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Socialist Alternative ground game underway for 2015 District 3 seat

unnamed-1Before vote results were announced at Jess Spear’s election night party last week, Socialist Alternative staff were already preparing for 2015. Next to the event stage, organizers were placing red stickers on a large map of the newly formed City Council District 3, marking where volunteers would distribute a new Kshama Sawant-focused newsletter around Capitol Hill and the Central Seattle district.

It was an early look at the ground game already underway for Sawant’s City Council race next year. It was also an early look at the newsletter you can start expecting to show up on your doorstep every month.

Spear lost handily on election night in her race for the 43rd legislative district seat, but things are looking better for Sawant in District 3. In a recent poll by EMC Research, Sawant had a 61% favorable rating in District 3, the highest rating among current council members within each of their respective home districts.

(Image: EMC Research)

(Image: EMC Research)

Citywide, Sawant had a 50% favorability rating, the second highest rating after council member Nick Licata. A quarter of respondents also said Licata would be their first choice for an at large seat, but Sawant did not make the top four.

In last year’s council race, Sawant garnered over 58% of the vote in District 3 and did even better within Capitol HillRichard Conlin, the incumbent she displaced, did pick up strong majorities in District 3’s wealthier neighborhoods of Madison Park, Broadmoor, and Madrona. That could translate into some big checks cut for the right Sawant opponent and leverage against Sawant’s refusal to accept corporate donations. However, Sawant and Socialist Alternative have run successful grassroots fundraising campaigns in the past, and have accumulated supporters far beyond Seattle.

Sawant got more favorable news last week when potential Distrcit 3 candidate Alison Holcomb announced she is directing a new anti-mass incarceration campaign with the ACLU. Holcomb, a Capitol Hill resident and author of Washington state’s I-502 pot law, told CHS in August that she was considering a run against Sawant.

No candidate has actually filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission for District 3 (Sawant has filed for the election, but listed her position as undecided). Publicola recently identified a few potential candidates, including Equal Rights Washington director Rod Hearne and ID/Chinatown neighborhood advocate Don Blakeney. Two-time city council challenger Bobby Forch said he was also considering a run. The three did not return CHS calls for comment on this story.

Next year will be the first elections for city council under the new districts system approved by Seattle voters last year. All nine council members will be up for election in the race for seven district seats and two at-large seats.

Seattle District 3 includes Capitol Hill, First Hill and the Central District as well as the heavily residential, homeowner-dominated neighborhoods of Madison Park, Madrona, and Montlake. Critics of the boundaries have argued that the map was drawn up based on irrelevant geographic boundaries that disenfranchised denser neighborhoods by splitting them apart.

District supporters have promised greater accountability from elected officials. For many that will mean having a one stop complaint-line for any issue, instead of having to look up which council member chairs the relevant committee.

You can check out the Seattle District 3 Facebook group to keep track of issues — and possible candidates — in D3.

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caphilllover@hotmail.com
caphilllover@hotmail.com
6 years ago

We should probably choose someone else to represent us. It was funny the first time…now its annoying, bordering on embarrassing. Hopefully a reasonable alternative will come around, then comrade Sawant can go back to living off other people’s money.

Uh-uh
Uh-uh
6 years ago

Agreed.

tc
tc
6 years ago

Marxism might seem like a cool novelty to those of us too young to have witnessed the spectacular failure of the ideology in practice (not to mention the massive human cost it entailed) but it has no business outside of college campuses. And that’s exactly where Sawant should stay. Instead we get a glorified student body politician who actually believes nationalizing corporations is a good idea and thinks the city council is an appropriate to air grievances about Israel. For being one of the “smartest cities in America” we sure don’t think our political choices through.

Fritz
Fritz
6 years ago

As liberal as Seattle is, I find it hard to believe that 50% of Seattle-ites would self-describe as supporters of socialism. Our media, however, seem to love them some socialist rabble-rousing: Sawant gets plenty of coverage, way more than I can recall for any other city council member.

So, while just my own take, I’d suggest that city-wide 50% favorability rating for her is better interpreted as indicating 50% name recognition, not policy approval.

cloey
cloey
6 years ago

I ask myself every day “why do I live here?” She’s not only wrong about almost everything she is absolutely the most annoying person on the planet. Shrill doesn’t begin to describe her. Would it kill all the lefties up here to support one nice conservative?

Tim
Tim
6 years ago
Reply to  cloey

I wish Seattle could grow up. NYC elects all sorts of people with diverse opinions. All we have is left, more left and really left.

Franklin
Franklin
6 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Yeah and all we have are high paying jobs, more high paying jobs, and MORE high paying jobs! Those darn libs must be doing something wrong lol.
Too bad the politician here with the biggest balls is Sawant. I don’t agree with her but have to give her credit for slapping hers around.

Ryan A
Ryan A
6 years ago

Savant was the driving politician behind the $15 minimum wage- a major progressive victory in Seattle that other cities will be doing their best to copy in the coming years. I get that her activism can rub people wrong, but how about giving her a little credit for kicking a**. Allison Holcomb too for that matter. The 3rd district has got some impressive players.

Fritz
Fritz
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan A

“Impressive players” does not necessarily translate to wise policies.
Sawant and the $15 wage issue illustrates clearly that Ronaldus Magnus was right when he said:

“It’s not that liberals don’t know anything; it’s just that so much of what they do know is wrong.”

calhoun
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan A

It’s a little early to claim that the $15/hr wage will be an unmitigated success and that other cities will copy us. The jury is definitely still out on that one, and it will take at least several years before the verdict is in.

Mickymse
Mickymse
6 years ago
Reply to  calhoun

Ummmm, yeah: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/minimum-wage-increase-wins-in-four-red-states-112565.html

And, before anyone tries, most supporters were not suggesting that everyone, everywhere should have $15/hr. That is the amount that was pushed for here, where it STILL barely covers living expenses.

Red Dawn
Red Dawn
6 years ago

Didn’t anyone watch Red Dawn? Wolverines!

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