Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

US: Kshama Sawant up for re-election

Kshama Sawant’s election to the Seattle City Council in 2013 made history as the first socialist councillor elected in Seattle in 100 years. Kshama is again on the ballot for the July 2015 election; the only candidate who obtained the qualifying 1,119 signatures rather than paying the $1119 registration fee.

Currently Kshama has an approval rating of 61%; the highest of all Seattle Council members. Kshama’s opponents and their supporters in big business are desperate to ensure that she does not get to serve another term.

Since being elected Kshama has exceeded her promises; a great example being the historic campaign to raise the minimum wage. The successful $15 Now campaign made Seattle the first city to raise the minimum wage to $15. Kshama also organised against the Seattle Housing Authorities proposed rent hikes; leading a campaign to challenge an outrageous 400% increase on low income properties.

Kshama has shown what a socialist public representative can do when coupled with social movements. Having Kshama; a fierce defender of the working class in city council has shown people that they can have a voice, and that the needs of the ordinary people of Seattle should be met.

By Emma Davey