as a Commission of the Port of Seattle. Lisa received her Bachelors of Arts and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Lisa retired from the local phone company after 22 years of service. In addition, Lisa has worked at many levels in local government services such as: a Division Director with Seattle Public Utilities, a Resource Conservation Manager with Tacoma Power, a Sustainability Specialist with King County Housing Authority and in Customer Service Representative with Puget Sound Energy. She can be found often on the shores of the Duwamish River and passionate about cleaning up one of the worst bodies of water in the Country. Once she once had a home located in the Burien area, which became part of the third runway. As such, she understands the careful balance needed for Port operations versus environmental impacts and worker rights.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I am running to make your voice heard, rebuild the reputation of the Port, protect jobs and take action to secure both our seaport and airport without infringing on your privacy rights or subjecting you to
unreasonable searches.

I’m committed to promoting more inclusive, transparent engagement in the Port’s decision-making processes, unlike what happened when the Shell Oil lease decision was decided. By demanding and holding evening Commission meetings the public will gain a voice in these decisions, ultimately creating commissioner accountability.

As Port Commissioner, I will increase the number of minority owned business partnerships, especially at Sea-Tac. Historically, Commission seats have not been held by people of color which may explain this
inequity. I will also be open to discussing the creation of a community supported professional sports arena. I’ll advocate for equitable funding and environmentally responsible construction at all
Port properties. In addition, I’ll ensure that a more thorough and expedient cleaning up of the Duwamish River is implemented.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

I would advocate for the Port to work with local authorities to create and enforce emissions standards for not just cargo but cruise ships and any others to go beyond the lackluster standards suggested by the current administration. Clean up of the Duwamish is one of my environmental priorities. My concerns with environmental impacts is a top priority preceded only by job growth and protection.
Additionally, The port should do what it can to investigate the feasibility and cost effectiveness of moving containers by rail. I will advocate for greater use of terminals with dockside transfer.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

For nearly a decade Seattleites have watched one CEO after another leave the Port under less than favorable circumstances. I am running to make your voice heard, rebuild the reputation of the Port, protect jobs and take action to secure both our seaport and airport without infringing on your privacy rights or subjecting you to unreasonable searches. Port Commissioners need policy expertise, as well as
experience building alliances. I have both from my education and my former employment responsibilities.

I’m asking for your vote and with that vote. I will provide common sense to the Port of Seattle Commission.

STEPHANIE BOWMAN

1. About you—please introduce yourself

I was raised in Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii, a small, very diverse local town, where the main industries (at that time) were fishing and sugar cane cultivation. I attended a Native Hawaiian grade school that specialized in Hawaiian culture; our classes include native plant cultivation, Hawaiian language and hula. Growing up in the culture and values of the Pacific Islands—connection to Ohana (family) and Kuelana aina (respect for the land)—is a very deep and important part of who I am. My immediate family includes Hawaiian, Vietnamese, and Sa’moan (I have eight wonderful nieces and nephews), most of whom live on the Islands. Hawaii, however, is an expensive place to live, and most of the jobs center around the service industry, so I chose to come to the mainland for college and broader opportunities.

I have been in Seattle since 1991. I love Seattle for its natural beauty, its sense of independence, and the connection to the Asia Pacific (I would not be able to live in a place that didn’t have Uwajimaya!). While I could have lived anywhere in the city, I chose to live in Beacon Hill because the neighborhood is most similar to the diverse community in which I grew up.

Most of my employment in Seattle has been in public policy to improve communities. I serve as the Executive Director of Washington ABC, a statewide non-profit working with low-income people and communities to build assets that can help them move into the middle class, such as homeownership, small business development, financial education and developing savings. I’ve been involved with the Rainier Valley Food Bank, Plymouth Housing Group, Beacon Hill Community Council and P-Patch Trust, and have served on Port of Seattle Commission for the last four years.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

My top priority is to open up the Port to provide more opportunities for all residents of King County, whether someone works at the Port, at a job in the airport, or has a contract with the Port: everyone should be able access these opportunities, and earn a good living with benefits. One area of focus for me is increasing the number of small and minority owned businesses which contract with the Port. For too long, these opportunities have been closed off or difficult to access. I successfully pushed forward a goal of 40% of Port contracts going to small and minority owned firms; I think this is especially important in light of the restrictions put on the Port and other public agencies by I-200.

Another area of focus is making sure that people who work in Port-related industries have the education and training they need to advance. This starts with youth: under my leadership, the Port tripled the number of internship opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the last two years, providing hundreds of students with their first job. The Port can play a big role in continuing this education, such as investing in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs and developing career paths, so that a person may start as a baggage handler at Sea-Tac, but can get the training and education they need to have a good career with the airlines.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

• Reducing the negative impacts felt by communities from airport operations – things such reducing greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion and noise.

