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My 2024 Budget Priorities

Nov 28, 2023

On Tuesday, November 21, the Port of Seattle Commission voted to adopt the 2024 budget. This is my second go-round of getting to putting money where the mouth is. There‘s a lot to speak on this body of work, which has been underway over the past several months in collaboration with my Commission colleagues and the Executive Leadership Team. I’m excited to share my multiple budget priorities for 2024 below, which reflect my philosophy that good jobs in a healthy environment make for a thriving Port economy.

My top priorities:

1. Accessible and affordable childcare for airport workers. We’ve made great headway in the past year on the effort to create accessible, affordable childcare for SEA workers. Last year, we conducted a needs assessment and analyzed those findings in the fall. Now that we understand our own workforce needs, I’ve secured $100,000 to hire a consultant to lead a study and make a formal report to the full Commission. The report will explore various childcare center models, partnership opportunities, a legal analysis of potential barriers, and potential funding sources. One hundred thousand dollars may seem like small potatoes, but it’s a huge step toward answering the call to create a childcare option for workers. As a mom of a 2-year-old with another child on the way, this has been a top priority for me, because I understand that the lack of childcare is a barrier to recruiting and retaining skilled and essential workers for our airport that operates 24/7. This lends itself directly towards efficiency and stability not only for our workers, but for our operation as one of the busiest airports in America.

Here are links to a few articles, highlighting some challenges parents are experiencing:

2. $12,000,000 for the expanded South King County Community Impact Fund. That's right. Because I love science, technology, and the possibilities that emerge from having good data! The Port has this awesome tool called the Equity Index, an interactive map that displays a visual representation of social and environmental disparities in King County. What we’ve observed from the Index is that, across the region, there are significant variations in pollution exposure, access to economic opportunities, and the overall standard of living. Where disparities exist, communities should be empowered to act. So, I’ve asked for $12 million over the next 5 years, expanding the very highly successful South King County Community Impact Fund to also support communities impacted by port operations. This fund will ensure all communities have equal access to opportunities, for their own community-based solutions.


3. Period products for all at Port facilities. Building on my budget ask from 2023, the Port has already begun to implement new dispensers to promote access to period products for all on Port properties. Additionally, on August 8, 2023, the Commission approved the Airport custodial services contract, which included department funding for free hygiene products at the airport. That means that in 2024, the Port will provide free products to all employees and visiting public in ALL Port-managed facilities, including SEA!

Here is my earlier blog post on why: "BREAK THE BOX: Free Menstruation Products at the Port!"

4. Duwamish Valley parks investments. Last year, I requested an assessment of all Duwamish Valley parks. That work is underway, so this year I requested $100,000 to finish the assessment and another $30,000 to implement initial findings, with priority for hə?apus Village Park, which has strong cultural and historical significance for community members. During my tenure, I will continue to prioritize and invest in Duwamish parks because these local treasures offer much-needed public green spaces for local residents impacted by the legacy of industrial pollution.

5. Port-wide Language Access Order implementation funding. I also requested funds in 2024 to implement Commission-approved Language Access Order 2023-05, and funding will be allocated by departments. No unfunded mandate during my tenure.

Here are the video and documents for the Commission meeting in which we approved the Language Access Order. 

6. Duwamish River Community Hub support. The Duwamish River Community Hub is an important community meeting space utilized by the Port Community Action Team (PCAT) and local residents for community strategizing and empowerment. I am pleased to secure funding to extend the hub lease and will continue to work with External Relations, Real Estate, and PCAT toward a long-term solution!


7. Community listening sessions. As a public agency, it’s critical we hear from community members throughout King County on how the Port as an economic engine can further support our region. Outreach and engagement should be cornerstone to any public operation, and I hope to see community listening sessions become incorporated in department workplans.

Here are links to budget materials for 2024 for your reading pleasure.  
2024 Preliminary Budget
2024 Preliminary Budget in Brief

Above photo: həʔapus Village Park & Shoreline Habitat

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