On Wednesday King County's Office of Equity and Social Justice policy advisor Hamdi Mohamed announced her bid to run for Port Commission Position 3, a seat currently held by two-term incumbent commissioner Stephanie Bowman.
If elected, Mohamed, who lives in SeaTac, would be the first woman of color elected to the port and the only port commissioner representing the airport's neighborhood, which seems weird given the fact that most of the port's $1 billion budget comes from the airport.
"I've lived in the airport community for a long time, and this pandemic has heavily impacted the workers in the community," Mohamed said in a phone interview. "I think now more than ever we need a strong voice on the port."
Mohamed said the creation and implementation of an "inclusive economic recovery plan" would rank at the top of her list of priorities as a commissioner. She also wants to build a more inclusive workforce at the port, to diversify businesses at the airport as it expands, and to contract with a wider array of cities in the region.
Coming from South King County, where some environmental advocates say air pollution could arguably be contributing to shorter life expectancy rates, Mohamed said her office would plan to lead on environmental justice issues as well. "We need to be more intentional about how we're going to reduce our carbon footprint," she said.
Mohamed enters the race with endorsements from SEIU6 (janitors, security officers, airport passenger service workers) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
Though Mohamed has yet to serve in elected office, she's no stranger to electoral politics. She's worked for Congresswoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal as a field organizer, a campaign manager, and an advisor. She also served as a deputy district director of constituent services in Jayapal's office.
For the last couple years she's worked as a policy advisor for King County's Office of Equity and Social Justice, where she partnered with Beyonce and Beyonce's mom to bring free COVID-19 testing to South King County for a weekend. She also served as a King County Immigrant and Refugee Commissioner, where she helped organize to preserve dozens of immigrant-run businesses at the Bakaro Mall.
Bowman, who sits on the board of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, announced her bid for reelection last month. In a press release, she touted her work to integrate the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, described herself as a champion for women and minority owned-businesses, and highlighted her work to "build career pathways and apprenticeship programs for young people coming from high school into skilled trades."
She neglected to mention her vote to allow Shell Oil to park its arctic drilling operations in Seattle and her vote to rush the approval of the deal. She also opposed SeaTac's $15 per hour minimum wage and voted to fund the legal challenge against it.