We beat Jeff Bezos! Let’s build the fight for the city we need

I’m incredibly proud to announce our victory! Together, we defeated the determined efforts of the world’s richest man to buy Seattle City Hall. Thank you for all your support and sacrifices.

With mail-in ballot returns as of Friday night, we’ve surged from being eight points behind on election night to leading by 3.6 points and 1,515 votes, with that number likely to rise even further as the final thousand ballots are counted. 

These election results are a repudiation of the relentless attacks of the billionaire class and the lies of the corporate establishment. Working people have stood up and said loud and clear: Seattle is not for sale! We want to keep our socialist voice in City Hall. 

We won a stunning 60% of the later ballots, which come overwhelmingly from young and working-class people. While our district includes some of the wealthiest parts of the city — and is home to many members of the corporate elite like billionaire Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz — more working-class areas and neighborhoods with many young people and people of color, like Seattle’s Central District and Capitol Hill, voted decisively for our campaign. Many such precincts voted for us by more than 70% even on election night's initial returns. 

Our votes also show support amongst those who may not themselves be struggling but who share our vision for a city that is affordable for all working people and reject Seattle being a corporate tax haven for big businesses like Amazon.

We should be incredibly proud of what we accomplished in the face of a record-breaking corporate onslaught.

Amazon dropped a staggering $1.5 million to stop taxes on big business. Vulcan and the Washington Association of Realtors spent a combined $380,000 against rent control. And Puget Sound Energy, one of the region’s biggest polluters, spent $30,000 to stop a Green New Deal.

But we didn’t back down. Instead, we built the most powerful grassroots campaign Seattle has ever seen. 

Over 1,000 volunteers helped us knock on over 225,000 doors and make 200,000 phone calls. 7,900 working people chipped in to the campaign. We raised $570,000 with a median donation of just $20, smashing all previous records for both the number of donors and the total amount raised. 

But our work is not over — it is just beginning.

Our campaign was a referendum on the Amazon Tax. I look forward to working with this new, progressive Council to pass a tax on Amazon and Seattle’s biggest businesses. This Council has a responsibility to the working people who elected it. There is huge momentum citywide to fight for rent control and a Green New Deal for Seattle. 

Can you chip in $15, $50 or $500 to help our campaign lay the basis for these struggles?

Moving forward, I appeal to you to immediately join our fight for a People’s Budget. The Council released a draft budget last week that, while reflecting some important concessions to the demands of our grassroots organizing, is still essentially a “business-as-usual” budget. Please join us to reject another austerity budget and fight for affordable housing, restorative justice, and renters’ rights: come out to our People’s Budget Rally and Press Conference this Wednesday, 11/13, 8:30am at Seattle City Hall, followed by the City Council budget committee discussion.

None of this would have been possible without the support of Socialist Alternative, the grassroots organization I am a part of, whose members have contributed incredible amounts of time in the struggle for our re-election campaign, as well as many other struggles. We are fighting for a socialist world that puts people over profits, built on sustainability instead of climate catastrophe — a society based on solidarity, democracy and equality. Please join us and subscribe to our newspaper.

Watch this morning's press conference for a longer statement on our victory.

Finally, join us next Saturday, 11/16 at 6:00pm to celebrate our victory and begin discussing next steps — RSVP here.

In solidarity,

Kshama Sawant

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  • Eva Metz