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A new leader in D3 race: incumbent pulls ahead — UPDATE: Sawant declares victory: ‘Our movement has won our socialist office for working people’

UPDATE 11/9/19 10:45 AM: In front of supporters and volunteers who gathered for training on her campaign’s weekend ballot “curing” effort, Kshama Sawant declared victory Saturday morning in the race for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council.

“Our movement has won our socialist office, for working people,” she said. “The election results are a repudiation of the billionaire class…and the relentless attacks and lies…and working people have stood up and said Seattle is not for sale!”

“Working people, people of color, young people, came out in huge numbers to vote by overwhelming majority for our socialist politics and against this attempted hostile corporate takeover,” Sawant said to hoots and hollers from the crowd.

The declaration shared across her campaign’s social media accounts marked the end of a week of tallying election results made all the more dramatic by daily updates under Washington’s vote by mail system.

In her statement, Sawant put Seattle’s large companies who opposed her on notice that she does not intend to back down, calling her success in the election “as close a referendum on the Amazon tax as possible.”

She also called the vote “a repudiation of the billionaire class, of corporate real estate, and of the establishment.”

“And,” she added, “a repudiation of corporate media. Like the Seattle Times editorial board which used a lot of ink to spread lies and distortion.”

“I look forward to working with this new, progressive council to pass a tax on Amazon and the biggest businesses …this council has a responsibility to the working people who elected it,” Sawant said.

Sawant also said she would continue her fight for rent control and for a Green New Deal “for working people.”

In her speech, Sawant acknowledged it had been a hard fought race.

“What also are made it close was a section of people who have been misled by right wing ideas, who are correctly angry about homelessness and the massive crisis in our city, but are blaming the wrong people for it,” she said.”

Egan Orion’s campaign had not yet conceded the race. CHS has been told a statement from the campaign will likely be made Tuesday.

She had it all along. An Election Night smile from Sawant after first counts showed her down by more than eight percentage points to her rival

Original report 11/8/19 3:42 PM: Incumbent Kshama Sawant is poised to become the senior member of the Seattle City Council. With Friday’s first of two planned updates from King County Elections, Sawant became the leader — and the probable winner — in the race for the District 3 seat representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and nearby neighborhoods.

In the latest totals, Sawant has now claimed a 513 vote lead over challenger Egan Orion after trailing by more than 1,700 in Election Night’s first count.

UPDATE 8:20 PM: The Sawant trend strengthened with the second drop of the night — the incumbent now leads by more than 1,500 votes. Sawant captured 59.3% of the vote in Thursday’s drop. Our math adding in Friday’s second drop shows the incumbent capturing a total of 58.6% of the vote captured for the day.

Saturday morning’s training session for Socialist Alternative volunteers to help with rejected ballots might turn into a victory speech. Sawant is slated to hold a press conference at 10 AM at Langston Hughes in the Central District where she’ll be “commenting on District 3 ballot returns.”

King County Elections said Friday night there will be no more updates until Tuesday afternoon with the weekend and the Veterans Day holiday on Monday.

But even as her camp awaited the likely good news of the afternoon update, Friday, Sawant’s campaign was spending the day rallying 150 volunteers — and raising a goal of $15,000 — to help Socialist Alternative mount a ballot recovery effort starting Saturday to help turn up any cast ballots rejected with issues like signatures that don’t match a person’s voter registration.

“Our chances of defeating Jeff Bezos in this election have greatly increased,” Sawant wrote in a please for support sent Friday.

“Imagine the confidence of working people in Seattle — and across the country — to fight for this type of progressive change if we can successfully stop the corporate establishment and the richest man in the world’s most determined efforts to buy our city,” the Sawant campaign email reads. “We know that that Amazon will leave no stone unturned. They will challenge votes in an effort to disenfranchise supporters. They will cure ballots too. The worst mistake we could make at this moment would be to take our foot off the gas.”

Neither campaign, meanwhile, was ready Friday to talk about recounts. In King County, mandatory recounts are only triggered when the difference is under 2,000 votes and there is less than 0.5% separating the candidates.

Sawant’s 2019 performance follows a string of victories in the city where her campaign and the Socialist Alternative effort have been able to successfully harness the power of younger, mostly renting voters and students to blast through to victory on the back of “late voter” surges. The weekend and hours leading up to the Election Night 8 PM deadline brought a heavy presence from Sawant campaigns workers and volunteers as both campaigns waged last minute get out the vote pushes. The first thing thousands of riders exiting onto Broadway from Capitol Hill Station Tuesday was a table of information and volunteers from the Socialist Alternative campaign imploring passersby to vote for their candidate.

Sawant’s work on issues close to the Socialist Alternative movement also won attention, supporters, and, yes, critics through the summer including a high profile push to save the Showbox, heavy involvement in tenant issues at the Central District’s Chateau Apartments, and an effort to push back on displacement of 12th Ave Ethiopian restaurant, Saba.

