Described by the Seattle Weekly as "too hard left for Seattle", Socialist Alternative's Kshama Sawant has been voted back on to the Seattle City Council for a second term.
KSHAMA SAWANT HAS PROVED THAT not only can socialists get elected to office, they can get re-elected as well.
She has been voted back on to the Seattle City Council for a second term.
Kshama has declared the win “a strong victory for all working people, for the socialist movement,” and said that her re-election signalled that “socialist politics are here to stay” in Seattle.
"“We have accomplished something historic,' she told supporters on Tuesday night. “We have had an open socialist re-elected to City Council.”
Her supporters have stressed that Kshama's campaign has been about 'doing politics in a different way' and that it has been about fighting for the interests of ordinary people rather than those of the corporations. Her victory showed what people could achieve by getting organised.
During her first year in office, Kshama won a major campaign for working people with the vote in May 2014 to increase Seattle’s minimum wage to US$15 per hour. She has also campaigned for increased taxes on the wealthy and for rent controls.
She has opposed attempts to privatise public transportation and education.
Over 600 volunteers, more than 30 unions, and dozens of progressive organizations backed Kshama’s campaign against her Democrat opponent Pamela Banks.
Banks had the support of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the real estate lobby, the landlord lobby, Amazon.com, six conservative members of the city council, and a handful of Republican millionaires who supported Banks in the final weeks of the campaign.
The Seattle Weekly has consistently attacked Kshama. "A zealous show horse corralled by Trotskyite thinking," was just one of the newspaper's many 'colourful' descriptions of her.
In November 2013 Kshama became the first socialist City Councillor elected in Seattle in over a century. Before running for office, she was involved in Seattle’s Occupy movement, which she credits with bringing issues of class, capitalism, and inequality into the political debate.