On November 7th, there will be meet-ups around the country where people will be gathering to watch a special video message from Kshama Sawant and discussing how to rebuild an organized socialist movement.
Get involved. Join Socialist Alternative. Find a #SocialistsRising event near you!
“There has never been a better time to become a socialist and join Socialist Alternative.” – Kshama Sawant
Not only can socialists get elected, we can get re-elected. At the time of writing, and with about a third of the votes counted, 52.6% of voters in Seattle’s District 3 have chosen Kshama Sawant to serve another four years on the City Council. Since late votes tend to trend in our favor, we can safely claim victory.
In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood tonight, hundreds of campaign supporters are celebrating at our election night party. People arrived confident due to Kshama’s outstanding work in the council and our ferocious ground game.
The night before, on Monday, Socialist Alternative member and Boeing IAM machinist Jeremy Prickett addressed volunteers gathered for the last doorknocking effort of the campaign. “Brothers and sisters,” he began, “it’s a privilege for us to be here today because for so long politics have been out of the hands of working people. Socialist Alternative and Kshama Sawant are changing that.”
Over 600 volunteers, more than 30 unions, and dozens of progressive organizations had Kshama’s back against our opponent who had the support of CEOs, the Chamber of Commerce, the real estate lobby, the landlord lobby, Amazon.com, slumlords, six conservative members of the city council, and even a handful of Republican millionaires who created their own PAC to attack us and support our Democratic Party opponent in the final weeks.
Against this powerful establishment opposition, along with their echo chamber of vitriolic attacks and their exorbitant bank accounts, we knocked on 90,000 doors and made 170,000 phone calls. We talked to thousands of people about affordable housing, inequality, taxing the rich, and working class politics. It was an unprecedented grassroots effort for local Seattle politics.
A New Kind of Politics
As Jeremy’s words above suggest, for many people, this campaign was about far more than re-electing Kshama. It was about building a whole new kind of politics that fights unapologetically for working families, and not corporations. It was about showing what was possible if working people get organized.
In the age of Citizens United and in a year when corporations in Seattle spent five times more than ever before on City Council elections, we shattered fundraising records for a council race and defeated corporate cash. We raised nearly $500,000 from almost 3,500 individual donors. Our median donation was merely $50 and more people donated to our campaign from Seattle and our district than for any other candidate running for City Council across the city. Like Bernie Sanders’ campaign which also refuses corporate money and raised $28 million in three months, Kshama’s campaign is a demonstration of the huge potential for independent working class politics in the US.
“The degree to which [Kshama Sawant] blows everyone out of the water in some funding categories, and her ability to rely on many small donors, is this election’s clearest sign that the old guard is being shaken.” – Crosscut.com
Nobody in Seattle has caused more headaches for the political establishment over the past two years than Kshama Sawant. “I wear the badge of socialist with pride,” she declared in her January 2014 inauguration speech after upsetting a 13 year incumbent. She promised at that time: “There will be no backroom deals with corporations or their political servants. There will be no rotten sell-out of the people I represent.”
And Kshama delivered. Her office became a center for working class resistance, helping tenants, workers, people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants and indigenous people. Kshama pushed the political debate in Seattle to the left. “Affordability” has become one of the most repeated buzzwords. Nevertheless, she was blocked many times by a conservative majority on the council that was tied by a thousand threads to the corporate establishment. But Kshama never relented in her unapologetic fight for the interests of working people, explaining again and again that what could be won inside city hall largely depended on the strength of movements outside — and actively doing everything she could to help build those movements.
This same spirit imbued the election campaign. While we knew we were in a strong position with a visible sea of red posters and yard signs blanketing the district, we nonetheless took nothing for granted given the way democracy is warped by capitalism, where cash buys votes and the corporate media narrows and distorts the discussion.
Instead, we relied on building up our own independent force that could reach thousands of voters by activating working and young people to talk with thousands of people on their doorsteps.
