Socialist Sawant makes push for Council with calls for $15 minimum wage, millionaire tax

kshama01Kshama Sawant  – a Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University economics professor and 2012 Socialist candidate for the 43rd legislative seat – has announced her next political campaign will be against Richard Conlin for a seat on the Seattle City Council.

Sawant will now position her left-of-center politics against the former City Council president.

CHS reported on Sawant in November when she lost against Democratic state House Speaker Frank Chopp, but still walked away with a strong showing for an ardently left-wing candidate.

Socialist candidate for the 43rd legislative seat Kshama Sawant managed an unheard of 27% in early returns. We’re assuming Sonicsgate backlash also might have taken a bite out of Frank Chopp on his way to a still-easy victory.

“We will be running a vigorous grassroots campaign that will fight for low paid workers, youth, poor people and people of color facing police brutality, and all those who are shut out by the Democratic Party political machine that runs this city on behalf of a tiny elite,” Sawant says in a press release.

According to the release, Sawant’s City Council campaign will focus on:

  • Initiating a Millionaire Tax to fund public education and a green jobs program
  • Expanding public transit
  • A $15/hour minimum wage in the city
  • Scrapping the MAP test in Seattle Public Schools
  • Highlighting systematic SPD brutality, racial profiling and repression of social movements
  • A campaign against coal trains

41 thoughts on “Socialist Sawant makes push for Council with calls for $15 minimum wage, millionaire tax

  1. Does this person realize that the City Council has absolutely no jurisdiction over Seattle Public Schools? I’m also pretty certain that the City does not have the authority to set minimum wage or levy a millionaire tax. Sounds like she’s running for the wrong office.

    Not that I don’t agree with her on these issues, but don’t promise or campaign for things that are not even within the jurisdiction of the office you are running for.

    • Actually, cities CAN set their own minimum wage. San Francisco has the highest in the country. Seattle may have to get a law or exception to a law in Olympia but that work would be done by CITY COUNCIL. Remember, City councillors write the laws and lobby for legislation that allows for a better Seattle. So, you are WRONG in assuming there’s no way. Change is just that: changing the system. We live in a (quasi) electoral democracy. Our elected officials need to get of their arses more and create laws and systems that benefit us instead of making the same old BS tired excuses.

      • Just because California allows their cities to set minimum wages doesn’t mean Washington does. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Just as Washington does not allow cities to pass ordinances regarding guns.

        • Just because WA may not allow cities to set minimum wages doesn’t mean it can’t. People make legislation. It’s not a decree from nature. Way to be brainwashed and accepting of the shitty status quo though ;-)

        • The city council can pass what it can call a “privilege tax”, which is the same as what the Sawant campaign is calling a Millionaire Tax. It would be an income tax.

    • Kshama Sawant, have you EVER lived in socialist country??
      Because I have.

      In what socialism implementation do you have hands-on or living experience??
      Because I have.

      How much do you really know about it??
      Because I know a lot. I’ve lived it for half of my life.

  2. Authority/jurisdiction issues aside; $15? That’s crazy. I’m all for a more equal society, and people receiving a living wage but quick fixes like this are just side stepping underlying societal issues like properly funded education. Then of course you have the fact that this action seems ripe for some unintended consequences. Crazy.

    • Absolutely. I do believe in a minimum wage, but I don’t think a mandated “living wage” will work. I don’t have a degree in economics, but it seems like a $15 minimum wage would drive up the cost of living so much that those making minimum wage wouldn’t really have any more buying power than they do now.

      Why can’t politicians on both sides just be more reasonable with us about what they can and cannot accomplish.

      With the exception of the Mayor, I’m pretty satisfied with our current city Council.

  3. Economics professor? Oh! But why stop at $15? I think we’d be much better off if the minimum wage were at least $55.

    • You naysayers all show your classist ignorant ways. You’ve been raised in societies where the Chicago School way of thinking dominates. The Chicago School’s flawed, greedy Milton Friedman dictates tired, failed trickle down economics where power structures work to keep all expenditures down so the profits of a few can soar. Gimme a break. A living wage IS sustainable and do-able. I find it funny that you all live in the state with the highest minimum wage where the sky is NOT falling down, yet you doubt the benefits of putting more money into the pockets of the masses. Should we just farm out everything to poor people overseas because it’s cheaper short-term? Shitty wages are a long-term recipe for disaster that will foment revolution. $15/hour is reasonable considering there are plenty of folks in this city who struggle to pay their way making $20 or over per hour. And, conversely, their are plenty of folks in this city who make bank and buy loads of stuff and services. This is do-able and you are just reciting the same tired, classist, ignorant brainwashed under-educated bourgoise assumptions. Those same assumptions prop up a way of thinking that has moved Western/Industrialized countries to become increasingly poorer amongst the masses and richer for the few.

      • Huh? What pamphlet was this cut ‘n’ paste from? If people making over $20 an hour are struggling why are you against my $55 minimum wage? You petit bourgeois!