• Continuing to improve opportunities for disadvantaged communities to contract with the Port

• Grow jobs in the maritime industries, which provide good middle class job opportunities

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I am the only candidate in my race with the experience to be an effective Port Commissioner. I have a track-record getting things done, and my broad base support of support—Democrats, small business, labor and environmentalists—show I can represent and serve all residents of our county. I am committed to making sure the Port works for everyone in our community.


Position 4 candidates: Ray S. Armitstead, Fernando Martinez, John Persak, Richard Pope, Ken Rogers, Brooks Salazar, Peter Steinbrueck, Preeti Shridhar

RAY S. ARMITSTEAD

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Ray S. Armitstead, running for Seattle Port Commissioner Position # 4. I was born and raised in West Seattle. My preteen years found me on the Seattle waterfront. My first business was selling newspapers to Alaska Steamship passengers returning to Seattle from Alaska. My mode of transportation was using street cars. In February 1942 I joined World War II at 15 years of age. Plus Korea/Vietnam for a 3-time vet. Went on sailing for AML (American Mail Line) going to the orient before sailing for Matson, Northwest to Hawaii until reaching Master Mariner. After such an early start, I took an early retirement. I acquired a 100-room hotel on 1st Ave. My clients were tourists, international Hostlers, and homeless. Had a van service shuttling flight crews from SeaTac to various hotels in Seattle. Was the last owner of the ferry Vashon.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

The Port of Seattle is always changing. I would be part the ongoing and issue in new ideas for innovations to continue the prosperity of the port. With the creation of jobs foremost.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

The largest project to be addressed starting next year, the tearing down of the Alaska Viaduct and rebuilding the area for the next century. This will take the Mayor, city council, and the port commissioners working together. My main issue would be to address the SODO area for a marine theme. Queen Mary, Long Beach/Oasis of Seattle. Having a ex-cruise ship moored at term 25 or 30 would create 500 jobs.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

A vote for me would be one who has been there, done it and willing to get back in the saddle. Please send me an address so I can send you 25 of my flyers.

FERNANDO MARTINEZ

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

Fernando Martinez, a seasoned businessman of Mexican-American descent moved to Seattle with his family 1986. My family and I have made a life for ourselves here in the great Northwest. Working since the age of 12, I am a U.S. Army veteran, educated with the benefits of the G.I. Bill, and 38 years of successful leadership & business experience in the private and non-profit sectors.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

I look forward to bringing change in Leadership to the Port of Seattle. The Port of Seattle is a critical asset to our County, Region, State, and National Economy. The Port supports over 200,000 jobs, infuses $19.6 billion dollars a year into our economy, and is our state’s gateway to the global market. To protect this asset, we must have great leadership that brings a Culture of Excellence, Culture of Success, and a Culture of Servant Leadership. As Commissioner and steward of public trust, I am committed to serve all 2 million King County residents. I will lead the Commissioners and the Executive Director with an unwavering commitment to Integrity, Accountability, and Collaboration.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

There are many issues we must address. I will address four of these issues:

1. Hire the right Executive Director. This person must have expertise in Port Operations, must possess a high degree of integrity, and be committed to the value of Diversity & Inclusion.

2. Protect our environment. We must be reasonable in our growth approach. We need to set reasonable expectations, legislate reasonable activities, and develop reasonable solutions. We need to balance the economic needs of our region while protecting our pristine environment in a reasonable manner for the good of posterity.

3. Collaborate and Benchmark. I will drive collaboration: among Commissioners; with the Port of Seattle Executive Leadership; Suppliers; World-class Business Community (to include the Entrepreneurial Small, Mid, and Large Size Companies); Institutions of Higher Learning; Labor Institutions; and, our Communities. We will benchmark with our peer Ports to ensure we are learning from the best. We will take this learning and make the Port of Seattle a Great Port!

4. Drive Diversity & Inclusion. King County population is 30% diverse. We must be inclusive of our diverse community. We must leverage the expertise a diverse workforce and suppliers (women, minority, and small businesses) will bring to the Port of Seattle. I will bring the principles of diversity to the Commission and Port of Seattle Leadership. I will cause a reflection of our Community. Diversity drives multi-faceted thought leadership which drives: innovation; creates efficiencies and effectiveness; increases competition; drives costs down; drives velocity; improves speed to market; and, ultimately gain in market share. Diversity and Inclusion must be top-of-mind until it becomes inherent in how the Port of Seattle does business.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

My personal and professional background make me the perfect candidate for Seattle Port Commissioner, Position 4. For over 38 years I have successfully led for-profit and nonprofit entities. I have grown both top and bottom line revenues successfully contributing to business and job growth. I have developed leaders who now lead organizations across the country. For the last 4 years, I have volunteered my time to the Port in an advisory capacity. I see the inside that needs to be changed for the better. This change will require a tremendous amount of leadership, which I bring, to include courage and communication skills. Therefore, you should vote for me!

