Accomplishments While a Commissioner

I am proud to highlight the accomplishments below, which I recognize have been achieved through collaborative efforts with the Port Commission and Port of Seattle staff. The following are matters that I was actively involved with and particularly proud of helping to achieve


Working for a Healthy, Sustainable Environment

Energy and Sustainability Committee: Formed and co-chaired the committee to work with a broad range of stakeholders to reduce Port’s greenhouse gas footprint.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels: Continue to lead efforts at the Port to explore ability to provide Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality around airport communities.  These efforts include:

  • Attached unprecedented amendment to the SLOA [SPELL OUT ACRONYM] agreement the Port signs with airlines for their gate allocations to identify opportunities and challenges for implementation of goal to using 10% in 10 years.

  • Included $5 million in 2019 budget to further efforts to continue collaboration between producers and users of biofuels to identify sustainable feedstocks and reduce cost disparities with convention fuels.

  • Pursuing legislation in 2019 supporting establishment of Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in Washington to encourage local production and use of fuels. Contracted with for Secretary of the Navy to host a major conference in 2019 bringing all key players to further this effort.

“Strawless in Seattle”: Featured in premiere video that helped kick off international effort to end single-use plastic straws, by engaging vendors at Sea-Tac Airport and others around to the Port or offer cardboard straws while discouraging use of straws entirely.

Solar Array: Lead efforts to install the Port’s first solar array on the roof of a net shed in Fishermen’s Terminal while construction of another array is underway on Port headquarters at P69.

Improving Air Quality at Cruise Ship Terminals: I have lead efforts to make investments to electrify cruise ship terminal at Pier 66, which was not done when signing long-term lease with Norwegian Cruise immediately prior to my arrival at the Port. By “plugging in” at the dock, ships do not burn fossil fuels and support good air quality in Seattle.  I am supporting the expansion of these efforts along much of the working waterfront.

Appointed by Governor Inslee to represent the Port on his Maritime Blue Task Force work group. Maritime Blue - the first initiative of its kind in the United States to bolster innovations in the maritime sector that create living-wage jobs, protect the environment and ensure sustainability for the industry.  A primary focus is to decarbonize the maritime industry.

Removed 2000 creosote pilings from Elliot Bay as part of ports marine habitat restoration goals.  Port’s Century Agenda call for the restoration of 40 acres.

Over the past few years, the Port has undertaken numerous steps to reduce its emissions, including energy efficiency measures, using cleaner energy sources, and green building techniques.

The Smith Cove Blue Carbon Pilot Project, the Port has now begun exploring an innovative way to trap carbon through vegetation. The purpose of these efforts is to create a habitat and oyster beds, trap carbon in the environment, reduce ocean acidification and improve water quality, as oysters act as filter feeders, which remove pollution from the ocean.

Serve on the Vessel Working Group for Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force.

Port representative on the Puget Sound Partnership Ecosystem Coordination Board.

Worked with Visit Seattle, the Seattle Sports Commission and Clipper Round the World to install a pH sensor on jointly sponsored world-class sailboat as it sailed from Seattle to New York in order to document variations in ocean acidification along the voyage.

Worked with the Seaport Alliance and independent truck drivers to meet the goal of the NW Ports Clean Air Strategy requiring all trucks calling on international terminals in Seattle and Tacoma have 207 or newer trucks while at the same time accommodating the economic hardship imposed on primarily immigrant drivers. 

Supported the creation of the million-dollar Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund. Authorized by the Commission in November 2016, in recognition that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also experience more benefits. The Commission directed that the program supports environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

Incorporated significant community mitigation measures as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the redevelopment of Terminal 5 by West Seattle.  As a result, there was only one legal challenge resulting in the Port agreeing not to piledrive on Sundays.  The final decision whether to sign a commercial agreement reopen one of the West Coast’s best container terminals that includes on dock rail, minimizing traffic and air quality impacts, will be made by the end of the month.

King County Cities Climate Collaborative (K4C): Became first Port to join K4C, established by Executive Constantine, to coordinate and enhance the effectiveness of local government climate and sustainability action. Port of Seattle is currently one of 16 partners.

