Sorry Egan Orion, it’s not “just us.”

More than 500 people came out last week to watch the Seattle CityClub’s District 3 televised debate. Watch for yourself to see the clear choice between socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who unapologetically fights for working people in Seattle, and our opponent, who has received more corporate cash than any other City Council candidate in Seattle history!

Some highlights:

  • Kshama Sawant brings the voices of working people into City Hall. Our opponent calls that a “circus”. Claiming that politics should be more “civil,” Egan Orion referred to City Hall meetings as a “circus.” Kshama in response: “I am really pained, but unfortunately not surprised, to hear my opponent refer to ordinary people, genuine people, who are struggling to meet their basic needs, who come to City Hall to raise their voices, referring to that as a circus...that’s Mayor Durkan’s talking point...With this unprecedented inequality, what we’re seeing is the most uncivil and divisive thing that we’re seeing is the system itself, that makes untold profits for those at the top."
  • Kshama Sawant supports rent control. Our opponent does not. Orion came out swinging against rent control, claiming that it is “unworkable” and that we shouldn’t be raising false hope given the statewide ban. Kshama in response: “After having won victory after victory, we now have momentum. Bernie Sanders has supported rent control. This is the bill that AOC just introduced yesterday [holds up a copy of AOC’s legislation on rent control]... Oregon has done it, California has done it, New York has done it. We can do it too”. 
  • Kshama Sawant is fighting for affordable housing. Our opponent argues for trickle-down economics. In response to Kshama’s op-ed on the ongoing displacement and gentrification in the Chinatown-International District, our opponent has claimed that what people actually want is “more market-rate housing,” and essentially referred to the affordability crisis as a problem that doesn’t exist. When our opponent tried to deny this, Kshama explained: “What we need is elected officials who will not play games, telling one audience what they like to hear and another audience the exact opposite answer during an election year. As you know, I do not play games. Whether you like what I’m saying or not, you will always get 100% the truth.” 
  • Kshama Sawant is not for sale to corporate buyers. Our opponent says corporate cash doesn’t matter. In response to our opponent using misleading statistics to claim that his campaign is “hyper-local,” Kshama said: “My campaign has hundreds more donations from District 3 and the city of Seattle than my opponent. And the local donors that our opponent is talking about — let’s look at some examples. Billionaire John Stanton, who has donated hundreds of dollars to Republicans. Richard Hedreen, owner of multiple hotels, and a known union-buster and Republican donor...and the list goes on and on.” Orion’s reponse? “The fact that some of our donors are Amazon executives...we’re proud that people in District 3 are chiming in with their money.”


When the debate came to a close, members of the audience laughed and booed as the debate moderators thanked Amazon for sponsoring the debate. The corporate sponsorship shone through clearly, as one of the questions included a plug for an Amazon product, while the three debate moderators (all white men) repeatedly refused to allow Kshama a chance to respond to attacks while granting Orion extra time. 

Our opponent has said many times in this election: “It’s not us vs. them. It’s just us.” But what’s at stake this year is who runs Seattle: big businesses like Amazon, or working people.

Our campaign is fighting for rent control, the Amazon Tax on big business, and a Green New Deal. Led by Amazon, which has dropped $450,000, big business is fighting tooth and nail against these movements with an onslaught of corporate cash from their corporate PACs. 

In a recent interview, our opponent disingenuously claimed that he “didn’t realize CASE [the Chamber of Commerce PAC] had political positions.” Yet he applied for their endorsement, said he was “honored” to receive it, and has been bankrolled by a record-shattering deluge on behalf of his campaign! We can’t let them buy this election. Please donate $15, $50, or $500 to stand with us  working people, against them — corporate bullies.

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  • Eva Metz