With three of the commission’s five seats open in this fall’s elections, the alliance between labor and environmental organizations will be seeking votes from both members and supporters to back the new candidacy of Peter Coates, and the re-election of Lawrence Molloy.
The informally named “blue-green” initiative, primarily led by the King County Labor Council and Washington Conservation Voters, comes at a time of potential flux for the port. Since the 2003 election, the port commission has teetered on the edge of several divisive issues, mostly centered on whether the port should continue its traditional focus on industrial and maritime land uses, or branch out into more multiuse development.
While obstensibly a local story, I think it’s important for progressive activists to keep an eye on this development. Victories here could signal a winning strategy for other election campaigns around the country, and the focus on local boards and councils seems like another strategy to emulate. The contemporary right didn’t start off by running candidates for president, but rather for school boards and city councils.