When $60,000 was dumped into our race by three different corporate PACs in the last weeks of the campaign, our grassroots movement was prepared. Within days, we were able to get a leaflet to thousands of doors across the district alerting voters to the flood of PAC money. And when our opponent sent two negative attack mailers in the last week, we again got another leaflet out to thousands of doors exposing the dishonesty of the attacks.
An Example to Build On
As the first elected socialist in Seattle in a century, Kshama’s re-election campaign took on far more significance than the average local election. Al Jazeera called it one of seven elections in the whole US to watch this year. The campaign took place against the national background of surging support for Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president as a socialist and his call for “a political revolution against the billionaire class”.
Undoubtedly, the experience of the last two years in Seattle has provided a wealth of lessons for socialists and working people everywhere. Kshama would be the first to say that what has made the key difference in Seattle has been the existence of an organized socialist movement and Socialist Alternative in particular.
We have provided key political support to Kshama to help navigate the pressures of elected office and movement building. Together, we were able to give a successful lead and turn the growing anger at inequality, skyrocketing rent, and out-of-touch establishment politicians into a movement that relies on its own strength, its own organizations, and its own resources.
The opportunities to build the socialist movement across the US are only getting bigger. Capitalism has completely failed working families. People are fed up with the corporate establishment and there is a growing interest in socialist ideas reflected in the intense interest when Bernie Sanders explained why he considers himself a democratic socialist in the debate with Hillary Clinton. The movement for a $15/hour minimum wage has won a number of key victories around the country, students are beginning to fight back against student debt, and a whole new generation of young activists has been activated by Black Lives Matter. The world is changing and there has never been a better time to join the socialists.
By no means does our work end tonight. We need to use this opportunity and build on our victory. First of all that means we need to get even more organized. It has been movement building that has gotten us this far. People should join Socialist Alternative and help us build an even stronger movement that can win more victories over the next years.
And tonight in Seattle, now that Kshama’s seat is safe, our hard-working volunteers are enjoying a well-deserved celebration that will likely last late into the night. We’re proud to know that many people around the country and the world are celebrating with us. This victory belongs to socialists and working class people everywhere. Together, we have a world to win.
*This article also published on SocialistAlternative.org
Fill out your ballot right now.
We expect this to be a close race, so make sure your vote counts.
You can make a real difference, but you have to vote. Right now!
If you lost your ballot, have no fear! You can print your ballot here.
Mail your ballot in with a stamp (we recommend taking it to a post office, or you can drop it off in one of the 24-hour drop boxes - see below).
24-hour drop boxes locations
Closed on election day, this Tuesday, November 3rd, at 8 p.m.
Finally, join us for our election night party! This Tuesday,tomorrow, at Melrose Marketplace Studios at 6PM.
Ballots are due now.
So far roughly 18% of eligible District 3 voters have cast their ballots.
It's time to stand up and be counted.
We can't let big moneyed interests buy this election. There's too much at stake.
The corporate and Republican Party donors who have flooded our opponents campaign with massive donations are determined to defeat increased fees on developers, rent control, and a Millionaires Tax. They are determined to defeat Kshama.
You can make a real difference, but you have to vote. Right now!
You can mail your ballot in with a stamp or you can drop it off in one of the 24-hour drop boxes (see below).
If you didn't receive a ballot you can call 206-296-VOTE or go to http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections.aspx
24-hour drop boxes locations
Closed on election day, this Tuesday, November 3rd, at 8 p.m.
Two more corporate PACs joined the Republican PAC - the Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel and Restaurant lobby. What do they all have in common? They were the biggest opponents of the $15 minimum wage. Big money went on the offensive today in our race.
The Republican PAC just spent $18,000 to defeat Kshama with four attack mailers, a deceptive push poll, and a lawyer (are they expecting legal problems?).
