Ryan Calkins is a business owner, nonprofit professional and lifelong Democrat active in progressive politics. For over ten years, Ryan ran an import company, working directly with shipping operations at the Port. He now works for Ventures, a nonprofit that supports low-income entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. Prior to being in business, Ryan worked in Latin America for human rights and disaster relief nonprofits. Ryan and his wife Lindsay, an attorney, live in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood with their three children, the oldest enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. Ryan was born and raised in Edmonds.
Article: "Why the Port Commissioner Races Really Matter" - South Seattle Emerald
"Has the energy and ideas to make the Port Commission accountable" - The Stranger Endorsement
"A fresh, eco-conscious voice to add to a Commission that could definitely use another shove in that direction." The Seattle Weekly Endorsement
"Calkins brings the necessary experience and will usher in a change of values that ultimately will benefit the Port and the region. Vote Calkins" - The Urbanist
“Love this dude. He might come off as mild-mannered but he’s feisty and informed.” - Seattlish
Excerpt from GSBA Op-Ed, published July 24, 2017:
With just two weeks remaining before the August primary election, most people are busy with summer activities and don't have much time to consider local races. In particular, the Port of Seattle Commission races--three of the five seats are up this cycle--rank low on voters' priority list. I want to make a case for why the Port races deserve your attention. The Commission plays a critical role in Seattle's economy both in terms of the direct impact of nearly $1 billion dollars in annual revenue, and also in terms of the indirect benefits of a vibrant airport, healthy seaport, and booming tourism industry.
The Port is at an important crossroads. With the departure of its CEO earlier this year, the search is on for a new executive. And the incoming Port Commission has a responsibility to ensure that problems of the past (ethical transgressions, wrongful termination lawsuits, opaque contracting decisions) do not continue under new leadership. The Port of Seattle is a public agency, which requires a higher level of transparency and ethical standards than private enterprise.
At a time when the federal government is going backward on accessibility and inclusion, it's even more important for the Port of Seattle to be a safe and inclusive space. SeaTac airport is our region's front porch, and people of every race, nationality, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation must feel welcomed. As the regional nexus of immigration, SeaTac should be a sanctuary for immigrants and refugees, rather than one more obstacle to safety for those fleeing persecution, war, and famine.
Finally, the Port of Seattle should be a key driver of small business development in the Greater Seattle area. With hundreds of retail opportunities, ongoing large-scale construction projects, and resources to support the training of the next generation of business leaders, the Port of Seattle has an obligation to ensure that the LGBTQ community has at least proportional representation in contracting and hiring. As a small business owner in the Georgetown neighborhood, I understand the challenges of securing work with large government agencies. The Port needs to expand its efforts to make sure that contracts are awarded to local small businesses, not just large, out-of-state conglomerates.
As the recipient of more than $70 million dollars in property tax funds each year, the Port needs ethical and experienced leadership. During this election cycle, we have the opportunity to elect a commission with the integrity and background to carry the Port into the next generation.
King County Young Democrats
5th District Democrats
31st District Democrats
32nd District Democrats
33rd District Democrats
34th District Democrats
36th District Democrats
37th District Democrats
41st District Democrats
43rd District Democrats
45th District Democrats
46th District Democrats
The Sierra Club
SEIU Local 6
State Senator Rebecca Saldaña (D-37)
Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien
Marko Liias, State Senator (D-21)
Brady Walkinshaw, Former State Legislator (D-43)
Mia Gregerson, State Legislator (D-33)
Drew Hansen, State Legislator (D-23)
Jan Drago, Former King County and Seattle City Councilmember
Richard Conlin, Former Seattle City Councilmember
Molly Moon Neitzl, Civic Leader
Gabriel Scheer, Founder of Greendrinks
Estevan Muñoz-Howard, Fair Elections Advocate
Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts
Zach Silk, President, Civic Action
Edie Gilliss, Civic Leader
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor of Mukilteo
Michael Beneke, Forterra*
Dan Shih, Civil Rights Advocate
Beto Yarce, Nonprofit Leader
M. Christopher Boyer, Lynnwood City Councilmember