JOHN PERSAK

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

I am a progressive community leader and have been in the maritime industry for two decades, currently serving as the ILWU Local 19 Vice-president. I am committed to democratic progressive values, having fought for the rights of workers and communities for many years. I have been serving on the Port’s Environment & Sustainability Committee for the past year, and have a unique understanding of both the issues that need to be addressed and the key stakeholders and solutions that can be brought together to fix them. As Seattle’s new Port Commissioner, I will.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

The Port Commission must prioritize earning back the public’s trust, and operate with better public accountability and transparency in all of its decision-making. The Port needs to take extra steps to connect with the public about its operations, upcoming decisions and hold more public meetings in affected neighborhoods and communities. This, as an alternative to PR, is the way to rebuild public trust, to communicate what work is being done to correct these problems and prevent new ones, and hear the specific expectations of our communities about governance, impacts on quality of life, the attract investment.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

I am running to ensure that the Port of Seattle remains the people’s port, and that decisions prioritize living wages and a livable planet and communities. As Seattle’s new Port Commissioner, I will be accountable and accessible to ensure the Port of Seattle supports our working waterfront, our fishing community, and our airport communities by creating good paying jobs for our families and prioritizing environmental stewardship, while being mindful of opportunities for women communities of color in both employee relations and in contracting. My campaign is focusing on four key areas: Transparency and Accountability, Economic Development, Equity, and Environmental Sustainability. I will work to increase public confidence in the Port through policy action, community directed involvement, and high ethical standards. The maritime, tourism, and aviation industries play a central role in the economy of King County, and within these I will highlight career and technical education, apprenticeships, advancement of green technologies that support family wage jobs, and protecting our maritime/manufacturing lands for a sustainable and growing economy.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I am the only candidate with active, ongoing experience on major Port issues including freight mobility (important for cargo, cruise, and airport), land use, environmental sustainability, and workforce. I interact regularly with current Commissioners, staff, and stakeholders in maritime, manufacturing, the City of Seattle, representatives in Olympia, and labor on many policy issues. No other candidate has been actively engaged with the Port of Seattle over the years, or has this working knowledge of current issues and proposed solutions. I have worked in maritime for nearly 20 years and have the background and the relationships to further the mission of the Port as a regional job creator to rebuild the middle class. My major endorsers: King County Democrats (sole); over a majority of Democratic LD organizations (12 out of 17, 9 sole endorsements); Martin Luther King County and Pierce County Labor Councils; UFCW 21, Teamster Joint Council 28, SEIU 6, ILWU/SUP/IBU; State Representative Nicole Macri (D-43rd); State Senator Maralyn Chase (D-32nd); State Representative Mia Gregerson (D-33rd); State Representative Gael Tarleton (D-36th); State Senator Bob Hasegawa (D-11th); Martha Kongsgaard, Eugene Wasserman, Adm. John Lockwood, Peter Goldman, full list is here: https://persakforport.nationbuilder.com/endorsements.

PETER STEINBRUECK

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

My family has always been involved in civic life and my civic activism runs deep. In my early years, during the 1960’s era, our family participated actively in civil rights movement, environmental activism, and my father’s crucial role in saving the Pike Place Market and the adoption by citizens’ initiative of the historic district to protect it. From that time on I have always integrated social and environmental activism in my professional and community life. I am an architect, urban strategist, community planner. I was a Seattle City Council member for a decade (1997-2007), including two years as its president. I understand land use, transportation, and how government works. I value our diverse neighborhoods; I also know the importance of working regionally and internationally on issues that impact all of us. In addition to my professional training and skill set, I’m also small business owner and have over 30 years’ experience running a small business including managing, hiring, supervising, and business development.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

It’s a critical time for the Port. We need an experienced and effective leader to move us forward. To be strong and competitive globally, public policy and investment must align at all levels of local government, and the Port needs to the have the full trust and confidence of the voters. The Port’s three biggest challenges over the next five years I see are: 1) the rapid growth and expansion of Sea-Tac airport and meeting future demand will controlling pollution and noise, 2) design for the central waterfront, with the viaduct coming down, the future of shipping, and co-managing the Port’s international Gateway and joint governance under the new NW Seaport Alliance; 3) restoring public confidence I and trust in its financial management and governance. My top top priorities for the Port are good jobs, good governance, and greening the Port.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

