We have a climate emergency. On the heels of the hottest June ever recorded worldwide, temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska just hit a record all-time high of 90 degrees this week. As one climate scientist described this summer’s heat waves, “Temperature records haven’t just been broken — they have been obliterated.”
Last year’s UN climate change report warned that we only have 12 years to drastically cut fossil fuels and prevent devastating repercussions of climate change. With a climate change denier in the White House who has filled his cabinet with fossil fuel interests, the need for grassroots struggle and bold leadership is only that much more urgent.
Since day one of this campaign, we’ve been calling for Seattle to lead the way on the climate crisis through a Green New Deal for working people: we need to make Seattle 100% renewable by 2030, tax the rich to massively expand public transit and make it fully electric and free at point-of use, and create thousands of well paying union jobs with a major program of wind and solar by Seattle public utilities and retrofitting homes and businesses to the highest efficiency standards.
Winning a Green New Deal — in Seattle and nationwide — will take building powerful movements which unite workers and environmental activists. We’re excited to announce that we’ve now been endorsed by the Sierra Club Washington State Chapter, Transit Riders Union and ATU 587!
Kshama Sawant has a powerful record of environmental leadership. We’re proud to be endorsed the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club, the nation's largest environmental organization. As Alec Connon, an organizer with 350 Seattle speaking in a personal capacity, said: “Councilmember Sawant has been a continual advocate for Seattle to do more in the struggle against global warming; whether it was sponsoring the ordinance to sever ties with Wells Fargo because of its funding of the Dakota Access pipeline, the resolution to oppose the Tacoma LNG facility or standing with us against Shell's Polar Pioneer, Councilmember Sawant has done more than almost any other Councilmember to further the cause of climate justice in our city.”
Amalgamated Transit Union 587 represents 4,500 bus drivers, technicians, and support staff, and we’re proud that they are one of the 14 unions already endorsing our campaign. Their national union took a bold stand at the height of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline by calling for a trillion-dollar green energy program instead of further investment in fossil fuels.
The Transit Riders Union has worked in coalition with Councilmember Sawant's office on a number of key issues, including taxing the rich and the Amazon Tax for affordable housing. A massive expansion of public transit is one of the most important components of a Green New Deal in Seattle. As Katie Wilson, the General Secretary of the Transit Riders Union said, “Since she was first elected in 2013, Kshama has been a strong voice for expanding mass transit and making transit free. She also understands that we can’t keep building our transit system on the backs of working and poor people— we have to fight to flip our regressive tax system so that wealthy people and corporations start paying their fair share for public goods like public transit.”
Avoiding climate catastrophe will take a rapid shift away from fossil fuels. We will need to bring the big U.S. energy corporations into democratic public ownership and retool them for clean energy.
To try to quash the growing momentum for climate action, Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) corporation has already invested $30,000 into the nearly $1 million-strong coffers of the Chamber of Commerce’s corporate PAC. The PAC has made defeating Kshama Sawant its top priority this election cycle. The latest campaign finance disclosures reveal that the PAC has already unleashed over $100,000 against our campaign, spending more on District 3’s race than on any other in the city.
More than 60% of PSE’s power in 2017 came from coal and natural gas, while less than 10% of Puget Sound Energy’s power comes from wind and solar. PSE has fought against modest initiatives to curb fossil fuel emissions at the state level, and they are currently constructing a dangerous liquid natural gas (fracking) export terminal in Tacoma on ancestral lands of the Puyallup tribe.
PSE is deeply threatened by our call for a Green New Deal for working people. They are determined to stop the re-election of Kshama Sawant, the socialist who makes things happen. We can’t afford to let them — donate today.
The Chamber of Commerce’s mammoth corporate PAC has unleashed its first wave of cash for the 2019 Seattle City Council elections, and campaign finance disclosures confirm exactly what we’ve been warning: the PAC has already spent over $100,000 against Kshama Sawant, spending more on District 3’s race than on any other in the city.
Let’s follow the money. The CASE PAC’s war chest of over $850,000 consists of:
💰💰💰 $250,000 from Amazon, the world’s biggest retail corporation, with $200,000 of that coming in this Spring. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the entire world, with over $100 billion and growing, while Seattle has the highest rate of homelessness of any city in the country. Bezos has already given a live demonstration of how far he’s prepared to go to stop the fight for affordable housing in Seattle with his bullying tactics to force through last year's Amazon Tax repeal. Kshama Sawant was one of only two votes to stand up against him.
