Growing our Economy
The Port of Tacoma is the economic engine of Pierce County. Providing 29,000 and generating over $3 billion in activity annually, our local economy is dependent on a vibrant Port, prepared for the future. If elected, I’ll prioritize modernizing infrastructure including completing the Puget Sound Gateway projects (SR 167 and SR 509) to move freight and reduce congestion. We must also connect the port and related industries to our strong educational institutions to foster innovation and expand community access to port-related jobs and opportunities.
In order to compete globally with modern ports like in British Columbia, and the impact of the widening of the Panama Canal, we must build a master strategy plan centered on collaboration, innovation, and diversifying beyond cargo. I believe that we must do more to attract sustainable businesses that ensure the long-term health and stability of our community and our economy.
Protecting our Environment
While studying abroad in law school, I saw firsthand China’s heavy pollution and its impacts on both human health and the environment. I believe it is very important to preserve the unique natural beauty and resources of the Puget Sound for future generations.
The controversial LNG plant and aborted methanol plant, as well as the ensuing public conflict, are symptoms of a larger problem: the lack of a comprehensive plan for the future of the Port. If elected, my top priority will be building a vision, including the sub-area plan, for the type of sustainable industry that we want to build.
Our environment does more than enrich our lives and health. It is also a major economic driver in Pierce County for tourism, fisheries and research. I will act to reduce noise and air pollution, improve water quality, and increase shore power technology.
Rebuilding Public Trust
The lack of advance planning and transparency issues has left residents and stakeholders mistrustful of the Port Commission. On day one, I will start to work restoring this trust by making meetings more accessible to the public and work with the Port Commission to establish a long-term comprehensive public engagement plan. By crafting a vision for the future, businesses meeting our standards will have an easier time seeking leases and the public will have greater confidence that community input will be heard.
I’ll also work to partner with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, businesses and local
governments to ensure that the Port Commission is helping drive our shared community’s agenda.
Representing the Taxpayers
I oppose increasing the Port’s property tax. The Port must be accountable and benefit all of Pierce County. I’ll also make sure that heavy polluters are held responsible for their share of cleanup. Taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to bail out irresponsible corporations. In evaluating future leases, I will make sure that taxpayers are protected.