Preeti Shridhar

Preeti Shridhar is making a second bid for a seat on the Port of Seattle Commission this year after an unsuccessful 2017 run. (Preeti Shridhar photo)

Preeti Shridhar had an unsuccessful run for a seat on the Port of Seattle Commission in 2017, but is confident enough in her prospects to make another run for the post this year.

Shridhar was the top vote-getter in the 2017 primary over former Seattle councilman Peter Steinbrueck before Steinbrueck overcame his deficit to beat the Indian American candidate in the 2017 general election.

Shridhar in the leadup to that election cited her track record on environmental issues as a reason to vote for her (see India-West report here:

Then, Shridhar was vying for the Position 4 seat. This time around, she is seeking the Position 2 seat.

Shridhar now works for the City of Renton, where her various roles include communications, intergovernmental relations, inclusion programs and overseeing the municipal cable channel.

“A lot of these things I sort of started,” she said in a Queen Anne & Magnolia News report. “…I’m very fortunate that I’ve been one step behind politicians, so I can make things happen.”

Shridhar wants to strengthen the Northwest Seaport Alliance and other partnerships with the Port of Seattle, and said she sees opportunities to work with growing ports around eastern parts of India and Vietnam.

The candidate said she has a master’s degree in international trade and a worldwide network that includes China, India, Vietnam and Singapore, which she wants to leverage to create new partnerships with the Port of Seattle.

“Unfortunately, there are tariffs,” she told the publication, “but there are also opportunities.”

Shridhar also wants to increase vendor contracts with minority-owned businesses, noting that the Indian American population in King County has grown 900 percent in the past decade, the report said.

Her 2017 campaign focused on a number of things. With regard to airport growth, Shridhar wanted to encourage the use of biofuels for planes to lessen the environmental impact from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on nearby communities as more flights are added.

Additionally, she defended a flat tax on property owners as funding critical causes like workforce development. With rising property values, she’s noted in her previous campaign that she was optimistic the Port could still generate “a strong source of funding” without raising the tax further.

Shridhar describes herself as a grass-roots candidate without major funding from special interests, arguing that her approachability and open-door policy will make her the best choice.

She also points to her long track record on environmental issues, dating back to efforts to increase recycling decades ago in Seattle.

Shridhar earned her B.A. in business administration from The College of St. Catherine. She later received her M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Shridhar also holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Bombay. Currently, she is the deputy public affairs administrator for the city of Renton.

The primary election, which includes six other candidates, is scheduled for Aug. 6.

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