💰💰 $155,000 from Vulcan, the huge for-profit luxury housing development firm, with $80,000 coming just last week. Vulcan has repeatedly flexed its weight against progressive movements. They were another of the big donors who pressured City Council to repeal the progressive Amazon Tax, which could have funded thousands of affordable homes. Vulcan is deeply afraid of our movement for rent control.
💰$30,000 from Comcast, which has fought hard to maintain their virtual monopoly on internet in Seattle with their overpriced and slow services, even using illegal schemes to scam millions in profits. Comcast is afraid of our call for Municipal Broadband in Seattle and wants to pull the plug on our movement.
💰30,000 from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) corporation, which has opposed even modest initiatives to curb fossil fuel emissions at the state level and is currently constructing a controversial liquid natural gas (fracking) export terminal in Tacoma on ancestral lands for the Puyallup tribe. PSE doesn’t like the sound of a Green New Deal for working people and wants to stop Kshama Sawant, the socialist who makes things happen, from being re-elected.
This year, Comcast, PSE, Vulcan, and Amazon are all hellbent on driving out the socialist who is organizing for municipal broadband, a Green New Deal, a tax on Amazon and big business to fund a massive expansion of affordable housing, and universal rent control. These big business bullies have deep pockets, and they are used to getting their way. It’s clear that they are deeply threatened by Kshama Sawant, one of the most effective fighters for working people to ever to sit in City Hall.
Corporate PACs are on track to shatter records for campaign spending, without the same limits as the voucher program or individual donors. Our grassroots campaign must shatter records too. We’re proud that our grassroots campaign has already raised $195,000, which puts us only $5,000 away from cancelling out Amazon’s massive $200,000 PAC donation from earlier this year!
Where do our donations come from?
💪 A median donation of just $20
💪 Over twice as many donors as any of our opponents
💪 The most District 3 donors of any campaign
💪 Working people like yourself — we don’t take a penny from corporations, CEOs, business lobbyists, or big developers
What’s at stake this year is who runs Seattle: Amazon and big business, or working people. Donate today to cancel out Amazon’s $200,000 PAC donation. If 250 people chip in $20, our median donation so far, we can do it.
Teachers unions are at the forefront of struggle for quality education and workers rights.Teachers strikes in recent years have reinvigorated the labor movement. We need to stand with teachers defending public education in Seattle and nationally.
We are proud to now be endorsed by the Seattle Education Association! This joins the growing list of 14 unions who have endorsed Kshama, representing over 80,000 workers in Washington state. The recent increase in labor struggles and the growth of the socialist movement are desperately needed in the face of corporate and right-wing attacks on our living standards.
Fully-funded quality public education is a central part of the wider struggle for equality. We need to tax big business and the rich to fully fund our schools while standing up against the corporate “reform,” union-busting and privatization agenda.
Teachers and students also need to be able to afford to live in the city where they work and learn. This is one reason why our fight for rent control and affordable housing is so urgent. A massive increase in quality social housing, like public education, should be paid for by taxes on the big corporations and the super rich.
Matt Maley, District 3 resident and educator at Nova High School, located in the heart of Seattle’s Central District represented by Sawant said: “When students walked out against staff cuts at NOVA high school at the start of this school year, Kshama opened the doors of City Hall for them and put resources into supporting them, while most politicians and School Board members simply gave lip service to our students. Even though the district forced through the cuts at that time, in the wake of this important struggle Kshama’s office helped win $100,000 for an LGBTQ+ health center at NOVA through the People’s Budget. This is just one of countless examples of the crucial role Kshama has played in fighting for educators, students and public education.”
The struggle for equality in our public schools is necessary now more than ever. The Seattle Public School Board recently decided to end its partnership with the Urban Native Education Alliance, cutting a vital program for Indigenous students that has contributed to a major increase in graduation rates. This points in the wrong direction, and Kshama is proud to stand with indigenous leaders, community groups, teachers and students who are fighting against this injustice as part of a wider fight to make quality education truly accessible, providing for all students.