Our State and local economies are dependent on a healthy Puget Sound. The Port has an active role in environmental cleanup clean-up and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as strives to be one of the “greenest” ports in the country. Working with colleagues on the commission, I want to move the needle by extending the Port’s role beyond its legal responsibility, by building stronger partnerships with communities, agencies, and local governments to support cleanup efforts and mitigate pollution at Sea-Tac airport, the Duwamish River Valley, and at the docks on the central waterfront. Climate protection, clean water and air are vital community concerns, particularly in communities disproportionately affected by pollution and noise. Benchmarking, establishing measurable outcomes in clean-up efforts, and reducing all forms of pollution including carbon emissions are the goals for that must be insisted upon and vigorously pursued.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

The port faces a myriad of issues requiring complex negotiations with business, labor, other governments, environmental remediation, and its community neighbors. I have the broadest experience in public policy, leadership and professional skills needed to tackle these challenges and advance the port’s mission. I represent no special interest with the port, and have a record of increasing transparency and access to government in my former role on the Seattle City council, such as bringing policy setting and decision making out in the open, regular financial and performance auditing, requiring performance review for head director appointments, and increasing public accessibility to elected officials. I will review the port commission’s code of ethics, internal self-auditing practices, and insist on more rigorous independent auditing of performance and financials. I am intimately familiar with the Port of Seattle, having served on numerous stakeholder and advisory committees, passed legislation to protect living wage jobs, industrial lands, and Fishermen’s Terminal. I won’t need on-the-job training!

PREETI SHRIDHAR

1. About you—please introduce yourself.

I’ve been in public service for 25-years. At the City of Seattle, I helped launch Seattle’s Climate Protection initiative where I helped coordinate the Seattle visit of former Vice President Al Gore. I am now with the City of Renton and have been part of Renton’s transformation and economic development. I’ve also helped launch the nationally acclaimed Inclusion program and am currently working on building a community center for underprivileged youth with Seahawks Doug Baldwin. I came to the U.S. in 1986 with a suitcase and a scholarship. I settled down in King County, and raised my son while giving back to the community.

Integrity, Inclusion, Innovation. I have no vested interest, bring an independent voice, a vision and a passion for the Port. I represent all and bring people together so that together we can find solutions. I’m always thinking out of the box and looking for new and innovative ideas for us to keep our economy strong and protect our environment.

2. What do you want to change in the Port of Seattle?

More Inclusive: The Port needs to create a culture of inclusion, especially when it comes to outreach, community engagement, and contracting. The Port needs to provide the opportunity for the public to provide input before decisions are made. I would develop new ways to get input, listen to what everyone has to say, and use that information to inform my decisions. I would support more outreach to and opportunities for small businesses, especially at Sea-Tac Airport. And I would develop a forum to specifically hear from people in who live around the airport. I would make sure that our community’s values are represented in the national immigration debate.

Strong economy and jobs for all: I will ensure that our regional economy remains strong and the Port continues to lead in the aviation, maritime, and tourism industries. I will work hard to protect our working class while developing career paths for our young and recent arrivals so that they can find good jobs. I would leverage my experience working with local colleges on workforce development initiatives and support apprenticeship programs that provide high-paying jobs in manufacturing industries.

Accountability and transparency: I will make sure that the Port’s decisions are transparent and balanced. I will make myself personally available and will respond to every inquiry within two business days.

Environment: The Port has the unique opportunity of being the only one in the country to fuel all planes in the airport with bio-fuels, and I will make this a priority. This will require significant partnerships from government, regulators, and the private sector. I will bring people together to achieve this, as I did in my work for Seattle.

3. What community issue(s) will you address as a Port Commissioner?

A critical issue impacting our community is managing growth at the airport—the ninth busiest in the nation, with about 20 million more passengers per year expected by 2030. Currently, those most impacted by this growth – those who live and work around Sea-Tac Airport—do not feel informed, engaged, or included in the planning process for the airport plan. I will engage the community and get their input as the airport plans for this growth, address transportation challenges, and address the environmental impacts of the airport.

Another critical issue is leveraging the Port’s resources, both real estate and financial, for the greatest public good. Many private interests, both business and labor, are actively lobbying port commissioners, but I will look out for the best interests of all. Protecting jobs in our community is a top issue, including those in the maritime industry. Moving people along career pathways from entry-level positions to living-wage jobs is another priority.

4. Why should we should vote for you?

I have no vested interest and am the most highly qualified of all the candidates. I am an immigrant who has launched a nationally-acclaimed inclusion program. I have been endorsed by six mayors, several state and King County leaders, groups such as Asian (Filipino, South-Asian), Latino and African-American communities, 33rd District Democrats representing the airport communities, The Urbanist, The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, and The Stranger newspaper. I am the only candidate who will truly represent everyone in King County.

Container port, Seattle, Washington, seen from Elliott Bay. • Photo by Joe Mabel

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