The Chamber of Commerce's PAC and the Hospitality and Restaurant Alliance PAC together spent $40,000 to buy phone bankers in St. Louis, Missouri to call voters in Districts 1 and 3.
That's $58,000 now from Republicans and Big Business on top of $140,000 directly to our opponent!
WE NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER! Out-of-state phone banks are calling District 3 voters, we need you to go out doorknocking this final weekend to talk with residents and get out the vote.
We're printing 20,000 fliers to distribute in our district to answer the corporate distortions.
Sign up to help us to get these fliers out in the next 48 hours.
If you can't help on the ground, please donate $50 right now. We need to raise $10,000 to respond to this tidal wave of money. If 200 people donated $50, we can hit our goal.
Welcome to the Houseparty in Fremont to support the RE-ELECTION OF KSHAMA SAWANT TO SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL!! We are opening up the Culture Yard house in support of the brave Social Representative of the victimized and marginalized. Please come join us. Come cast your vote, donate to her campaign, mix with allies. We will have conscious food offerings from Feastwise.com and socially-active musical artforms from Reggae to Hip-Hop and Dub Poetry featuring local artists: Jamil Suleman,Loveward Steps, Haiku Vibes, Shan Coleman and Jah Speed.
This is a free and open fund-raiser for Councilmember Kshama Sawant re-election campaign.
Kshama Sawant is a determined fighter for social justice who led the movement to establish Seattle's historic $15 minimum wage. In addition to her many accomplishments, she recently succeeded in pressing the city council to pass a resolution in favor of rent control! Her re-election campaign rejects corporate cash - so she depends upon donations from you - ordinary people - to fund her struggle to make Seattle affordable FOR ALL:
- Affordable housing and rent control
- Massively expand mass transit
- Tax the super-rich! Fully fund social services
Food, drinks, music and open mic
Mark your calendar - Invite your friends!
Please bring a stamp and your ballot to fill out at this event to ensure you don't miss the November 3rd deadline to vote.
120 N 35 St
Seattle, WA 98103
Google map and directions
Ballots have arrived. All over District 3, voters are examining their ballots. Many did not know there was a race going on until today! Let everyone know who you're supporting - the boldest fighter for housing affordability, progressive taxes to fund services we need, and the only City Councilmember to stand up against the building of a New Youth Jail in Seattle and say "Black Lives Matter!"
The District 3 race is going to be a close one, so every vote will count! Our opponents are flooding this race with corporate cash and we need every one of our supporters to fill out your ballot. Vote early and get your ballot in as soon as possible.
We need your help to turn out your neighbors to vote, too. Please join us every Saturday until August 4th in Pratt Park at 10:00 AM to phonebank and doorknock to get out the vote for Kshama Sawant.
Party down as the results come in at our Election Night Party!
If you lost your ballot or have yet to receive it, call the King County Elections Office at 206-296-VOTE or 206-296-8683 to get a new one.
Let all your friends on social media know who you're voting for in this crucial race by changing your profile picture:
"There are billions in profits at stake if we succeed in our re-election campaign"
Over the weekend, the Republican Party-linked, anti-Sawant PAC "Neighbors for Banks" was launched, joining forces with the Democratic Party establishment, big business, and developers to defeat Councilmember Kshama Sawant. The principal officers for Neighbors for Banks are top members of the Washington State Republican Party (one of which lives in Seattle, one does not).
The committee officer, Bob Ratliffe, is an international investment banker and developer, a local union-buster, and was on the Republican National Committee. Ratliffe is the chairman of the board of trustees of Seattle University, which for the last two years has been denying adjunct faculty the right to organize. He donated $3,100 to Republican Rob McKenna in the last four years, in his quest to defeat Democrat Jay Inslee. In 2008 he was a top "bundler" for the Republican Presidential candidate John McCain and was the chair of the Washington Victory Finance campaign for McCain. Ratliffe has also donated the maximum by law to Sawant's opponent and Tim Burgess.