Jesse Hagopian, the Seattle teacher who led the way in creating ethnic studies programs across the city said, “There are a lot of politicians who make empty platitudes about the youth being the future. There are very few who actually fight to defend public education so that the future of our youth can be bright. We live in a city with unimaginable wealth at time of unprecedented growth and a booming economy. And yet we have hundreds of homeless students in the Seattle Public Schools and a $40 million dollar budget shortfall leading to hundreds of teachers being displaced from their schools. Kshama Sawant has been one of the few politicians who has been a consistent champion for our schools and our educators. Most importantly, she knows that her job is to support educators, students, and parents to rise up to create the fundamental change we need in public education.”
When we stand together and fight, we can win! Still, we are up against powerful forces who want “anybody but Kshama” elected in District 3. Corporate PACs have already amassed over one million dollars to try to buy this election. Stand with teachers and union activists and help us cancel out the PAC by donating today! And save the date for an Educators for Sawant fundraiser & house party on July 14.
43rd District Democratic Party Board Members, pictured with Kshama, after attending the Democrats for Sawant House Party on June 12th. From left to right: Rod Palmquist, Joey Wieser, Brad Bell, Shua Sanchez, Amy Madden
43rd District Democrats just delivered another big victory for our campaign, deciding against endorsing any of our Democratic Party opponents in the District 3 race. Like the decision taken by the 37th District Democrats in May, in which #TeamKshama won a “no consensus” vote, the failure of Kshama’s opponents to win the 60% threshold needed to get the endorsement reflects the enthusiastic support for socialist City Councilmember Sawant among grassroots Democrats.
Since she was elected to City Council in 2013, every important victory Kshama has helped lead in winning was the result of building broad coalitions including Democrats, socialists, union and community activists, and others. From the $15/hr minimum wage, to renters' rights legislation and Indigenous People’s Day, rank-and-file Democratic activists played an important role. At the same time, Kshama has never made a secret of her call for building a working class political alternative to both corporate-controlled parties, or her membership in Socialist Alternative. In this context, the decision of the Democrats not to endorse longtime 43rd member and former 43rd Board Member, Zachary DeWolf, in his home turf is especially significant.
Below we are publishing a letter from three leading grassroots Democrats on why they are backing Kshama.
Why Democrats Support Kshama Sawant
Robert Cruickshank, leader in the 36th LD Democrats
Amy Madden, leader in the 43rd LD Democrats
Claude Burfect, 37th Democrats, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
This year's City Council elections come at a critical moment in the history of Seattle. Wealthy interests and Republicans are striking back, determined to derail recent progress and block Seattle from any new, bold action on behalf of working people.
We all have a choice to make this year. When we mark our ballots, we're declaring which side we are on. As Democratic Party leaders and activists, we're on the side of working people. And that's why we're on the side of Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
If you read our state Democratic Party platform, one of the most progressive in the nation, you will find strong language challenging corporate power. "We oppose the undue influence of corporations on our society, government and political process," it reads. You'll find a bold call for climate action: "The struggle to protect our planet’s climate health must be seen as mutually dependent and interwoven with the struggles for racial and economic justice." You'll also find calls for tax fairness, shared prosperity, affordable housing, and health care as a human right.
Councilmember Sawant is the candidate in District 3 who best embodies those core values of Democrats in Seattle and in Washington State. We will never forget the key role she played in winning a $15 minimum wage for Seattle, inspiring other cities and states to adopt it as well. (We know the big corporations and wealthy donors haven't forgotten it either.)
Sawant has won a series of victories for tenant rights, capping move-in fees and blocking rent increases at substandard rental homes. She stood with residents of public housing, including immigrants and refugees, to stop a massive rent increase at Seattle Housing Authority properties.
She is fighting for a Green New Deal, voting to build more affordable housing across Seattle and take on the old zoning policies rooted in discrimination in order to promote housing justice — and she matches it with strong work against gentrification and displacement. She has worked closely with Democratic Party elected officials and activists to achieve these victories, and we know she is always willing to show up in the community and stand with working people fighting for justice.
In the next few weeks and months, however, you'll hear from well-funded corporate-backed PACs trying to tell you other, misleading stories about Sawant. As progressive Democrats, we know what it's like when regressive forces mobilize to try and stop progress. And we know how to fight back.
