OLYMPIA – A portion of SR 509 could soon be named in honor of Philip Martin Lelli, longtime President of Tacoma Longshore Union 23 and former Port of Tacoma commissioner, as the result of Senate Joint Memorial 8019 sponsored by Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma.

Last week, Conway recognized Lelli’s contributions to the Port of Tacoma during public testimony on the bill.

“I knew Phil personally and he was one of the major architects of the success of the port,” said Conway.

An advocate for innovation, Lelli was known for his unprecedented role in attracting new businesses to the Port of Tacoma and transitioning it into one of the principal ports of entry on the Pacific Coast.

Lelli was influential in his community as well, organizing Tacoma’s Hospitality Kitchen to provide lunches for the homeless.

“He was a man who knew how to work together for the good of our community and the success of our state,” said Conway. “He should be honored for his generosity toward others and the collaborative work he did in making the Port of Tacoma a nationally recognized shipping center.”

The bill has yet to receive a vote on the Senate floor.