Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire said earlier this month that she will not run for re-election this fall. Her position 2 term ends at the end of 2019.
The Port of Seattle is governed by five commissioners who serve four-year terms and establish Port policy.
Port Commission meetings are normally held at 12 p.m. on the first, second, and fourth Tuesday of each month at either Pier 69 or Sea-Tac Airport.
Currently, all five commissioners are white; two, including Gregoire, are women. There’s not a single person of color.
Former commissioner Lloyd Hara said, “In almost 100 years, I was honored and pleased to be elected as the first minority Seattle Port Commissioner in 2005. I initiated greater Port accountability by creating an Internal Auditor Office, and hired professional staff for the Commission.”
Hara left that position in 2009.
According to data compiled by the Reflective Democracy Campaign, between 2012 and 2016, two-thirds of candidates and elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels were white men.
The annual salary for a port commissioner is $48,731 per year, plus a $120 per diem (not to exceed $15,000).
It’s time to inject some diversity and people of color into the Port Commission.
“A vast majority of Port trade and activities are focused in Asian countries,” said Hara.
“Having an Asian American Commissioner is symbolically important when meeting with our Asian counterparts. I would encourage many well qualified APIs to run for this important office.”
Who better to create quality jobs throughout the diverse communities of King County than people who actually live in diverse communities and have a different worldview from a white man?
The November 2018 midterm elections was historic as far as the number of people of color, women, and LGBT candidates who ran for Congress. There’s no reason why that trend shouldn’t extend to other government jobs.
A diverse Port Commission will attend to a wider array of issues facing the county.
If you are interested in running, go to runforoffice.org/districts/4733-port-of-seattle and file your paperwork between May 13–17, 2019. You can also enroll in a free online course, “How to Run for Office,” at https://bit.ly/2UhLALO.