One of the main corporate PACs, Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), is funded by megacorporations who have a long and ugly record of opposing working people. Amazon, of course, has contributed $200,000. The Washington Association of Realtors, which spends lots of time in Olympia trying to preserve our regressive, upside-down tax code, donated $25,000. Comcast gave $15,000 to protect their poor quality internet and their even worse customer service. And Puget Sound Energy took time out from trying to undermine climate action and donated $15,000.
Another PAC, "People for Seattle," organized by former Councilmember and Mayor Tim Burgess, has taken money from wealthy Republican donors. People for Seattle donor Bruce McCaw of Bellevue, for example, gave the Washington State Republicans at least $35,000 in 2018 while also donating heavily to try and protect Republican control of Congress. Tom Alberg joined McCaw in donating to Dino Rossi and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Al Clise also donated several thousand dollars to McMorris Rodgers.
Much of this money will be spent to defeat Sawant. As Seattle Democrats, we would be failing to do our jobs if we let big corporations and their Republican allies get away with this blatant attempt to influence and decide the outcome of our elections.
We don't yet know which of Sawant's challengers will benefit most from all this big money. Still, these candidates are already failing to make a convincing case for themselves. Sawant's challengers are not strong or consistent on important issues. At forums and in published reports, we have seen these challengers flip-flop or hedge on crucial issues such as rent control, taxing big corporations, and other key choices facing our city.
The battle over the head tax reminded us that we need champions on the City Council who will boldly stand up to corporate power, take on big money, and fight in the public interest and for working people. We have no doubt that Kshama Sawant will continue to be that leader. She's been doing it for the last six years on the City Council.
We are Democrats because of our shared commitment to economic justice, racial equity, and building better communities for everyone. We look at candidates based on their values, not based on the jersey they wear. In District 3, the Democratic choice is Kshama Sawant. We’re proud to endorse her, and we know she’ll fight for us and for all working people.
We’re excited to announce four more big endorsements for our campaign: the Sierra Club, Washington State Chapter; ATU Local 587, representing 4,500 public transit workers; SEIU Local 6, representing over 7,000 janitors, security officers, airport passenger service workers, and allied industries workers; and UAW 1981/National Writers Union, representing freelance writers!
We’re proud that we now lead Seattle’s District 3 race in labor endorsements with twelve unions and counting: SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW, SEIU Local 6, Unite Here! Local 8, UAW 4121, ATU Local 587, Operating Engineers Local 609, Laborers Local 1239, WFSE 1488, WFSE 3488, WFSE 304, UAW 1981, and the Greater Seattle Area American Postal Workers’ Union.
We’re also honored to have the endorsement of the Washington Chapter of the Sierra Club. With the extreme threat of climate change, we are using our campaign this year’s campaign to build momentum for a Green New Deal, to make Seattle 100% renewable by 2030.
Additionally, we are endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Alternative, as well as dozens of powerful community leaders. In addition, Democratic activists with the Democratic Party’s 37th District won a "no consensus" vote in May, widely seen as a victory for our campaign (as a Socialist Alternative candidate independent of the Democratic Party, the bylaws of the 37th LD barred Kshama from seeking their formal endorsement).
We’re extremely proud that so many fighting unions in Seattle have already endorsed us this year. SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW represents over 30,000 nurses, health care workers, and behavioral health workers. Councilmember Kshama Sawant was proud to walk the picket line with courageous SEIU Healthcare 1199NW workers at Swedish Medical Center in 2015 and at Harborview in 2016. She has also fought alongside the union for policies working families in Seattle need, like $15/hr, paid family and parental leave, and a tax on Amazon and Seattle’s biggest businesses to fund affordable housing.
UAW 4121 represents over 4,500 workers at the University of Washington. In addition to fighting for workers’ rights for their members, the union fights for social and economic justice on campus and in the community through participation in a broad range of organizations and struggles. When graduate student workers in UAW 4121 went on strike last year, Kshama joined them on the picket line and sponsored a resolution in City Hall calling on the UW administration to pay them a living wage.
