Port of Seattle, Pos. 4 – Peter Steinbrueck

Legislative Questionnaire

Candidate Information

  • Candidate Name: Peter Steinbrueck
  • Position Sought: Re-Election to Port of Seattle, Pos. 4 (Incumbent)
  • Home Legislative District: 43rd LD
  • Democrat: Yes

Campaign Information

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.

1) Experience: Public service has always been my greatest calling. I come from a working class family of civic and labor activists going back 100 years in Seattle. The Port has a hugely important mission as a major driver for equitable economic development and livable wage job creation, and to become the greenest most energy efficient port in North America. In 2020, as Commission president, I led the Port through the worse human and financial crisis in a century with no lay-offs or furloughs, and with a strong equitable COVID Economic Relief package. I am not seeking re-election to maintain the status quo. When it comes to undoing systemic racism, increasing social equity, and de-carbonizing the port, we still have a long way to go. As one of the most progressive commissioners, I have worked hard to advance these critically important societal goals, with many early important accomplishments, and much more to do. I am a proven and principled leader, and a decades long progressive democrat with a strong track record of accomplishments. In my professional life as an architect, planner and urban sustainability strategist, I have advanced innovative solutions to greening cities. Under my strong leadership, we at the Port are leading the way to becoming the most equitable, greenest port in North America.

2. What prompted you to run for this office? What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?

In one word: JOBS—family wage jobs. The Port is a major driver for economic development and job creation in the State of Washington and has an important, active, if not out-sized role to play in COVID economic recovery. The port has ties to all of Washington’s economic sectors, and through more than 500 employers operating at our ort facilities, I am fully committed to extending the port’s resources and prioritizing equitable regional economic recovery and living wage jobs with all the available resources. Closing the income gap and creating middle wage jobs, and greening with port with innovative strategies for decarbonizing the port now, are primary reasons for my seeking to serve on the Seattle Port Commission.

3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?

In my first campaign for the port commission in 2017, I drew more than 269,000 votes (58 % plurality) from every corner of the county, and will work hard to retain and surpass that level of strong support. I believe I have an outstanding record of accomplishment in my strong progressive leadership at the port, and I am working hard to share my record and participate fully in all of MLK county’s 17 Legislative district democrat organizations, as well as seeking labor support from the various trades, service worker and professional unions, environmental organizations, and many individuals.

Part II – Local and State Issues

1. Do you support Initiative Measure No. 940 (“De-escalate Washington,” requiring, among other things, that law enforcement officers be required to obtain violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force)?


2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike?


3. Would you support a statewide “Ban the Box” law, prohibiting employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal history until after an initial screening or interview?


4. Do you support legislation that reimburses the cost of reproductive health care services, such as SB 6105, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act?


5. Would you support an automatic voter registration act such as HB 2595 (Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2018), streamlining procedures in order to automatically register citizens to vote?


6. Would you support a bill that would enable the state of WA to create a single health financing entity to provide health care financing for all Washington residents, independent from employment, such as the WA Apple Care Trust?


Part III – Free Response

1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?

My core democratic values of equality, justice for all, a belief the common good, and the civil rights and constitution were deeply imbued by my family. I believe that social justice, civil rights, and ending systemic racism of the highest priorities today, that resonate most with me. On the environment. we must accelerate our efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, but the transition to clean energy must be just, fair and equitable.

2. In the past, many Democrat-sponsored bills have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Please list three failed bills from the past legislative session that you will champion when elected.

We had some great successes in this past legislative session, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Cap and Invest, policing reform, and the airport Kitchen Catering workers relief bill, all of which I supported advocated for as commissioner. I will continue to champion the rights of workers in support of the HB 1076, the Worker Protection Act, the Evergreen Future Platform of the Washington Conservation Voters, and at the federal level the Thrive act, and Green New Deal.

3. What important state and local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the media?

My work at the port to advance equitable living wage (middle income) jobs, Policing Reform and civil rights protections, and my bold Green Port Green Jobs Initiative.

4. Do you think Washington public schools are adequately funded? If not, what minimum requirements should be met in an adequately funded public school system? What specific forms of taxation would you support to attain that funding?

No this is a decades long failure of the state legislature. All public schools, including those with special needs, should be fully funded as mandated by our state constitution. Local districts should not have to rely on levies year after year. Despite the high court ruling I don’t believe fthe ull funding requirement has been met.

5. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed legislative solutions to climate change? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?

Greenhouse Gases and carbon must be treated under the law in the same way other air pollution is treated, with strong regulations to limit and curtail and ultimately end emissions, which are threatening the future of the planet. At a local level, we all share in the responsibility to curtail our own carbon emissions especially in travel an transportation, and buildings, invest more in, and transition to clean energy. The transition to clean fuels must be just and equitable, and not result in job loss and disproportional impacts.

6. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed approaches to tax reform in Washington State? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?

Income disparities are ever widening in Washington state. Our state’s tax system is one of the most regressive in the county, hurting mostly low income communities. I support full tax reform and a statewide income tax. That is the only way we are going to resolve the inherent inequities of our current unfair tax system. Local jurisdictions much also stop piling more and more on to the highly regressive sales tax, now over 10 percent in king county.

7. Do you support the voter-approved call for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (I-735), and if so, how do you propose to work toward that goal?

Initiative 735 calling for a constitutional amendment to rein in campaign spending drew strong statewide support from voters. We have to get big money out of politics, and I support the measure. However, constitutional amendments are not common or easy to achieve, so in the mean time there may be other ways to change campaign finance laws and combat excessive outside spending on elections.

By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.

Printed Name: Peter Steinbrueck

Date: 05/05/2021

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