The treasurer of the PAC, Tom Perry, who actually lives in Puyallup, is also the campaign treasurer for Chris Vance, former head of the Washington State Republican Party and who is running for U.S. Senate against Democrat Patty Murray. In 2013 Perry also teamed up with Chris Vance to form "Public Safety PAC."
"We don't know yet how much money will be poured into the PAC, but if other recent PACs are any indication, we can expect a torrent of corporate cash. Apparently it wasn't enough that over $140,000 in big-business backed money has gone to our opponent, now Republicans are weighing in with their anti-$15, anti-environment, anti-women's rights, anti-renter's rights, pro-corporate cash," said Councilmember Sawant.
"Why are business executives so determined to influence our city race? Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities and there are massive opportunities for wealth creation. Who gets that wealth is what's at stake here. If I win, if we elect a progressive majority, then it's clear that we will have momentum to wrest a much, much bigger share of that wealth from the hands of the super wealthy to the working class. But most of all, they want our socialist movement to stop growing," continued Councilmember Sawant.
In this short debate Socialist Alternative Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant explains how the grassroots character of her campaign, not a penny in corporate cash, is why so many people have donated and volunteered. In contrast, her opponent has taken $140,000 from corporations and is supported by other corporate politicians.
We are putting out an urgent call to action.
A Republican Party linked PAC explicitly targeting Kshama Sawant has been created!
We don't know yet how much money will be poured into it, but if other recent PACs are any indication, we can expect a torrent of corporate cash.
One thing is clear: big money is here and we need to get ready for a serious fight.
What we do know about the PAC is alarming. The two people listed as principal officers are top members of the Washington State Republican Party (one of which lives in Seattle, one does not).
Yes, you read that right. Republican Party leaders are trying to buy this election for our opponent!
It wasn't enough that over $140,000 in big business backed money has gone to our opponent, now Republicans are weighing in with their anti-$15, anti-environment, anti-women's rights, anti-renters rights, pro-corporate cash!
To counter this dirty money, we need you and all supporters to get involved, right now
Ballots have arrived in mailboxes - this is the most crucial time to influence voters (that's why this PAC waited until now to file!). We are having rolling shifts of doorknocking and phonebanking - sign up here to talk to our neighbors about what's at stake.
We need your financial support and we need it now more than ever. You know the length that Republican forces will goto push their agenda, we need to raise $10,000 to be ready to send out a mailer to counter their lies and distortions. If 100 people donate $100 today, we can do this!
When Seattle educators voted to strike earlier this year, Kshama was an immediate and outspoken advocate. “From day one, Kshama stood with teachers holding the line to defend public education,” said Garfield teacher and activist Jesse Hagopain, “Her presence on the picket line and her leadership in passing a City Council resolution supporting our strike made all of us feel she had our back.”
Kshama used every avenue she could to support the courageous striking teachers, including holding a community meeting in City Council chambers to build support for the strike, leading the way on a City Council resolution, and donating twice from her Solidarity Fund to help in their fight to defend public education.
The Seattle Education Association today recognized her uncompromising support with their sole City Council endorsement.
Congratulations to all SEA educators on their tremendous strike! We will stand in solidarity with Seattle teachers continuing their struggle for quality education for all.
Want to know more about rent control? Want a tool to discuss rent control with others? Take a look at Kshama's council blog for more info!
Co-sponsored by the Green Party of Seattle
"Two Raging Grannies" is a new, touching, thought-provoking documentary about two gutsy, nearly-90 year old activists who seek answers to the burning questions: How do we get out of this economic mess and must the economy always keep growing? This film has received great reviews all over the world, and premiered at SIFF in May 2014, but has now finally been released in the US for more audiences. We will be joined by the two main actors, Shirley Morrison and Hinda Kipness! After the movie, join Shirley and Hinda for a discussion and please donate to re-elect Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
Kshama Sawant is an eloquent fighter for social justice who led the fight for Seattle's $15/hour minimum wage. Her re-election campaign rejects corporate cash, and therefore depends upon donations from ordinary people to fund her struggle to make Seattle affordable for all:
- Affordable housing and rent control
- Massively expand mass transit
- Tax the rich! Fully fund social services
Snacks and drinks
Mark your calendar!
