What’s at stake in this year’s election is who runs Seattle — Amazon and big business, or working people. Over the past six years, our city council seat has consistently organized alongside working people to win real victories.
That’s one reason why we’re incredibly proud to have the endorsement of SEIU Local 6, which now includes Amazon workers, as we fight for rent control and for taxing Amazon and big business to fund a massive expansion of social housing for working people.
Representing over 7,000 janitors, security officers, airport passenger service workers, and allied industries workers, SEIU Local 6 workers have stood up against discrimination and Islamophobia, the flouting of labor laws, and even illegitimate firings by Amazon executives. Kshama fought in solidarity with security workers at Amazon and celebrated alongside the union when they forced Amazon to dump its private contractor and recognize the union.
Amazon clearly understands what’s at stake in this election. As Geekwire recently reported, “[t]hough Amazon isn’t endorsing candidates directly, the company has put money in the game. Amazon donated $200,000 to the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, which just released its endorsements.” The hundreds of thousands of dollars Amazon is throwing into the Seattle elections is about backing “anybody but Kshama,” funding candidates they anticipate will carry forward *their* agenda — and not what working people in Seattle need.
While we don’t have billionaires like Jeff Bezos funding our campaign, we are demonstrating once again that it’s possible to run a powerful campaign that’s not for sale to big business. We’re incredibly proud that our grassroots campaign is about to cancel Amazon's $200,000 PAC contribution! We only have $1000 to go — donate today to push us over the top!
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos makes enough money every day to pay all the back rent owed by every Seattle resident who faced eviction in 2017. Amazon nearly doubled its profits to an eye-popping $11.2 billion last year, up from $5.6 billion in 2017. For two years in a row, the corporation completely dodged the 21% tax rate corporations are supposed to pay (which is outrageously now even lower than before thanks to Trump’s corporate tax cuts). Nowhere is the failure and rottenness of neoliberal, “trickle down” economics more apparent than right here in Amazon’s home city, Seattle. The world’s two richest billionaires live in King County — and yet, working people face the threat of economic eviction from rising rents and a city becoming dramatically unaffordable for them.
In society, it’s broadly understood that the top 1% hoarding wealth contributes to extreme social issues. It’s no coincidence that Amazon donated over $350,000 to get Mayor Durkan elected, and then she organized the city establishment to repeal the Amazon tax last year, in a move that stole millions of dollars from Seattle that would have gone toward affordable housing. However, the movement we built to tax big business and stand up to Amazon’s bullying had a broader impact, including the passing of big business taxes to fund affordable housing and homeless services, such the "Google Tax," in three California cities.
Our Tax Amazon movement also helped to raise the confidence of working people in Queens. They organized against the proposed HQ2 and a $3 billion dollar corporate hand-out from taxpayers to Amazon while working people in New York struggle to get by — and they won! More recently, New York renters refused to back down in the face of powerful big business interests, winning historic tenant protections against evictions, security deposits, application fees and stronger rent controls. New Yorkers with access to rent control want more of it, not less!
This is why Councilmember Sawant’s council seat is dedicated to building coalitions of working people, labor, socialists and young people to fight for the interests of the 99%. To begin addressing Seattle’s affordable housing crisis and build the social housing we need, we must tax Amazon and big business, not further burden working people. We must tax the rich to massively expand public transit, making it free and fully electric. We must tax the rich to fully fund public education and to create free, high-speed municipal broadband. In this struggle, we support the fight to unionize Amazon and all workplaces in Seattle, a crucial part of the fight to shift the balance of power away from the corporate elite and into the hands of working people.
Please donate today to stand with Amazon workers and cancel out Amazon’s $200,000 PAC contribution.