Kshama has fought in solidarity with security workers at Amazon, organizing with SEIU 6, against discrimination and Islamophobia, the flouting of labor laws, and even illegitimate firings by Amazon executives. In recent weeks, these workers just defeated the world’s richest man, forcing Amazon to dump its private contractor and recognize the union. We’re incredibly proud to have the endorsement of an Amazon workers’ union this year as we fight for rent control and for taxing Amazon and big business to fund a massive expansion of social housing for working people.
A rank-and-file member of AFT1789 herself, Kshama Sawant has been one of the most consistent fighters for working people and unions to ever sit on the Seattle City Council. As John Frazier, President of WFSE Local 3488 at Harborview Medical Center, explained: “Kshama Sawant has been a powerful force for the people — leading the way on the $15 minimum wage, landmark renters' rights laws, and fighting for workers' rights. We need to keep her voice in City Hall.”
Councilmember Kshama Sawant has consistently fought in the interests of working people, which means standing up to Amazon, the Chamber of Commerce, and big developers. Already, corporate PACs have amassed $1 million for ‘anybody but Kshama Sawant,’ $200,000 of that from Amazon alone. We can’t let Amazon and big business buy this election.
Our campaign doesn’t take a dime in corporate cash. Instead, we are funded by over 1,000 working people in Seattle, with the most grassroots donors of any campaign in Seattle’s District 3 race, including the most donors from within District 3. And in a year with a record-breaking 56 candidates filing for Seattle’s City Council elections, we were also proud that ours was the only campaign in the entire city to qualify for office by collecting signatures. With 3,500 signatures from voters in District 3, we collected almost 3 times the required number in only 3 weeks’ time.
In addition to the twelve unions and the progressive organizations like the Sierra Club which have already endorsed our campaign, we’re honored to be endorsed by dozens of powerful community leaders, workers and activists. To see all our endorsements, please visit the new Endorsements page on our website! Join #TeamKshama: donate today and add your personal endorsement here.
As your City Councilmember, I’ve fought tirelessly over the last five years to represent working people, renters, working-class homeowners and all oppressed people, and to help bring your voices to Seattle’s City Hall. Like you, I want to live in a city that is rooted in social justice and affordable for all.
Seattle is rapidly becoming a playground for the rich, while working people, small businesses, people of color and LGBTQ people are being gentrified out of our city. The Seattle area is home to the world’s only two members of the 100 billion dollar club, yet we have the highest rate of homelessness per capita. Our affordable housing crisis is one of the worst in the country.
Seattle’s District 3 — including the historically people-of-color Central District and the historically LGBTQ Capitol Hill — is at the epicenter of this crisis. Corporate developers are raking in profits, while working people are being gentrified out of the CD and Capitol Hill. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Central District was over 70% black — now, it’s less than 20%. And on average, one of our neighbors in District 3 is evicted every other day.
But we’re fighting back! Our office, alongside movements, has played a key role in fighting gentrification in Capitol Hill and the Central District, winning a series of landmark victories for renters’ rights and affordable housing, and against displacement of working-class residents.
Big business and the Chamber of Commerce claim that we need someone who will better represent Seattle’s District 3. Our opponents in the race often say they will “listen to everyone in the District.” In the words of community leader and trans activist Mac McGregor, “If you want thoughts and prayers, there are many other offices to call. If you want action, [Kshama’s] office is the one to call. Because hers is the one that gets stuff done.”
What big business really means when they talk about District 3 representation is that I don’t represent them. And in fact, I unapologetically fight for ordinary people and do not represent the corporate elite. Nor have I ever claimed to represent “everyone” in District 3. For instance, I don’t represent District 3 resident Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who has opposed the $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. In a situation of deep inequality, it is either willfully disingenuous or just plain naïve for politicians and candidates to claim that they represent everybody. My office hears all the time from working people, LGBTQ and people of color in our district who say they’ve never felt more heard or represented by an elected office as they do by ours.Read more
Delta, Alaska, and American Airlines are boasting record profits, while their workers are struggling for their basic needs. The hospitality workers who load airline food and beverages are fighting back! They have courageously authorized strike action — by over 99% at SeaTac! — to demand better pay and affordable healthcare.
#TeamKshama unequivocally supports not only these SeaTac workers organized with Unite Here! Local 8, but also the over 11,000 workers in 20 other cities across the country who are voting on whether to take strike action. Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a rank and file member of AFT 1789 herself, has been a consistent fighter for working people and unions on the Seattle City Council, and we’re proud to have Unite Here! Local 8’s endorsement for our re-election campaign.