Safe Energy Leadership Alliance (SELA): Member of SELA, which represents a broad range of urban and rural areas (including local, state, and tribal leaders from across the Northwest and British Columbia) with different interests but a shared mission—to protect the health and safety of our communities from the transportation of fossil fuels. SELA and its efforts are led by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Championed the Port Commission’s motion to support the Climate Initiative 1631.

Stood with Senator Cantwell, fishing and tribal leaders at Fishermen’s Terminal in opposition to President Trumps proposal to open Washington’s offshore waters to oil and gas development.

Pursuing the promotion of ecologically and culturally based tourism in Washington State as a form of rural economic development that also serves to protect our region’s natural assets.  

Community Outreach and Inclusion

Highline Forum Co-Chair:  The Highline Forum provides Southwest King County municipalities, educational governing bodies and the Port of Seattle with the opportunity to share information, interact with outside speakers and other governmental organizations and work in partnership on initiatives that benefit the residents of Southwest King County.

Tribal Liaison Committee Member:  In working on Tribal Liaison Committee, we completed an update to the Memorandum of Understanding with the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Tribes. We share a government-to-government relationship with these Tribes as a result of Port operations conducted in the Tribes’ Treaty protected Usual and Accustomed (U&A) fishing areas.

Improving Public Engagement to Commission Meetings: Changed Commission meetings start time from 1:00 pm to 12:00 pm in order to facilitate public testimony over lunch break.

Ensuring a Fiscally Responsible and Responsive Port

Audit Committee for Port and Seaport Alliance Co-Chair: I have served on the Audit Committees for two terms and called for the study that disclosed an over-estimate of cruise ship revenue to the port.  Focused on assuring Port generating more revenue from cruise ships during renegotiation of lease agreements.  Alliance operations associated with construction of jointing funded terminal P-4 underway.

The 2019-2023 budget blueprint allows up to $10 million for the South King County Support Program, with $750,000 budgeted in 2019. The Port Commission will rely on public engagement before determining a policy directive on uses, guidelines, and timelines for the expenditures.

Improving Transportation

Enclosure of Light Rail Connection: Championed, with Commissioner Bowman, the enclosure of light rail connection to airport terminal and electric carts.

Supporting Labor and Fighting for Quality Jobs at the Port

Deeply engaged in negotiations with cab drivers, Teamsters Union and TNC operators (Uber, Lyft) for contracts to pick up passengers at Sea-Tac in a way that is equitable, environmentally responsible and profitable for both the drivers and the port. During the course of these negotiations I became aware of the substandard bathrooms the port provided for the drivers and had new facilities built which was supposed to have been completed as part of their previous contract.

Delivered on our commitment to bring more and improved job opportunities for ALL people in our region including our Priority Hire partnership with County/City; expanded business opportunities for small and minority businesses; creating a more level playing field for our taxicab drivers; and breaking ground on the IAC Commerce Center bringing 400 jobs to SeaTac.

Responsible Development of the Port Economy

Served on Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Committee to preserve industrial lands along the working waterfront.  Worked with a diverse coalition to stop the development of stadium along the waterfront resulting in the decision to remodel Key Arena.

In 2018 delivered a 5-year blueprint to invest $300 million in our working waterfront; expanding international and domestic container cargo, cruise opportunities, supporting our fishing fleet, and much needed industrial space. timed with the removal of the Viaduct. 

Modernizing SeaTac International Airport to better serve our customers and our neighbors – delivering important construction milestones on key capital projects (final steel beam of IAF, North Satellite Phase one).

 Civil Rights and Equity

Our international airport serves as the gateway to our region and the entire state of Washington.  The Port of Seattle is committed to ensuring that gateway is welcoming, accessible, and harassment free.  I’m particularly proud of the landmark steps we made this year on all of these fronts.

We kicked off the year passing a comprehensive strategy to address human trafficking, including training for all Port employees and a public awareness campaign to educate the public – particularly the 45 million annual passengers to SeaTac – about the human trafficking and what they can do.

We became the first airport on the West Coast to partner with Aira to assist vision impaired passengers navigate all the opportunities at SeaTac.

We built on our past leadership combating racism and bias by adopting our Welcoming Port Policy.  Our New Americans Campaign is currently active at SeaTac encouraging legally permanent residents to apply for citizenship. 

Significantly increasing the number of small, minority and women owned businesses doing business at the airport, including the first owned and operated by Native Americans.