Municipal/Other Questionnaire 2022
Candidate Name: Todd Curtis
Position Sought: Port of Seattle Commission, Position #5
Are you an incumbent for this position? Non-incumbent
Home Legislative District: 36th
Are you a Democrat? Yes
Campaign Manager or Point of Contact: Todd Curtis
Mailing Address: 1752 NW Market St #4732 Seattle WA 98107
Part I – Candidate Background
1. Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union affiliation, prior political activity, and other relevant experience.
My mother came to America from Honduras in the 1950s and met
my father, a Black man from a farm in Texas. They raised my two brothers and
me in a predominantly African American neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas.
I have two degrees in electrical engineering, a bachelor’s degree from
Princeton and a master’s degree from the University of Texas. After
serving in the Air Force as a flight test engineer, I went to MIT and earned
two more master’s degrees, one in management and the other in
technology and policy.
While working at Boeing, I completed a PhD in aviation risk assessment
from Union Institute. I was also a union member with SPEEA. After leaving
Boeing, I started my own engineering consulting business.
I am frequently interviewed on radio and television about transportation
issues by Seattle area stations and by major media outlets, including
NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and BBC.
I was a Seattle Girls’ School board member. I am currently on the boards of several organizations that work to attract women and other underrepresented groups to transportation careers.
2. What prompted you to run for this office?
As a Boeing safety engineer, I worked on large and complex projects like the 777
and with government agencies and businesses to reduce aviation risks and
make airline travel safer.
I gained experience in technologies, laws, regulations, and policies related to air
transportation, and learned how they all work together.
I decided to run for the Port of Seattle Commission because I wanted to use my skills to help the Port succeed in its transportation mission while also improving
the quality of life for people in King County.
As a Commissioner, I would measure my success by how much I improve people’s lives, help the Port meet passenger and cargo demands, and tackle the complex technological, financial, and social challenges that the Port will face.
3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
Reaching out to representatives from every legislative district, including regular attendance at their meetings, and building a campaign infrastructure that includes volunteer and paid staff to manage key administrative aspects of the campaign. In my community outreach, I’ve identified several key issues about the Port of Seattle that concern community members, including cost overruns in major infrastructure projects, and I have made an effort to communicate both my understanding of those concerns and the actions I would take to address them.
4. What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?
1. Reducing harmful impacts on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the Port, the passengers and others who use SeaTac and other Port facilities, and the companies that work with the Port.
2. Increasing the number of employment, training, and apprenticeship
opportunities for residents of the region, especially for people from economically distressed areas and from underrepresented communities. I would coordinate and collaborate with the companies that work with the port, as well as labor unions, local businesses, and other Port partners.
3. Making sure that local workers and labor organizations have priority access to employment opportunities created by major infrastructure projects at SeaTac and other Port facilities.
Part II – Yes/No Questions, please qualify your answer if necessary
1. Do you support steps to build a fairer economy through tax reform and progressive taxes as wealth increases? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #1
2. Do you support robust investment in publicly owned housing/subsidized housing for elderly and low-income individuals/families, and zoning changes to support such housing? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #2
3. Developer impact fees are allowed under the Growth Management Act. Should they be increased to help pay for needed improvements to our roads, parks, and schools? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #3
4. Do you support building a municipally owned and operated broadband system in your city or jurisdiction? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #4
5. Do you support local investments to address climate change where applicable? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #5
6. Do you support women’s unrestricted access to reproductive healthcare? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #6
7. Do you support laws regulating the purchase, ownership, and carrying of firearms? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #7
8. Do you support the right of workers to unionize and bargain, including public employees? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #8
Part III – Free Response (Please answer at least four fully, and consider the additional three optional)
1. Why are you requesting Democratic endorsement? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?
I am requesting a Democratic endorsement because many of the party’s values and priorities match mine, including the party’s progressive values on issues related to social justice, equality, and human rights; policies that recognize and address the threats to the environment, and support for worker rights, including the right to organize and join unions.
2. What public policy reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC and LBQIA+ individuals in our communities?
As a Commissioner, I would encourage the Port to use its resources to reach out to more people in the community, especially middle and high school students. I want to show them that there are good jobs in transportation that do not require a
four-year degree and can pay well. These jobs can help families stay in our area and build strong communities.
I also want to expand the Priority Hire Program to help people in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods get hired. To make sure more people know about these kinds of programs at the Port, I would use traditional media, but I would also explore new ways to reach people online.
I will work with content creators who have followers in the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities to help spread the word.
3. What steps do you think need to be taken to improve voter turnout and increase voter trust in our election process?
There should be a greater public education effort to inform the public of the steps taken to enhance the security of the mail-in ballot system used in the State, as well as taking actions to make the public aware that convicted felons and others who previously had their voting rights taken away have had those rights returned to them. There should also be outreach efforts to citizens who do not trust the integrity of the voting system to allow those citizens to air their concerns. Doing so would make the system better if airing those concerns happen to uncover problems with the voting systems that once corrected would improve the system for all voters.
4. What important local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the local media?
5. Please list at least three specific, concrete actions you would support to ease the homelessness crisis.
6. What safety, law, or justice issues are currently facing your jurisdiction, and how will you address them?
The most important set of issues at the Port of Seattle related to law, safety, and justice is the security measures put in place for travelers using Seatac, specifically the level of scrutiny given to passengers based on how they look, how they dress, and other subjective reasons that are unrelated to both the actual threat they represent and the guidelines used by the TSA to screen passengers. I would make an effort to work closely with TSA at the local and national levels to make it clear to them what parts of their security process target certain populations unnecessarily and also don’t serve to address actual threats. I would also support a broader public education effort to provide passengers with an understanding of what they can and should do if they feel their rights are being violated by TSA.
7. What are the transportation/transit challenges which face your jurisdiction and how would you address them? What role does green energy play in your proposed solutions?
Perhaps the largest challenge is to reduce the environmental impact of operations by the Port of Seattle, its partner organizations, and those who use the Port facilities, particularly the airport. In addition to adopting technologies that produce less pollution, including zero-emission technologies, I would encourage a partnership with local governments and businesses to work together to build infrastructure, for example, charging stations for battery-operated vehicles, that would make the adoption of zero-emission vehicles easier for a wider variety of users.
By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name: Todd Curtis
Date (mm/dd/yy): 04/27/2023