Hamdi Mohamed, a King County Executive Policy Advisor and former Deputy District Director for Congresswoman Jayapal, announces campaign for the Port of Seattle Commission
FEBRUARY 17, SEATTLE—Today King County Executive Office of Equity & Social Justice Policy Advisor Hamdi Mohamed announced her campaign for the Port of Seattle Commission Position 3. Mohamed’s innovative campaign provides materials in over ten languages, including American Sign Language for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community. In entering the race, voters will have the chance to address the lack of representation at the Port of Seattle by electing the first-ever woman of color and East-African to the Port Commission, as well as the only commissioner to live in the airport community.
“I grew up watching my mother juggle her job at the Sea-Tac Airport to make ends meet,” Mohamed said. “Airports are essential to our community fabric and foundations. They provide local businesses with access to the global market and are an important engine for economic growth and innovation in our region. If elected, I intend to be a bold voice for working families and businesses impacted the most by COVID-19,” ”
Mohamed came to the U.S. when she was three-years-old with her family when civil war broke out in Somalia. Like many families, Hamdi and her family came to the United States to build a better life and contribute to their new home. Prior to her work with King County, Mohamed was an employment case manager at Refugee Women Alliance (ReWA), connecting low-income job seekers with employment, and served as Deputy District Director for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, overseeing a team of constituent service staff.
At King County, Mohamed provides advisory and monitoring support to the $12 billion county budget to ensure it reduces disparities and advances equity. This year, Mohamed helped lead an initiative to invest $1.5 million in a new market and cooperative housing development in Tukwila; she also managed the $3 million COVID-19 Community Response Fund that went directly to community-based organizations working with frontline workers.
Mohamed is determined to create more living-wage job opportunities for all of our communities at the Port. The Port of Seattle will play a key role in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic as one of our largest suppliers of jobs—more cargo crossing all our docks means more jobs and economic growth for the region.The seaport offers a wide range of opportunities such as technical work, administration, customs and management.
“As Port Commissioner, I will fight for an inclusive economic recovery plan,” Mohamed said. “I have dedicated myself to public service, helping families, small businesses, and communities at the local and federal level. As we overcome the pandemic, we need to make sure the Port helps the working families hit the hardest by the pandemic recover and thrive.”
Prioritizing diversity and access for small businesses in contracting is important to Mohamed, whether in the Dining and Retail Development Project at SeaTac Airport or at the expanded International Arrivals Facility (IAF), which will improve the arrival process for international passengers without additional gates.
“For us to fully participate in and benefit from a highly competitive global marketplace, we must be represented by the full breadth of our community,” Mohamed said. “Many have been unfairly left behind in the past decades, such as people with disabilities and youth who should have ready access to high-paying Port jobs. As Port Commissioner, I will take actionable steps to improve diversity and inclusion at every level in partnership with Port agencies, businesses, and community.”
Environmental justice will be at the center of her campaign. She is committed to protecting our salmon and orca populations by restoring their habitats, and to accelerating the Port’s efforts to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is the 4th largest container gateway in North America, handling more than $70 billion of waterborne trade and nearly 200 trading partners globally in 2019. The Port’s marine cargo operations supports almost 60,000 jobs and contributes over $12 billion to the Washington state economy.
“The Port is capable of doing great things to connect and uplift all of us,” Mohamed said. “As we recover from COVID, I’m eager to harness the power of the Port to rebuild our economy with equity and dignity for all.”
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is endorsing Mohamed’s campaign, said: “I have had the privilege of working alongside Hamdi Mohamed for over 10 years now and I am very proud to endorse her for Port of Seattle, Position 3. Hamdi is an exceptional leader and a problem solver of the highest caliber. I have watched her time and time again—including as my former Deputy District Director—bring her skills, voice and perspective to every issue she worked on, including our work with federal agencies to support families, small businesses and communities affected by the aviation industry. Hamdi’s lived experience and expertise will be tremendous assets to the Port Commission, especially now at a time when our communities need Commissioners who will champion the issues of working people; listen to community needs; and develop real solutions, including an equitable plan for recovering from COVID-19. I know, without a doubt, that Hamdi will bring bold leadership in development, equity, and accessibility to our Port in this critical time.”
Zenia Javalera, President of SEIU6 (Janitors and Security Officers), who is also endorsing Mohamed, said: “Hamdi has been a leader for working people and our communities. She shares the values and experience of SEIU6 members and knows access to union jobs is good for families and our economy. Hamdi Mohamed has earned the endorsement of the essential workers of SEIU6 Property Services Northwest.”