Opinion

Election View: Lloyd Zimmerman wants port to look to future for jobs

Hello I’m Lloyd Zimmerman and I’m running for the office of port commissioner. This article is the beginning of a long conversation I hope to have with all of you over the next several months and I thank you for spending this time with me.

As a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, I have a deep love for the blessings of natural beauty, economic potential and the power of positive relationships our amazing piece of the American landscape offers us each and every day. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say I’m concerned for the future of our region, our community and our quality of life. That concern, coupled with the need to create a sustainable legacy for our children and their children, has brought me to the decision to run for port commissioner.

Out of appreciation for the bounty our region offers, I want to help create a thriving, vital and exciting Port of Bellingham. The port plays a pivotal role in this place we all call home. The future of our waters, our livelihoods, our relationship with the Lummi Nation and the economic potential of a redeveloped waterfront are all issues that demand an active, informed and engaged citizenry. Protecting this legacy, encouraging the people of Bellingham to become active participants in the redevelopment of their waterfront and creating a team-based approach to resolving the issues facing all of us are the cornerstones of my vison and our mission.

Did you know that you, the people of Bellingham own the port? It’s true. We, all of us, not just a privileged few, not a group of corporations, not the state, own the port. In fact, you are the port.

Stewardship of this precious resource is the responsibility we all share. We cannot leave this in the hands of outside interests! Let’s come together and make the choices and changes necessary to ensure a bright future for our port.

You are going to hear a lot about jobs during this campaign, all kinds of promises will be made. Let me say this: We need meaningful new jobs. We need to look beyond the old economic models and look to the future, now.

As port commissioner I will work with my fellow commissioners to create a balanced approach to the redevelopment efforts. Looking to the future I see many wonderful opportunities in the following areas, just to name a few: new green technologies, redevelopment effort, recreational tourism, sustainable harvesting. marine industries, small business opportunities and environmental cleanup effort.

Let’s focus the management of our precious port assets in these areas and so many more like them. Let’s stop trying to revive the port by aligning with the same old environmentally disastrous, corporate interests that have devastated our port region. Let’s move into a sustainable, positive future.

We can no longer ignore the fact that we are facing great challenges when it comes to the redevelopment of the port. The old way of managing port assets is not working. There are so many diverse interests in this situation, it is a daunting task to pull people together and create the bright future that our port offers. My leadership style is one of inclusion and team building and I am committed to helping create mutually satisfying solutions to the challenges facing all of us.

We are truly at a crossroads. There are important decisions to be made, right here and right now. We are all involved in choosing the direction our port is going to take. We need to collectively take the steps that bring that future forward. Together we can move toward a brighter day. All you have to do is choose.

I’m Lloyd Zimmerman and I would like you to elect me to the office of port commissioner. Let’s keep the conversation going. Got a question? Email me at connect@zforport.com. Want more information on our platform? Visit zforport.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Come together, right now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This is one of a series of commentaries from candidates in the Aug. 4 primary election. Lloyd Zimmerman is one of three challengers in the non-partisan election for a 4-year term as Port of Bellingham Commissioner District 3. District 3 includes Lummi Island, Ferndale, Blaine and other northwest county communities. Incumbant Jim Jorgensen is not seeking re-election.

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