As part of our endorsement process at The Urbanist, we ask candidates to complete a standard questionnaire to better understand and evaluate their positions on housing, land use, transportation, and other important issues. We then share this information with our readers to help inform their own voting decisions.

This year we are considering 19 candidates running for Seattle City Council positions 8 and 9, Seattle Mayor, and Port of Seattle Commission positions 1 and 4. We are publishing the questionnaires in full this week and next week, concluding with our official primary election endorsements in mid-July.

The following questionnaire was submitted by Fernando Martinez, running for Port of Seattle Commissioner Position 4.

Short Answer

Do you consider yourself an urbanist? Why/Why not?
No – I am not an expert in urban planning therefore I cannot state that I am an urbanist. However, I am very interested in how the city, county, and state plans, models, and designs basic health and educational services. I am also very interested in how the city, county, and state designs traffic flow systems utilizing various modes of travel to access to services. And, I am very interested in creating empowered communities to secure their identity for generations to come.

What meaningful and specific commitments will you pursue to create safe cycling facilities for people commuting by bike to the port and its surrounding industrial facilities, as well as through the areas adjacent to the port?
As the newly elected Commissioner, I need to: 1st. understand what the Port of Seattle is presently doing to encourage Cycling to work; 2nd. understand the relationship between the various Departments of Transportation and the Port of Seattle to collaboratively discuss safe cycling options.

Next step, once current state is determined as outlined above, leverage existing research to validate how bike lanes improve safety for cyclist, pedestrians, and drivers. All data gathered should begin ideate a plan which will make all Port of Seattle traffic zones safer.

What commitments as a commissioner will you make to fight climate change? 
As a newly elected Commissioner I will review the Port of Seattle energy practice: Is it efficient (lighting); is the Port using renewable power or is it able to use renewable power; Is the Port requiring all tenants to use minimal or recyclable packaging; Is there an incentive to reduce gas emissions for employees; Is there an incentive to reduce gas emissions for all tenants. The review is how I as a newly elected commissioner can determine what types of actions we can take to fight climate change.

How do you see the Port’s role in incubating new industries through collaboration and innovation among existing industries?
The Port of Seattle is in a region where technology is abundant. We must leverage those resources and plan for a successful future. The Port of Seattle has a distinct opportunity to be the thought leader in this process in a very competitive market–Ports.

How would you work to reduce sprawl? 
The Port of Seattle must take an active approach in insuring all expansion takes the natural resources available to us into account and become part of any expansion plan. The Port must lead the preservation of natural resources.

How can housing and public transit policies be better crafted to benefit workers at the port and its surrounding industries? Please provide specifics.
What solutions will you pursue to prioritize light rail, bus, biking and walking access to the airport, mitigating the long walk from the SeaTac Link station?
Incentivize employers to subsidize employee commuting costs on Public Transportation. Explore for any existing tax benefits available through employee subsidization of Public Transportation.


Are there any circumstances in which you’d support an arena in SODO?

Do you support the creation of physically protected bike lanes–without cuts for driveways–on East Marginal Way, from The Elliott Bay Trail to the West Seattle Bridge?

Do you support ending contracts with companies that import and export of fossil fuels through the Port of Seattle?

Will you commit to opposing investment in transportation projects that only benefit motor-vehicles without benefits for other modes?

Photo courtesy of Fernando Martinez campaign.

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The Urbanist was founded in 2014 to examine and influence urban policies. We believe cities provide unique opportunities for addressing many of the most challenging social, environmental, and economic problems. We serve as a resource for promoting urbanism, increasing political participation, and improving the places we live. The Elections Committee consists of community volunteers and staff members of The Urbanist and is a standing body representing the political values of our organization.