Airport growth and planning:
Passenger traffic at Sea-Tac has grown by more than 42% since 2012 when I began working in the operation. Meanwhile, infrastructure and airport processes are struggling to keep up, negatively impacting travelers and employees alike. With no sign of slowing, we must further develop a long-range master plan that looks beyond 2035, more thoroughly mitigate the impacts of development on today’s operation, and address shortcomings in the current Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) including inter-terminal accessibility and several bottlenecks of both passenger and vehicle traffic flow.
We must also be clear about the limitations of Sea-Tac, and lead a regional conversation about developing a cohesive network of facilities in Western Washington. Even with additional gate space, runway and taxiway space at Sea-Tac are nearing maximum traffic, and the airport’s footprint is physically constrained, so we must also look beyond Sea-Tac to accommodate additional air traffic that does not require the amenities of an international hub. I support the recent building of a new passenger terminal at Everett’s Paine Field and Senate Bill 5370 aimed at identifying possible sites in the state for additional passenger air traffic to help relieve congestion at Sea-Tac.
Labor and working conditions:
At both air and sea ports, a healthy, fairly-paid, properly-rested frontline workforce is critical to a safe and efficient operation. Unfortunately, unsustainable and potentially unsafe working conditions are commonplace at Sea-Tac, a problem that will worsen if left unchecked as booming growth continues. Many employees at airport facilities are also still paid significantly less than the voter-approved and court-upheld minimum wage due to a loophole exempting air carriers.
For both public and private frontline employees at all Port facilities, I believe the Port has a responsibility to facilitate employee inclusion in implementation decisions and ensuring Port facilities are outfitted with adequate tools and technology.
I would bring a voice for workers and labor unions to the Commission to ensure that the frontline employees who toil day in and out are not excluded from sharing in the prosperity of our ports, and that our facilities are built and managed to help empower workers to succeed.
Representation from most impacted residential areas:
The Commission has long lacked proper representation from a resident of the areas surrounding Sea-Tac Airport or Seattle’s industrial district. I live in Boulevard Park, an unincorporated urban community just south of Seattle city limits, along the Duwamish Waterway, directly under Sea-Tac’s northern flight path, and within earshot of the industrial district’s seaport. As a homeowner and longtime member of this community, I would bring a voice for people living in the areas most impacted by Port activities. I know firsthand how crucial it is for the Port of Seattle to be a good neighbor.
Seafaring and aviation built Seattle; from Coast Salish peoples, to 18th- and 19th-century explorers, to titans of the aerospace industry. Culturally and economically, it is in our blood as a region, as is our commitment to protecting the environment and ecosystem. I believe the Commission must act with similar pioneering gusto to make the Port of Seattle a global leader and innovator in new clean technology, refined practices, and creative carbon offsets.
The Port must boost investment in infrastructure improvements like inter-modal dockside rail connections that improve freight mobility, reduce diesel pollution, and relieve traffic on our crowded roads, as well as electrical power connections at vessel berths that allow ships to power down engines and decrease fuel use and subsequent pollution. Port leaders and companies operating at Port facilities alike must continuously explore and refine operating procedures to maximize efficiency (such as new, satellite-based NextGen air traffic navigation procedures). The Port must continue incentivizing the use of aviation bio-fuels and prepare to be a leader in transitioning the industry as technology and availability improves. The Port should also advocate for the preservation of large trees in the region that cut noise pollution, capture carbon, and help offset its massive carbon footprint. I support the recently implemented clean truck program which can reduce diesel emissions by up to 90% per truck. To ensure equitability for independent owner-operators, the Port must be dedicated to working with eligible parties to help bring their vehicles up to the new standards.
The Port of Seattle has long been plagued with human trafficking activity, a problem with crushing impacts on its countless survivors and victims, and negative impacts on the safety and vitality of surrounding communities. I would make putting an end to these crimes against humanity a top priority for the Port. Public and private leadership operating at the Port must invest more in professionals, technology, and data-sharing to proactively fight the problem, and employees at all levels working at Port facilities should be trained and empowered to identify and report suspicious activity.
Transparency and Accountability:
The Port of Seattle’s reputation has been tarnished by glaring failures in the last several years, including major decisions made without public input and multiple cases of misconduct and misappropriation by leadership. Though some positive changes have been made, both in the replacement of individuals and organizational restructuring, the Commission still has much work to do to restore public trust.
I was elected to the North Highline Fire District Commission following a wave of push-back against similarly unethical decisions made by previous NHFD leadership. Since taking office, restoring public trust and doing right by my constituents has been my guiding light. Since then, we have improved policies and procedures, restored financial stability to the district, and considered the needs of the people we serve above all else in each decision, soliciting and considering public input at every opportunity.