  4. Mainly because of his stubborn unwillingness to do anything about the “apodment problem,” I had already decided to vote against Richard Conlin. But I will not be able to vote for this socialist and her somewhat-wacky menu of left-wing causes either…guess I’ll have to sit this one out come election day.

    • Way to be an agent for change. Doing nothing at all! Conlin is a disingenuous wolf in an eco-sheep’s clothing.

  5. I love apodments. It’s the only way we’ll ever keep any kind of socioeconomic diversity on Capitol Hill. I don’t understand all of this snobbery around them. We need innovation like this if we are going to be able to sustain future populations. Who gives a crap what they look like. Function matters before form. Not that I think they have to look bad. I personally love them and love the fact that they make it affordable for students to stay on the hill. If you want everything to be pretty and ideal move to Bellevue or Issaquah.

    • And vice versa: if you like apodments then go somewhere else.
      Some of us own properties here and may have slightly different outlook on what makes CH diversified.

      In fact, your arrogant tone is yet another reason why you should move somewhere else. To me it looks like you have slightly skewed definition of diversity.

      • I do own property on the hill and I do want a diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds, races, religions, languages, etc. on Capitol Hill. I also don’t want to be told by some douchebag neighbor what I can do with my property or for them to be able to force me into their aesthetic. Resisting density is really just idiotic at this point. It’s coming whether you want it or not.

        • Seriously??
          You’re trying to preach about diversity yet you’re unable to accept another opinion.

          Wake up dude, which part of the above you do not understand??

          And fix your tone. It may be more “productive.”

          • serouslycaphill: Just because like crazy Tea Party and Ruby Ridge types YOU” don’t want to be told by some douchebag neighbor what I can do with my property or for them to be able to force me into their aesthetic” doesn’t mean that we should throw out all of the many decades o hard work done to plan the nice city that is Seattle. You obviously have NO CLUE about planning and balancing needs with aesthetics. You seem totally blind to the fact that developers are using Apodments as a huge land grab where they can charge absurd amounts for glorified closets that really, in the end, only rip people off the people they pretend to help. Keep sounding like a crazy Ted Nugent type. It makes you sound so logical. Not.

    • Seriouslycaphill, I totally disagree with you. Apodments are not necessary to have a reasonable level of density/diversity in our neighborhood. Many of the new buildings are being built with a certain % of affordable units, and Capitol Hill Housing provides hundreds of such apartments already. We also have quite a few Seattle Housing and Senior Housing buildings.

      We don’t need to “dumb-down” our neighborhood with ugly, too-tall, no parking apodments…and they are not all that inexpensive, either…$600 and up for a closet-size space.

  6. Wow, throw a $15 per hour minimum wage into place and see how many employers leave the city. It’s a great idea, but not feasible at present.

    • And your qualifications that underscore your authority to pronounce a $15 minimum wage is “not feasible at the moment”?

      Remember, Ms. Sawant is the economics professor ;-)

  7. The idea of 15.00 a hr sounds great. It’s for sure the kind of ploy to excite
    The low informed voter. But the fact has been proven many times.When the cost for
    Small business cost increases .They will leave the city. They cut back on the number of employes to cover the extra cost.
    As for tax the rich. You know they can live any wear they want.
    And like CA and NY they moving out!
    Funny when people have more money in their wallets they spend it.
    And it helps us all.Why is that hard to understand.

    • Hello!!!! You said “As for tax the rich. You know they can live any wear they want.
      And like CA and NY they moving out!”

      I called BS on that assertion and you totally fail to prove otherwise. The link you provided says NOTHING about the rich stampeding out of CA and NY. In fact, it says (As I quote below) that there are many reasons businesses and people are leaving CA. Nothing about the wealthy and hardly a statement that higher taxation directly correlates to people leaving.

      From the article YOU cited: “The data suggest that MANY COST DRIVERS—taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs—are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.”

      It’s just not that simple and you are being very misleading without FACTS to back up your claims. hardly makes what you say at all credible.

  8. In the end, none of these comments matter as this person has absolutely ZERO chance of winning the election anyways.

      • So, Calhoun and serouslycaphill, you are gods who know who will win? If not, maybe STFU about who can and/or will win and let electoral democracy have a chance. It’s that shitty attitude that leaves us with so many mediocre politicians. SHAME on you.

        • Boy, are you arrogant!

          Do you really think there is something so terrible about expressing an opinion about who might be successful in an election?

  9. $15 an hour? You have got to be kidding me!

    How did this woman get hired as an economics professor??? This makes me concerned for the students who’ve taken her classes!

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  11. To all of you communist who live here in seattle: socialism destroys everything it touches. Look at history. Do some research on current socialist/communist regimes around the world. $15 hr minimum wage will cause loss of jobs and businesses to move out of the city. Don’t be a useful idiot, vote for freedom, not socialism.

    If you like socialism and communism, move to china or Cuba.

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