Invite your friends on Facebook!
Film 77 min.
If you receive your ballot by the day of this event, Friday, October 16, bring your ballot and a stamp with you and fill it out at this event to ensure we don't miss the deadline to vote.
Interested in fighting back against slumlords in our city? Sign the petition by following the link below!
Rats. Cockroaches. Black mold smothering kitchen walls. Collapsing bathroom ceilings. Broken stoves. Broken windows. Broken dreams.
And now 100% rent increases.Read more
This week, The Stranger's Blabbermouth Podcast "Talks to Kshama Sawant about Everything." Have a listen here:
Check out the video below of Kshama speaking at the Transit Riders Union Meet the Candidates Party!
Saturday, Sept. 26th
10:00 AM @ Pratt Park (20th and Yesler)
Come hear Kshama and a Seattle educator speak about the successful SEA strike that won high quality education for all children.
The importance of having a representative of working people on the council was clear during this strike as Kshama used her position to strengthen the bargaining power of Seattle educators.
After the rally, join us as we knock on doors in District 3 to remind our neighbors what's at stake in the November election.
Yesterday something amazing happened in council chambers. Just 3 months after publicly coming out against a resolution to lift the ban on rent control, councilmember Burgess introduced a resolution to do just that.
Just a few months ago we were told rent control isn't popular, it can't be won, and we should just shut up about it. And yet, under the pressure from our movement, the city council was forced to formally ask lawmakers in Olympia to lift the undemocratic ban.
We should be clear - this victory is a testament to the power of our movement and grassroots activism. It's also a testament to the power ofindependent leadership by our city councilmember, Kshama Sawant, who has been steadfast in her support for rent control.
But, we also know that the battle for rent control has only just begun. Kshama had this to say after the resolution passed:
"The real estate lobby, the Rental Housing Association, and big developers are scared by our movement, so they want this resolution to disappear into oblivion. Our movement's goal is exactly the opposite. We need to use the resolution to build real pressure on Olympia."
Nothing would upset the real estate industry more than to see the only city councilmember who can't be bought re-elected and ready to continue the fight for affordable housing.
With your support we will re-elect Kshama and continue building our movement for rent control!
First, we secured a unanimous vote to support Councilmembers Sawant and Licata’s resolution to the City Council to ask Olympia to lift the ban on rent control.
Second, defying an appeal from 43rd District State Senator Jamie Pedersen, the majority (55%) of Democrats also voted for a “no endorsement” in the District 3 City Council race, rejecting an endorsement of Sawant’s Chamber of Commerce backed opponent.
This confirms the broad and growing support Councilmember Sawant has as a result of her effectiveness in representing working people and progressives. Support for Kshama went up compared to the 43rd LD Democrats meeting in May for the primary, where we also defeated an endorsement for our opponents, but with a 46% vote.
Kshama had this to say about these victories:
“This resolution to support rent control, passed unanimously by the 43rd District Democrats, is another signal to the City Council to stop its foot-dragging…People want the council to act…For too long progressive Democratic Party activists have been disappointed with Democratic politicians who talk about progressive issues during campaign season, but fail to stand up against corporate interests when the rubber hits the road. The coming vote on rent control on the City Council will help to illuminate whether the current councilmembers are aligned with the progressive members of their party or with the demands of big developers.”
Can’t make it to the council hearing? Stand up to the developers by making a donation of $25, $50, or $100 today!
