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King County Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 2

4-year term in counties with over 100,000 population; 4 or 6 year term in smaller counties. Salary varies with district. The Port District is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the port facilities within its jurisdiction. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional Port Director and the professional staff. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any port levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Sam Cho

  • Candidate picture

    Grant Degginger

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing the port?

How do you want to address these issues?

What part should your district play in your area’s environmental health?

How, if at all, will the changing climate affect your port and its environs?

What experiences have you had that prepares you for this position?

Phone (425) 780-7776
Town where you live Kirkland, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Founder & CEO of Seven Seas Export, LLC. Former Obama Political appointee and Legislative Assistant to a member of the United States Congress. Served State Senator Bob Hasegawa as a Legislative Assistant as well.
I'm running for the Port of Seattle because I would like to see a Port of Seattle that works for the PEOPLE of Greater Seattle. I believe that for too long, the Port has been run like a corporation chasing profits than a government entity serving the people. If you've been stuck in that security line that wraps around the terminal or the traffic and congestion going into SeaTac, that isn't working for the people.

At the same time, we have a President in The White House who is threatening our economic prosperity by waging trade wars with some of closest trading partners. In Washington State, 40% of jobs are tied to trade. Therefore, we need a port commissioner who can help protect our corner of the country from the destructive policies of the Trump Administration. As an export business owner who works in the trade field, I believe I have the experience to hit the ground running as a commissioner and take on this task.
Shared Economic Growth Making sure that the growth we experience benefits everyone. This means living wage jobs, training & apprenticeships. We are facing a major labor shortage and the Port should do it’s part in making sure we create a pipeline for high wage jobs of the future.

Environmental Sustainability The Port has the largest carbon footprint of any government entity. The port needs to ramp up its efforts to lower carbon emissions and transition to sustainable sources of energy. We must also incentive the airlines and cruise lines to do their part in fighting climate change.

End Human & Labor Trafficking Trafficking happens through the port. Despite recent initiatives, we must ensure our airline and cruise line tenants at the port are checking their entire supply chain to fight human and labor trafficking.
Shared Economic Growth We must ensure that we have strong apprenticeship and training programs for the next generation of port workers. We must create a strong pipeline of workers for jobs that provide a family wage, paid leave, and benefits.

Environmental Sustainability We must accelerate the transition to sustainable sources of energy. This means electrification, the use of bio-fuels and hybrid technology. We must also work with our airline and cruise ship partners to agree on best practices that reduce carbon emissions into our neighborhoods and the larger environment.

Ending Human and Labor Trafficking We should have trafficking awareness training that goes beyond just port employees. We should make sure that all airlines and cruise lines who do business at the port also train their employees on human trafficking activity. Also, we should have a program that audits companies on whether or not they facilitate trafficking and provides them with a certification in return.
The port of seattle has the largest carbon footprint out of any government entity. The port has an outsized duty to tackle climate change.
Climate change will inevitably affect the functions and operations of the port. The changing climate influences how/when planes can fly in and out of our airport and when cruise ships or cargo ships can go in out of our seaport. More importantly, it has a disproportionate impact on the residence of King County.
I am a candidate who is uniquely qualified for this position. I have small business experience running my own trading and expor business that works directly with the port. No one knows Port operations as well as I do. I also have experience working on policy on every level of government. I served as a political appointee under President Barack Obama and worked as a Legislative Assistant to a member of Congress working federal legislation and national policy. I also worked in the Washington State Senate on state-level policy and state legislation. I believe I have the right breadth of experience to be an effective port commissioner.
Phone (206) 682-7328
Town where you live Bellevue
Experience (300 characters max) 1. Bellevue City Council 1999-2011; Mayor 2006-10. 2. Cascade Water Alliance Board 200-10. 3. Puget Sound Regional Council 2000-11. 4. Washington Public Disclosure Commission 2012-16 (chair 2014) 5. Municipal League of King County Public Official of the Year-2012.
Both the Airport and Seaport face significant challenges to keep up with the demands of a growing region and competitive environment. I want the Port to be a transparent and effective partner in delivering the vital infrastructure that the region’s economy depends on. In doing so, the Port must be a good neighbor, must welcome all people, must provide opportunities for good jobs, must provide an improved customer experience, and must ensure equity and fairness in contracting so that all in our community share in the process of delivering world class infrastructure and services. I have substantial experience in successfully solving major regional infrastructure challenges.
1. Fixing the Airport. Sea-Tac has not kept up with the substantial growth in the region. Passenger volumes are expected to continue increasing. The lines are too long. Key projects underway have been behind schedule and well over budget. The current master plan lacks the necessary improvements to work for the passengers, the airlines and the people who work at the airport.

2. Keeping the Seaport Competitive. The Port must make crucial investments in both infrastructure need for the cargo and cruise ship industry, as well as investments to reduce air and water emissions.

3. Improving Transparency in Port Governance and Contracting. There is far too little time provided for meaningful public input on the port’s budget. There continue to be roadblocks in securing greater participation by small businesses, minority-owned businesses and others in competing for Port business. Equity, inclusiveness and partnerships should be the principles governing contracting.
First, at the airport, the Commission must increase oversight of the construction projects currently underway, particularly the International Arrival Facility and the new baggage system. Second, it is essential that the Commission selects a new terminal design and includes terminal access improvements that will meet long- term needs and be environmentally sustainable. Third, development of remote baggage check-in facilities could help reduce lines at the airport right away.

At the Seaport, the Port should proceed with the Terminal 5 and 46 projects, continue to invest in providing electric power at the terminals to reduce carbon emissions, and accelerate efforts to reduce pollutants in stormwater coming from Port property.

Finally, the Commission should restructure the budget process to make the budget available to the public much sooner. Also, there should be more than one public hearing on the budget. The Commission should provide direction to reform its contracting procedure
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this region. As a result the Port has a duty to take a leadership role in our region’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In the coming decade, the Port will spend billions of dollars on capital projects at the airport and at the marine terminals. These projects must be built in a sustainable way. The Port must continue to efforts to foster opportunities for the development of biofuels, and partner with transit agencies and the private sector. to improve the use of transit to and from the airport. The communities near the airport must continue to receive support from the Port for noise and other impacts caused by Port operations. I will continue to support investment in clean fuels, the conversion of Port vehicles to zero emission alternatives, rail and express truck connections to port facilities to reduce emissions and increasing the availability of electric power at the terminals.

Port facilities and property will be impacted by rising sea levels and stronger storms. Storm severity can affect airport operations, schedules and reliability. Our entire region is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including the port. Also, climate change will affect the operations of the Port’s tenants, and mix of exports and imports from our terminals. These and other potential impacts mean that the Port must plan for these contingencies.
I have worked successfully at the federal, state and local levels of government, creating partnerships and improving the quality of life in our region. I have been active in community affairs for over two decades, serving to advance water quality, land use, transportation and quality of life efforts in Bellevue, the Eastside and King County. I served 12 years on the Bellevue City Council, including two terms as mayor. I chaired the Cascade Water Alliance, a consortium of Eastside cities and water districts that supply water to over 400,000 residents. I served on the PSRC Growth Management Policy Board, and the PSRC Executive Committee, and the King County Growth Management Planning Council, and I served almost four years on the Public Disclosure Commission. I have spent decades bringing people together to expand light rail, replace the SR 520 bridge, deliver parks and protect open space. I know what it takes to plan, manage and deliver major infrastructure projects in a sustainable