Hamdi Mohamed is running for Seattle Port Commissioner, Position 3 with a visionary agenda for the port that centers the needs of the workers, the environment, and the broader community. Mohamed's family fled Somalia and settled in the SeaTac region when she was 5 years old, with her mother working in the airport. Mohamed now works in the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice as a policy advisor and has helped manage the millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds that went to community-based organizations in King County.
As a resident of SeaTac, Mohamed lives in one of the communities most affected by airport pollution. Given that none of the current commissioners live in South King County, she seeks to bridge the gap between port policy and lived experience. She wants to expand the port's efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and restore habitats for salmon and orcas. Through greater direct partnership with workers, Mohamed wants to protect unions, provide pandemic relief, and prioritize workplace health.
In our interview with Mohamed, we were incredibly impressed by her drive to improve the lives of those who work and live near the port. One recent example of her accomplishment was her work with Beyoncé and Tina Knowles to provide free coronavirus testing and supplies to local organizations and working with the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission to center language access in COVID-19 relief.
Mohamed is running against incumbent Stephanie Bowman, who has served on the commission since 2013. Bowman is proud of the port commission's progress on many fronts, including expanding youth job training opportunities in partnership with Seattle Public Schools, making stormwater improvements, and developing a noise insulation program for homes close to the airport. She states that one of her most important accomplishments was tripling the number of interns, many of which were youth of color from marginalized communities. If re-elected, Bowman would focus on improving economic opportunity at the port for all, including union members, women-owned businesses, lower-income workers, and more.
However, we were extremely disappointed when Bowman voted in 2015 to allow Shell Oil to base its arctic drilling operations in Seattle. In addition, she voted to use taxpayer money to file a legal challenge against SeaTac's $15 per hour minimum wage. In our interview with Bowman this year, she stated that she had been on the commission for less than six months before the wage increase vote, and believed that the council did not have the regulatory authority to make the change. On the Shell vote, she said that the commission was not transparent enough about it and that she would rather have ships come to Seattle ports where the environmental standards are the highest.
We believe Mohamed would be a stronger leader for progress at the port and would bring much-needed representation to the commission for South King County communities. We strongly support Hamdi Mohamed for her dedication to the community, her progressive agenda, and her backing by progressive organizations.