Since being elected to the Seattle Port Commission, I have worked to keep the Port strong as a regional jobs creation engine, while making it a more publicly accountable, environmentally sustainable operation.
I worked hard early in my tenure to bring the business and environmental communities together behind the idea that an economically vibrant port equals an environmentally sustainable port, and I am proud that during my first year as Commission President the Port of Seattle set the goal to be “the greenest, cleanest, most energy efficient port in North America.” I have also championed transportation issues important to moving our region’s economy forward, and in 2016 was honored to be re-appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board.
As I reflect on the last few years, I am humbled that King County voters continue to put their faith in me to help keep the Port a vibrant economic engine for our region. We have a strong, collaborative Commission and experienced executive team. We will be continuing to execute on the tasks and initiatives needed to accomplish our Century Agenda goal to help create 100,000 new port-related jobs in the next 20 years.
In August 2015, we launched the Northwest Seaport Alliance, our cooperative agreement with the Port of Tacoma. Together, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are working to strengthen the competitive position of Puget Sound container ports and protect and grow maritime and industrial jobs for our state.
We continue to invest in other parts of the Port as well. We are proud to be home to the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, which accounts for 40% of the domestic seafood consumed in the US, and we are making investments in Fisherman’s Terminal aimed at strengthening our local fishing cluster. We are setting records with our cruise business – just short of one million passengers traveled through our cruise terminals on their way to Alaska in 2016 – and we completed the expansion of our Bell Harbor Cruise Terminal to handle the largest cruise ships in time for the 2017 cruise season.
At Sea-Tac Airport, we have seen tremendous growth and are now the ninth busiest airport in the country with over 45 million passengers traveling through our airport in 2016. To accommodate this growth, we are planning and updating infrastructure, including an new International Arrivals Hall and expanded North Satellite.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in keeping the Port of Seattle a vibrant jobs creation engine for our region.