Q. As Port Commissioner, what do you plan to do to improve/increase trade relations with Asian countries
Position No 1
The Port is lagging behind in its role as a jobs creation tool for our region and its responsibility to be a socially inclusive institution. The local Asian community is an invaluable resource with which the Port should be working more closely to increase business and jobs for our community.
Wen Wu Lee
If I am elected as Port of Seattle Commissioner, to promote more trade between POS and Asian countries is one of my top agendas. I am familiar with the cultures and speak the languages for both sides of the Pacific Ocean. As an Asian American, I do have the advantage to promote MORE business for POS. This is a buy one get one free deal. When I act as POS promoter/marketer, no translators/or cultural consultant are needed.
My experience as an international businessman gives me the credentials to increase our Asian market share. As Commission President, I will see that each Commissioner is responsible for one of our critical Asian Trading Partners. We need to elevate the responsibilities of current Asian/Asian American employees.
Position No. 3
Our relationship with Asia, particularly China, reflects early and consistent efforts to nourish long-term partnerships. This must continue. Additionally, trade flows go to ports with efficient infrastructure and a reliable workforce to transport cargo to its ultimate destination expeditiously. Investments must be maintained to assure we excel as a dependable land-bridge.
As Port Commissioner, I will be a bridge between American and Asian businesses, governments and organizations to guarantee the Port of Seattle is facilitating the movement of goods and people across oceans. Following sound business principles and fostering increased cross-cultural understanding will be key to increased and improved trade relations.
I will work to improve relations of all five Port Commissioners and do away with imbalance. Work to find the best traits of each commissioner and use the best and brightest ideas from staff to focus resources to better understand, enhance and create new relations and opportunities with our Asian Partners.
The Port can do more to assist existing King County businesses to export their products. This can be accomplished by expanding the current “Seattle First” effort lead by the Manufacturing Industrial Council (MIC), supported by the Port, to include King County businesses. The Port would increase their role as trade liaison, matching King County exporters with foreign markets, and at the same time, also promote continued import trade from our partners in Asia.
Position No. 4
The Port of Seattle must dramatically improve the quality of service we provide to our important Asian trading partners. This requires commissioners focused on bringing efficient, reliable service and clear communication. I will work aggressively to solve business problems encountered by implementing state-of-the art technology both here and in Asia.
I think the best way to improve trade relations with our neighbors in Asia is to improve efficiency and reduce fees. Using the Port of Seattle is simply too expensive! I also believe the Port should look to emerging markets in Asia (such as Vietnam) for mutually beneficial trade opportunities.
Eliminate the $62.7 million King County property tax levy imposed by the Port of Seattle. Port property taxes have increased 76% since 2001. Stop subsidizing airlines, cruise lines and shipping companies. Trade with Asia (and elsewhere) is mutually beneficial and will prosper on its own without being subsidized by homeowners.
Q. As a Seattle School Board member, what would you do to improve programs that serve ESL students or new immigrants?
Assess each ESL/immigrant students’ educational/skill level in their primary/strongest language.
Allow student to stay in the Bilingual program until they have reached a proficient level of English and are familiar with social customs.
Hire teachers from similar cultures/backgrounds and same language(s).
Locate school/program near social services.
I support continued development of ESL curriculum, including dual language immersion. Academic results, student satisfaction, and student retention should be evaluated and successful models replicated. ESL students should have access to best practices in every school, as well as English-speaking and native language peers, teachers and advocates.
* Allocate instructional assistants based on intensity/level of services needed by each language group
* Provide all ESL staff with Guided Language Acquisition Training (GLAD), an effective hands-on, multi-modal teaching approach
* Seek WASL exemption for 5 years: research shows it takes 5-7 years to get on par academically.
We must make schools work for all students, particularly families from immigrant communities. I will promote policy that maintains and expands services to ESL families, especially during these times of budget cuts. Seattle has some effective and innovative programs, we can’t lose ground. Working together we can make this happen!
First, for programs that serve ESL/immigrant students, to respect the student and their language abilities, which improves esteem and English performance. Second, to replicate District programs at other schools that are excellent models of serving ESL students. For example, the ESL program and Spanish PTA at Beacon Hill Elementary.
Immigrant and ESL students will receive more support in the form of teachers and teaching assistants, relevant curricula and alternative assessments that demonstrate what the students know. I favor having a Bilingual Orientation Center for secondary students located in the south end, perhaps on the South Shore site.
Q. What would you do as Sheriff to curb crime in the International District?
King County Sheriff
As your Sheriff, I would work closely with the SPD on any issues that help protect all of our residents. In addition, the KCSO always has a presence in the International District due to its responsibility to Metro Transit issues. If the KCSO continues to provide security at the bus tunnels/surface streets, those same Deputies will regularly patrol the district and will intervene if they witness any type of criminal activity.
We need to address the roadblocks that hinder law enforcement from accomplishing our mission of reducing crime and the fear of crime in our International community. Building trust is the foundation for breaking down those roadblocks. Trust is built through our visible presence with a positive and productive community outreaching effort.