If asked, Port Commissioner John Creighton could provide an entire speech about why he’d like to be reelected to his seat in 2013. He could site his effectiveness in office, his ability to bridge the gap between a diverse group of stakeholders, his work making sure the Port listened to and worked closely with the communities that surround the Port and his deeply held conviction that performing work in public office provides its own rewards. John Creighton might also provide one other reason for his campaign, and his hopes for reelection. The Port has put together a serious set of goals for the coming years, and John Creighton wants to ensure that they come to fruition.
According to the Port of Seattle website, the commission would like to add 100,000 jobs to the Port of Seattle, bringing the total number of jobs the Port provides to a whopping 300,000. Raising employment in this way means increasing air cargo volume, growing seaport container volume and increasing the economic value of maritime work. In addition, the commission would like to advance Seattle as a tourism destination, allowing more dollars to flow into the economy on a regular basis.
This is an ambitious agenda, and it’s likely that commissioners will need to work closely together to ensure that all milestones and goals are met on a regular basis. They’ll need to build strong links to the business community, and they’ll need to ensure that residents of King County understand what they want to accomplish, and why it matters. Since John Creighton is well respected by both the business community and labor, the environmental community and neighborhood advocates, he is in an excellent position to handle these tasks. He also believes in the promise of Seattle, and would find it personally satisfying to see the influence of the city grow.
It’s easy to downplay the role that tourism plays in the economy of Seattle. After all, the city is best known for its bustling port, and it has achieved worldwide fame as the home of major businesses such as Amazon and Starbucks. It’s not surprising that people think of Seattle as a place where companies come to set up shop, not a place where tourists spend their hard-earned money. In reality, according to Port Commissioner John Creighton, Seattle is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, and without those tourist dollars, the Port wouldn’t be able to achieve the ambitious goals that it would like to meet in the coming years.
According to statistics published by the Seattle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, tourism ranks fourth in gross domestic product produced in Washington. In addition, the tourism industry supports almost 160,000 jobs, and in a tough economy, those jobs would be difficult to replicate or do without. Each tourist who comes to the city spends money on hotels, on food, on entertainment and on souvenirs. Each tourist also goes back home with stories of how amazing Seattle is and how terrific the trip was. It’s easy to see why these tourists should be respected, coddled and encouraged to come back again. With each visit, these tourists have the opportunity to make Seattle’s future just a bit brighter.
According to a Port of Seattle press release, the Port Commission approved a $50,000 investment in the Washington Tourism Alliance, a nonprofit established by the local tourism industry to promote Washington as the ultimate travel and vacation destination. With this investment, the Port hopes to help the Alliance to bring more tourists to the area. The funds these tourists bring with them can be used to create more jobs in Seattle, and help the city to meet its goals for sustainability and innovation. Find out more about the organization here.
As Port Commissioner, John Creighton has been involved in many difficult decisions involving the Port of Seattle. At times, he’s endured fire from critics who claim that the Port is losing its soul and is crumbling to the needs of gentrification and a never-ending population boom. He’s also heard complaints from business leaders who want improved access to the port or else they will find neighboring communities who are willing to provide them with the access and government policies that they feel they need to operate. While listening to comment is part of any politician’s job, John Creighton feels that these sorts of comments are particularly hard to deal with, as they point to the crux of what the Port means to Seattle, and that meaning can vary from group to group.
In Seattle, the Port is a thriving business that brings both revenue and jobs into the community. Each container that comes into the Port represents an economic opportunity for Seattle, and that’s not an opportunity the region can afford to waste. According to a blog entry written by John Creighton, the state of Washington, the Port, King County, the city of Seattle and public and private interests have invested over $1 billion in infrastructure to support the industrial activities at the Port. Pushing out industry through gentrification means wasting these investments.
However, the Port provides some of the most sought-after real estate in Seattle, with stunning views of the water and amazing access to the hip and trendy parts of downtown. It’s no wonder that so many people want to live in this part of Seattle, John Creighton says, and it’s no wonder that businesses want to place restaurants, stadiums and other enticements there to make them stay.
The key is to make smart investments so that competing uses on the waterfront can co-exist, John Creighton says, to make good decisions on a case-by-case basis. This is what Port Commissioner John Creighton hopes to do in moving forward the Port’s Century Agenda, its 25-year plan to bring another 100,000 port-related jobs to the region.
As a public figure, John Creighton is expected to maintain some sort of online presence. It’s the best way to ensure that he can respond to breaking news, and remind voters of his works in the months leading up to an election. There are many different sites public figures can use to reach out to the electorate, but according to John Creighton, Twitter remains the tool of choice. In fact, in Seattle, John Creighton is known as an early and an enthusiastic user of Twitter.
According to the official Twitter blog, the first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006, and it read, simply, “inviting coworkers.” Since that time, tweets have grown much longer, and they’ve also become much more prevalent. Now, Media Bistro reports, Twitter is seeing a remarkable 400 million tweets per day, which represents an increase of almost 18 percent in less than three months. At a time when pundits are claiming that Facebook is close to death, Twitter is claiming new users on a daily basis, and the company is beginning to make money due to the extensive traffic the site generates on a daily basis.
When shopping for a method by which to stay in touch with his constituents, Twitter seemed like an obvious choice for John Creighton. Here, he could share links to press releases and blog entries that outlined his accomplishments and hopes for the future, and he could encourage his followers to read up on the topics that would make them more informed voters. He could also interact with voters, without sharing the sort of private information that commonly makes up a Facebook page. Currently, Port Commissioner John Creighton submits multiple tweets each day, and Twitter users can follow him by clicking on this link.
Seattle is known as one of the most green-conscious, environmentally friendly cities on the West Coast. Having grown up in the Northwest, it follows that Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton would be intent on looking for ways to make the port a greener place. By bringing the business and environmental communities behind the idea that a financially sustainable port requires an environmentally sustainable port and he is continuing the tradition of environmental excellence that is synonymous with Seattle.
During his tenure as Port Commissioner, John Creighton advanced a six-part environmental platform that included major changes, such as mandating low sulfur diesel in cruise ships, prohibiting cruise ship dumping in the Olympic Marine National Sanctuary, and helped to reduce port-related air emissions. Port Commissioner John Creighton has come up with other innovative environmental solutions, including appointing just one person to oversee all storm water management issues at the county level, and pulling together a plan to encourage homeowners and property owners to fix their outdated septic systems and therefore reduce pollution and runoff. He has also proposes a ballot initiative that would provide incentives for gardeners to switch to organic methods.
For this track record, as well as his list of ongoing proposals, John Creighton has received endorsements from the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club in his reelection bid in 2009. He has also been favorably reviewed in multiple news stories about environmentalism in Seattle. He hopes to continue serving as Port Commissioner so he can put his good ideas to use for the health and well being of the environment in Seattle.