VIDEO: Local Activist Steve Edmiston talks Transparency with Port of Seattle


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Des Moines resident Steve Edmiston last Tuesday (Feb. 13) provided the second segment of his briefing to the Port of Seattle Commissioners.

Titled “Transparency,” Edmiston bluntly testified that with respect to Sea-Tac Airport, “our collective plight as airport neighbor cities is the plight of every community near major airports in the United States,” and accordingly, he hopes that each two-minute public comment segment will be widely shared and used by local and national aviation groups.

Edmiston also outlined the central theme and final goal of the project:

“Finally, it is my hope as a filmmaker to use the collected public comments as the spine of a feature film about how you – the five Port of Seattle Commissioners facing me now – when actually presented with the briefing you asked for but did NOT receive – how you react, and what choices you make. And how the Port, as it so publicly campaigns to be the greenest airport in the US, how you Commissioners will actually choose to treat the human species that can be found living beneath the flight paths.”

Edmiston’s new project seeks to challenge the Port to address the substantial harms to airport neighbor communities resulting from aircraft noise and emissions. A local attorney and screenwriter, Edmiston states that “as a matter of transparency, I want the Port Commissioners to know how I’m hoping to use the film of these public comments, including their reactions – even if it’s just body language – and ultimately, how I’ll use the film depicting the choices they make.”

Edmiston is positioning his briefing as a direct response to a briefing by the FAA last Spring that he contends was both incomplete and inadequate because it failed to convey the harms being caused to humans and the environment. As a private citizen, under Port rules, Edmiston must provide his 43-minute briefing – the same time provided to the FAA and Port staff – in two-minute public-comment segments. Edmiston estimates the project will take 9 to 12 months to complete.

The filmmaker also announced that he has made a Public Records Request to the Port of Seattle to further the project’s transparency:

  1. All communications by or between the Port of Seattle staff or consultants, any Port of Seattle Commissioners, and/or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), referring or relating to the April 25, 2017, SeaTac International Airport Flight Track and NextGen briefings provided to the Port of Seattle Commissioners by the FAA and Port staff, in any way referring or relating to said briefings. This request specifically includes communications both before and after said briefings.
  2. All communications by or between the Port of Seattle staff or consultants, any Port of Seattle Commissioners, and/or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), referring or relating to Steve Edmiston’s public comments and/or briefing provided, and to be provided, in 2018 to the Port of Seattle Commissioners, on the subject of the April 25, 2017, SeaTac International Airport Flight Track and NextGen.

Edmiston hopes that the requested records will provide some explanation as to why the 2017 briefing by the FAA and Port staff was so incomplete. He believes that the airport neighbor community citizens can better evaluate the Port’s decision-making process if they can follow along with how the Port Commissioners and Port staff discussed the original FAA briefing, and how (or if) they are discussing the subject matter contained in his current briefing:

“I suppose I’d hope to see the Commissioners ask at least two transparency questions: one, is what I am telling the Commissioners about the harms to humans and environment from aircraft noise and emissions, the outcry against NextGen around the country, and the litigation and pending legislation around the country over NextGen implementation true, and second, if so, why haven’t you provided this information to us before now?”

View Episode 2 – titled “Transparency” – below:

Episode 1 – “The Briefing You Should Have Had” – can be found here.

About Steve Edmiston
Steve is a business and entertainment lawyer, screenwriter, and independent film producer. He has written and produced many feature-length and short films which have won festival awards and accolades (including “Crimes of the Past,” “The Day My Parents Became Cool,” and most recently “The Maury Island Incident”).

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