Lisa Espinosa

Port of Seattle Commissioner
Position 3



League of Women Voters Questionnaire:

What are the three most pressing issues facing the Port of Seattle in the next 5 years?

1) Increasing Port Transparency
2) Environmental Stewardship
3) Economic Development and Career Development

Of those issues, what is the single most critical issue facing the Port of Seattle, and as a Commissioner, what would you propose to positively affect that issue?

Increasing Port Transparency - For nearly a decade Seattleites have watched one CEO after another leave the Port under less than favorable circumstances. Whenever I see a violation of public trust, I will speak up rather than adhere to the status quo. I will rebuild the reputation of the Port by increasing access to and transparency of commission activities such as creating a community task force that will help guide Commission decisions as well as holding evening and weekend meeting to involve public involvement. The Port needs Commissioners who believe that leadership isnít just about delegating duties; itís about overseeing projects to their completion.

How would you rate the Port of Seattle's infrastructure in terms of green and sustainable processes? How could the Port move to be even more eco-friendly?

The Portís efforts in green and sustainable processes have been good but not great and could be greatly improved upon. Iíd like to implement small but important steps to make Port processes more green, such as requiring the use of low or zero VOC paint, increasing the Portís electronic footprint so that less paper is used, and updating audits to decrease our electricity, especially our heating and cooling use. At the Port properties, notably Sea-Tac, I would like to see an increase in the number of water bottle refill stations. I would also advocate for equitable funding and environmentally responsible construction at all Port properties. In addition, I'll ensure that a more thorough and expedient clean up of the Duwamish River is implemented.

Do you think the first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage in the city of SeaTac, which includes the entirety of SeaTac International Airport, is working well for businesses and workers? Why or why not?

Since itís relatively new, itís too soon to know what its impact has been. I am committed to protecting family wage jobs with full benefits. Additionally, I am committed to partnering with minority and woman-owned businesses to create these jobs.

How do you believe the Port of Seattle should balance jobs creation and economic growth with environmental concerns?

The Port should continue to create and protect family wage jobs with full benefits, especially in the face of increasing calls for cargo automation. Environmentally friendly businesses create long-term jobs, while preserving and restoring Puget Sound.

Do you feel the Northwest Seaport Alliance between the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma has been successful so far, and what if any changes to the Alliance are needed?

The coalitions it has created so far are strong, but improvements in its implementation could make it more successful. For example, changes could include increasing the number of international trading partners and revising the navigation of the web site.

Do you support allowing coal or oil to be exported via any of the facilities of the Port of Seattle? Why or why not? More broadly, do you believe the transportation of crude oil and/or coal via railway is a threat to Seattle and the region?

Transportation of any fossil fuels is inherently dangerous to both people and the environment. Therefore, if it is done in a way that minimizes risk, while increasing jobs and the economic viability of the Port, I would potentially support these activities.

At current growth rates, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is likely to reach its passenger capacity within a decade. What have you done or will you do as a Port Commissioner to address potential growth at the airport, while ensuring the Port is a good neighbor to people living near the airport?

The projected growth rate may be too steep given the current infrastructure. I would reopen discussion about partnering with other facilities in moving some passenger operations to other properties. My first house once stood on the land where the third runway is now located. My invitation to hold meetings at times that allow residents to attend Commission meetings without missing work will create good will among residents who live near the airport.

A fairly significant controversy has arisen due to the locally iconic Ivarís Fish Bar losing their lease at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and being replaced with an unknown start-up restaurant, albeit owned by a noted Seattle food personality. Ivarís has asserted that the RFP process was unfair, arbitrary, and weird, the Port is defending the restaurant selection while simultaneously stating they are investigating irregularities in the RFP process. What are your thoughts on this matter?

I too believe the RFP process was unfair, arbitrary and weird. They shouldíve made the procedures more clear and transparent. All contractors should have an equal opportunity to apply for and win a proposal and all steps should be detailed. And if there are questions, all bidders should be equally provided the same answers, for example from a dedicated resource or point person.

Do you support Chris Hansenís proposal to build a new basketball arena in the SoDo area between the railroad and the customs yard for the Seattle seaport, under the current plans on the table which include complete private funding and incorporate added dollars for the mitigation of freight mobility issues? Why or why not?

I will be open to discussing the creation of a community supported professional sports arena. My primary focus is economic development for both the Port (and its employees) and the communities it serves. It makes more financial sense to renovate and expand the Coliseum (Key Arena) on its existing footprint, at our world-famous Seattle Center campus, which would preserve the area between the railroad and the customs yard for the Seattle seaport for other use.

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Email: vote4lisae@gmail.com

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