Seattle educators are on strike for a fair contract for the first time in 30 years, and Kshama, a teacher and member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, continues to show her unwavering support for Seattle educators by leading up the unanimous passage of a resolution to make September 14-18 Seattle Educator’s Week. Kshama also pledged another $500 to Seattle Education Association’s strike fund.
About the resolution Kshama had this to say,
“If the union wins it will be a huge step forward. However, the victory for the union is also a victory for education across the country. It shows that if we organize and remain united, we can resist attacks on public education. It will also embolden all workers in Seattle to join unions.”
Kshama has used her position on the city council to host a community meeting for Seattle educators, to push back against the lies from The Seattle Times, to appeal to her supporters to join the pickets (and joining them herself), and also directing her re-election campaign to build support for the strike by doorknocking and postering in the community. Her actions today, urging her colleagues on the council to publicly support the educators will help them win a fair contract.
This is just one of many reasons why we need to re-elect Councilmember Sawant. But, we can’t do it without your active support. Sign up to volunteer today! And, please consider making a $50 donation today to help re-elect our city councilmember.
Community Forum at City Hall for Teacher’s Strike Captures Fighting Spirit of Teachers and Community!
Over 150 teachers, students, parents, and neighbors packed into the Seattle City Council Chambers to attend a community meeting called by Councilmember Kshama Sawant and sponsored by the Coalition for the Schools Seattle Deserves to discuss why Seattle educators are on strike and strategies to win.
Watch video of the event here.
A key question asked was how can we activate the strong community support the educators have, to help push back against the articles attacking teachers from The Seattle Times.
We agree it’s important to build support in the community. Over the past week our campaign supporters and staff have joined educators on the picket lines to show our support.
This weekend we’ll be doorknocking and postering to build support for the election campaign and for the strike.
Today over 70 airport workers walked out in protest because they have still not received the backpay they’re owed and a $15 minimum wage. Alaska Airlines and others are asking the State Supreme Court to reconsider their recent ruling that upheld SeaTac Proposition 1.
As Kshama said last night at the Forum on Gender & Racial Equality, no matter how well intentioned you are, you cannot take money from big business and represent working families. That’s why we take no corporate money.
Guess who got the maximum donation from Brad Tilden, along with donations from all the businesses that fought against the $15 minimum wage? That’s right, our opponent.
What’s causing “political stagnation” is a political establishment that puts corporate profits over our communities. We can see this on full display in education.
The Washington State Legislature has handed over billions to Boeing in tax handouts and created 600 corporate tax loopholes, all while shortchanging our children and educators by billions, forcing Seattle teachers to go on strike.
And they are acting on that – corporate donors have given $100,000 so far to our opponent. We can expect hundreds of thousands of dollars more to be thrown against us.
So, it’s clear the 1% is ready to fight and spend for what they want. The question is – are you? In 2015 the movement to take on the billionaire class is being built in Seattle. But you can’t take on the billionaire class from the sidelines, you gotta get on the field.
We’re calling on 200 supporters to donate $20. We want to raise $4000 to cancel out the max donations from the Chamber of Commerce, HomeStreet Bank, and the Washington State Realtor Association. Can we count on you to donate $20 right now?
Support a Fair Contract for Seattle Educators and High Quality Education for All!
For far too long our teachers and children have suffered from over-crowded classes. Moreover, teachers have gone 6 years without a cost of living raise and 5 years without any new state funding for healthcare. This means, in the face of unrelenting increases in rent and cost of living across Seattle, that teachers are taking home less money and our kids are being denied the top education they deserve.
Workers at SeaTac airport are finally getting the raise they and the labor movement fought for and won nearly two years ago. Alaska Airlines lost the debate with voters in 2013, so they attempted to reject democracy and throw their resources behind a court case to overturn the vote and protect their profits. Today they lost, and workers won.
The Washington State Supreme Court – which heard the case a year ago – has finally ruled to fully uphold SeaTac Proposition 1, which mandates employers must pay a $15 minimum wage, as well as guaranteed paid sick leave, worker job protection when an airline changes contractors, full-time hours for involuntary part-timers (which means they are entitled to health benefits as well), 100% tip protection, enforcement through private right-of-action.