Instead of backing down to lesser offers, these hospitality workers have forced the bosses into federal mediation for denying them a fair contract. Nationally, many of these workers are still fighting to win raises to $15/hour. Five years ago, Councilmember Sawant worked alongside labor and unorganized minimum wage workers, socialists, and our 15NOW campaign, to build the movement that won Seattle’s historic $15 minimum wage.
Additionally, Unite Here! hotel workers at Embassy Suites in Seattle have been taking action against the bosses for a fair contract since last September. Join #TeamKshama on the picket lines this Tuesday at 2pm to support Unite Here! hotel workers demanding “One Job Should Be Enough!”
Big business is used to getting their way, which is why Amazon and other corporate interests have flooded $1 million into corporate PACs to back “anybody but Kshama.” This is because Kshama’s Council Office not only gets things done with residents in District 3, but has led movements to win millions for affordable housing and new renters’ protections while walking the picket lines in solidarity with union workers taking action. From SEA teachers to SEIU security workers at Amazon, worker actions have shown that when we organize, we can win — a union, a better contract, stronger workplace protections. Let’s fight for a Seattle that’s affordable for all working people.
Sign up here to add your name to Democrats for Sawant, and see below for the list of endorsers so far.
Board members of the 43rd District Democratic Party, pictured with Kshama, after attending the Democrats for Sawant House Party on June 12th. From left to right: Rod Palmquist, Joey Wieser, Brad Bell, Shua Sanchez, Amy Madden
On Wednesday, grassroots Democratic Party leaders and activists gathered for a house party to raise funds and get organized in support of Kshama Sawant’s re-election campaign. The event was co-hosted by 23 leading activists from four of Seattle's Democratic Legislative Districts.
In May, activists with the Democratic Party’s 37th District won a "no consensus" vote, widely seen as a victory for Kshama Sawant’s re-election campaign. As a member of Socialist Alternative, not the Democratic Party, the bylaws of the 37th LD barred Kshama from seeking their formal endorsement.
Writing about their victory in the Capitol Hill Blog, Amy Hagopian explained that progressive Democrats are supporting Sawant because “on the issues that they care about most — affordable housing, climate justice, gender/racial justice, public schools, police accountability and worker protections — Kshama Sawant remains far and away the best representative for the District, despite not being a member of their party. The vote affirmed that for most grassroots Democrats, the party branding is less important to them than how the candidates stand and perform on the issues.”
Now, activists in the 43rd District Democrats are gearing up to win a similar victory at the 43rd LD this Tuesday, June 18th. Most working people, including most Democrats, don’t want Amazon and big business to run Seattle, or this country. With over a million in corporate PAC money lined up to try to buy this election - and to block efforts toward rent control or taxing the rich to fund affordable housing - it’s vital that we do all we can to get Kshama re-elected.
If you are a Seattle area Democrat and support Kshama, please add your name before Tuesday to help us build momentum before the 43rd District Democrats vote on their endorsement this Tuesday.Read more
We’re excited to share that the US Postal Service has agreed to establish a new Central District Post Office at 23rd and Union!
This victory was possible because community members spoke out about the need for the basic service of a public post office in the Central District. Kshama not only listened, she took action — her Council Office put forward a petition and organized a community meeting on May 2 with US Postal service officials. Thanks to the 662 community members who signed the petition, 80+ people who attended the community meeting, and the dozens of people who wrote letters to the Postal Service demanding an end to the post office desert, we made our message loud and clear: Central District residents demand a new Post Office!
“The Post Office returning to the Central District is great, especially for the community elders - they can send and gather mail and purchase money orders and stamps,” noted Georgio Brown, a filmmaker and resident of the new Liberty Bank Building apartments. “Not everyone is mailing via the internet, the post office provides a real neighborhood feel and I am happy it’s coming back.”
