During his first term on the Port of Seattle Commission, Ryan Calkins has proven to be a strong voice for environmental sustainability and shown his understanding of the port’s mission as an engine for the region’s economic development.
He is the best choice in the Commissioner Position 1 race.
Calkins, a business consultant at a nonprofit that supports low-income entrepreneurs, said his decision-making on the commission is guided by always considering the impact on the public good. This includes supporting actions that generate economic activity and living-wage jobs, while minimizing negative environmental effects on neighboring communities and beyond.
The incumbent wisely believes that ports that embrace the green economy are going to be in a better position than those that are not prepared. Part of that effort is the Port of Seattle’s ongoing installation of shore power, having charging infrastructure for dray trucks and working to accommodate sustainable aviation fuels at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“We have to be willing to make the investments now, knowing that this is the direction we’re going,” Calkins said. “We are going to be flying cleaner planes and sailing cleaner ships, and so we want to be in the lead on that.”
The other candidate in the race, Norman Sigler, owns an executive recruitment firm and previously made an unsuccessful run for the Commission in 2015. His campaign’s focus on environmental concerns seems ill-considered against the incumbent. He fails to make the case there is a need for change.
Calkins’ proudest achievement as a commissioner has been spearheading the opening of the region’s first Maritime High School, he said, which welcomed its first class last month. The school — which guides students interested in maritime careers — aims to address the workforce shortage and increase overall diversity, attracting more women and students of color.
“It encapsulates what I really want to do, which is to ensure that the Port of Seattle is driving the kind of economic activity that’s benefiting real families in our community,” he said.
Voters should reelect Calkins to Port Commissioner Position 1.