Marcus Swift

1) Why did you decide to run for a position on the Port of The Dalles board?

I love our community and I am always looking for new ways to give back. The Port of The Dalles and our entire community are at a crossroads. We have real challenges, but also incredible opportunities for economic growth and job creation. But it’s going to take bold ideas and new leadership. My skills and experiences starting and growing a small business in The Dalles, creating and passing good public policy, and working on complex land use issues are a perfect fit to help lead The Port forward into the next phase.

2) What is your background/profession, and where do you live?

I am a proud resident of The Dalles. I invested my life savings to start a successful small business in Wasco County because I love the community and its people. I am an attorney who works with local families, seniors, and small businesses to solve complex problems and find innovative solutions. In 2020 alone, I provided over $25,000 in free or low-cost legal services to local residents. I also volunteer in the community as a member of the Wasco County Planning Commission and as Vice President of the Mid-Columbia Bar Association.

3) What will your top priorities be if voters select you to serve on the board?

I will work to support and expand local small businesses, attract new, good-paying jobs to our area, and revitalize downtown The Dalles. I will do it with a focus on fiscal responsibility, collaboration, and strategic vision. I want to explore how the Port can attract more jobs in value-added agriculture, be creative about flexible manufacturing spaces and create a culture of entrepreneurship. I also want to explore the viability of The Port selling smaller parcels of land to businesses who may wish to relocate to the waterfront but can’t afford and/or don’t need a full acre.

4) What changes do you think the district needs to make?

The Port leadership and staff do an outstanding job. However, I would like to see more transparency and accessibility from the Port Commission. As a director, I will provide regular updates to taxpayers, so they see the value of the Port and can engage in the conversation. I also think it becoming a necessity for the Port and every other local government agency to be more involved in conversations around the cost of living and housing availability in our community.