And oh yeah, it’s all retroactive to January 1, 2014.
As we celebrate this victory, let’s not forget who stood with workers and who had to be dragged to right side of history. No other candidate or city official has been as steadfast in their support for the SeaTac workers as Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
Kshama used her campaign in 2013 to amplify the voice of workers demanding $15 in SeaTac and in Seattle. She went on to lead the successful fight for $15 in Seattle while continuing to use her position to support the airport workers’ struggle to get justice. Kshama’s arrest in front Alaska Airlines, and subsequent dismissal of all charges, was exactly what we need more of our officials to do – stand up to the CEOs of big corporations that profit massively from poverty wages.
Kshama’s campaigns and record in office is exactly why Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, donated $700 to our opponent’s campaign. It’s why $100,000 of big business money has flowed into our race. Make no mistake, there are billions in profits at stake. The CEOs want to unseat Kshama and cut across the movement we are building against the corporate agenda in Seattle and across the country.
Here’s how you can fight back against Brad Tilden and the corporate establishment:
Join us on September 12th at the Volunteer Kick-off – RSVP here.
Councilmember Sawant Gives Socialist Welcome to Bernie Sanders “Working People Need to Organize Against the Billionaire Class”
Saturday, August 8th @ 1:00 PM
Socialists share stage at 50th anniversary of Social Security and Medicare
4th Ave & Pine
Invite friends on Facebook
On Saturday August 8 the most well known socialists in the U.S., Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Seattle Socialist Alternative City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, will share the same stage to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Social Security and Medicare.
“It’s very exciting to have Sanders join us in Seattle. It’s a great opportunity to build the socialist movement to take on the billionaires that are strangling our economy and democracy. The support Sanders is receiving is a resounding confirmation of what my election showed in 2013 - people are hungry for an alternative to corporate politics,” remarked Councilmember Sawant.
“Bernie Sanders says the political system is broken and we need a political revolution. Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress. I’ve seen an identical process on the Seattle City Council. It is not the Council that controls big developers and business, it is big corporate interests that control the Council,” said Councilmember Sawant. “That's why we need to use the momentum of Sanders’ campaign to build a new kind of political organization, independent of corporate cash, in opposition to right-wing Republicans, but also independent from the Wall Street-dominated Democratic Party.”
“When I ran in 2012 and 2013 I was almost alone as a candidate in calling for the $15 minimum wage workers were demanding. Yet even now after the passage of $15 in Seattle, San Francisco, L.A., New York, and all 10 campuses of the University California system, the majority of corporate-backed candidates continue to drag their feet. Sanders, along with Jill Stein of the Green Party, are virtually alone as presidential candidates calling for a $15 federal minimum wage,” Sawant continued.
“Sanders stands out from the rest of the presidential candidates in refusing to take corporate money. I also do not accept corporate cash. Corporate CEOs are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat me and elect their hand-picked representatives to the rest of the Seattle City Council. Sanders will face an even larger storm of corporate money against him. The billionaire class controls the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties, as the recent vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership demonstrated,” said Sawant.
“If Bernie is unable to win the Democratic Party primary – which is dominated by corporate cash – we cannot support Hillary Clinton or other corporate Democrats who will not be our allies in the fight against the billionaire class,” argued Sawant. “Together working people can get organized and begin building a new political party that ends big business’ political monopoly.”
“I appeal to the thousands of supporters who have donated or volunteered for my campaign to join me at the Sanders rally. Let’s make Saturday’s rally a show of force to the billionaires who think they can buy our elections. Wear your 15 Now or campaign t-shirts and let’s greet Bernie Sanders with a sea of red supporters. Let’s show him how strong the socialist movement is in Seattle!” declared Councilmember Sawant.