The loss of our Central District Post Office was another alarming sign of the gentrification of our historically people-of-color, working-class community. Working-class homeowners and renters both bear the brunt of deeply regressive taxation and skyrocketing rents. On average, one of our neighbors in District 3 is evicted every other day, with many of these evictions leading to homelessness.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s office has played a key role in fighting against gentrification and displacement. Together, we’ve won a series of landmark renters’ rights victories, including the Move-In-Fee cap and the “Carl Haglund” law barring rent increases at substandard homes. In District 3, our struggles have included fighting to save Saba (an immigrant-owned Ethiopian restaurant in District 3) and the Umoja PEACE center, and organizing alongside tenants in the Chateau apartments, the Kenton apartments, the Central Area Senior Center and Byrd Barr Place. And while Capitol Hill and the Central District are home to the most rapid gentrification in our city, Kshama has also responded to working people in need all across Seattle. This year alone, we’ve won important victories like winning emergency protection for seniors facing economic eviction by for-profit developers at the Halycon mobile homes park and winning another extension on saving the historic Showbox music venue.
Winning back the Central District Post Office is an important step forward in this struggle. But as Seattle increasingly becomes a playground for the rich, we need rent control and a tax on Amazon and big business to fund a massive expansion of social housing.
We need elected officials like Kshama Sawant who are unafraid to stand up to the for-profit developers and CEOs like Jeff Bezos who are making massive profits by pushing working people out of District 3 and the city of Seattle. Join us to defend our seat for working people on the City Council this year - make your donation today.
In her 5 years on City Council, Councilmember Kshama Sawant (a rank-and-file member of the American Federation of Teachers herself) has been proud to use every avenue possible to support workers’ rights. Workers and their unions here and around the country have been moving into struggle and winning victories, demonstrating how when workers organize, we can win.
In recent months, workers have some big victories in Seattle. Last week, Kshama was honored to join security workers at the Frye Art Museum in District 3 who have courageously organized and voted to form a union!
As she said at their press conference:
“My council office and I will do everything in our power to support these workers in their fight for dignity, good pay, respect at work, and for their right to housing affordability in Seattle…I salute their bravery in standing up, and I encourage all workers, no matter where you work, to follow in the footsteps of these workers and form unions if you don’t have a union, so that you can fight for better working conditions.”
Unfortunately, management at the Frye museum is refusing to voluntarily recognize workers’ right to unionize and is employing anti-union tactics. This means that unionization will be decided by an election through the National Labor Relations Board on June 18 - while, in the meantime, management pushes propaganda to try to dissuade unionization. We will continue to stand by Frye workers in their fight!
Kshama has also been organizing in solidarity with SEIU 6 Amazon security workers against discrimination and Islamophobia, flouting of labor laws, and even illegitimate firings. These workers just won a huge victory, defeating the richest man in the world and winning their union.
Earlier this year, Seattle emergency medical technicians (EMTs) organized with Teamsters 763 fought a months-long contract struggle with for-profit American Medical Response (AMR) corporation and won what they described as “one of the best contracts we have achieved with AMR."
EMTs save lives, serving our city with dedication and self-sacrifice. Yet we heard from EMTs who couldn’t afford to live in Seattle and were working multiple jobs just to get by, some even having to donate plasma to make the rent. When the EMTs refused to accept the substandard wages and benefits in their contract, AMR threatened to pull out of Seattle and remove vital emergency services from our city.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant supported the courageous EMTs and helped build a movement that forced City Council to pass a resolution supporting the EMTs against AMR’s corporate bullying.
Kshama's Council Office was honored and humbled to receive a thank you letter from Teamsters 763: "...When our backs were against the wall, you were there for us. We will never forget it." We will continue to fight alongside the Teamster EMTs in their demand to bring all emergency services into full public ownership.
As Kshama Sawant has consistently demonstrated, standing fully on the side of working people also means standing up to their bosses and being unafraid to make powerful enemies. Already, big business has thrown $1 million into corporate PACs. These corporate interests - including Amazon, which single-handedly poured in $200,000 - have a vested interest in keeping wages low and workers’ protections weak. Their top priority this year is to get ‘anybody but Kshama Sawant’ for District 3’s seat.
But the way we won our re-election in 2015 against a record flood of corporate cash, and the way we will win again this year, is with thousands of working people contributing their valuable time and money. We’re incredibly proud that we already have a clear lead with our support from working people, including early endorsements from nine labor unions in Seattle and over $150,000 entirely in grassroots donations, without a dime in corporate cash. Can you chip in $15 today to re-elect Kshama Sawant, a fearless fighter for working people?