The latest results mark a full turnaround in what started as a triumphant week for the challenger Orion. What happened? Even as he was still beaming Tuesday night, Orion said the massive outlay of PAC spending from the downtown chamber and efforts from the likes of Amazon, Expedia, and Starbucks to back “pro-business” candidates had backfired. The “Amazon bomb,” he said, “played right into Kshama’s hands.” Orion campaign manager Olga Laskin said the backlash “reignited” Sawant’s campaign.

With more than $1.3 million in contributions to the various D3 candidates who were part of the race, the uber-expensive clash became a cash battle. Orion raised more than $400,000 in contributions while Sawant eclipsed his totals with a showing exceeding $520,000. But support from the downtown chamber and Amazon coalition pushed Orion financial support into a new stratosphere with more than $600,000 in PAC cash also flowing into the race to make the 48-year-old a million dollar-plus competitor. The cash flow resulted in an Orion advertising, mailer, and flyer blitz through October while the Sawant campaign mostly played the long game with a majority of its spending going to support a relatively huge campaign payroll.

It’s no secret what the companies were targeting. Last summer after the council’s more moderate approach to implementing a head tax failed, Sawant pivoted to focus on a “Tax Amazon” movement.

Then, with echoes of her long and successful “$15 Now” fight, Sawant made rent control the next big step in the Socialist Alternative movement and the new core in the battles she is waging in Seattle. CHS reported here on her proposed legislation that would tie increased rents to the rate of inflation.

Sawant also repeatedly attacked Orion on housing and homelessness, accusing him of using the same tactics as people who are “peddling Republican talking points.” Sawant focused her response on homelessness on larger issues of housing affordability and social housing, rent control, the expansion of tiny home villages, and the end of sweeps of encampments.

While Orion attracted many voters opposed to Sawant’s more radical positions and the criticism of her sometimes caustic approach to politics, his campaign was also dogged by a series of small but well-covered ethics complaints.

If Sawant wins, she’ll bring her version of stability and experience to a council undergoing a shift. The next council’s makeup is set for major changes with incumbents Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien, and Sally Bagshaw opting not to run for reelection.

Meanwhile, the backlash to the Amazon cash also helped Sawant secure key new allies — her fellow council members. The council’s two citywide representatives — Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena González allowed bygones to be bygones and moved beyond past criticism and distancing from Sawant to embrace the Socialist Alternative leader and a slate of progressive candidates facing chamber and pro-business opposition — Lisa Herbold in D1, Tammy Morales in D2, Shaun Scott in D4, Dan Strauss in D6, and Andrew Lewis in D7.

Herbold, Morales, Strauss, and Lewis also appear set to join Sawant.

Sawant’s strengthened position will also have City Hall impacts outside of council chambers where she seems likely to remain an adversary to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s more moderate and business friendly approach.

Sawant’s apparent victory will mean a third term for the council member and a second under the city’s new district system. The 46-year-old grew up in a working/middle-class household in Mumbai, India, where she studied computer science. Upon moving to the US, she briefly worked as a software engineer before earning a Ph.D. in economics. She finished her dissertation in Seattle after moving here for her then-husband’s job at Microsoft. Around the same time, Sawant started attending political meetings and rallies. During an anti-war meeting where an Iraq war veteran spoke, her eye fell on some Socialist Alternative publications on a table outside. Their analysis of class-based capitalism was something she could get behind. “And then I attended a meeting and then I never looked back.” While she cobbled together “a poverty wage” teaching at various universities and volunteering for nonprofits, Sawant’s star rose at Socialist Alternative. As the SA candidate, she unsuccessfully ran for the Washington House of Representatives in 2012, later beating four-term incumbent Richard Conlin for a seat on the City Council, where she has served since.

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92 thoughts on “A new leader in D3 race: incumbent pulls ahead — UPDATE: Sawant declares victory: ‘Our movement has won our socialist office for working people’

  1. Actually do something in your role since you are winning! STOP the screaming and yelling and actually do something for the citizens! Make actual changes that help people. So far its been a show boat of talking and attention seeking. Get work done!

      • I’ve read that book. The term is used by self-styled “Progressives” to try to undermine conversations and avoid addressing the issues people bring up – like a city council member who personally vilifies those she considers her opponents.
        I am “white” because all of my ancestors are from Northern Europe. I am male because of random biological activity beyond my control. If I you believe I have power over you, then it is because you have given it to me. If others want to give me things that >you< believe I don't deserve, that doesn't create any obligation on my part to make you feel better.
        I am not fragile in my "whiteness." It isn't a zero-sum game: If others rise up, that doesn't make me go down. The more people who have access to the opportunities I have had and who can learn to build on those opportunities, the better off we all are.
        But I rarely see this kind of thinking from self-labeled "Progressives" and "Socialists." Instead, they rely on short-term fixes, focusing on the symptoms, rather than the underlying causes and leading to greater problems down the road, when they are no longer in office to suffer the consequences.

        There is no better insight into a person's character than how they treat those they disagree with.

      • “There is no better insight into a person’s character than how they treat those they disagree with.”

        Character? Like supporting a political party that cuts medicaid and snap so the rich can get tax cuts? I hope the worst things will happen to people like you. Then maybe you will realize a lot of bad things that happen in a person’s life are out of his/her control.

    • please name me a city councilmember who has done more than kshama in the past ten years. please enumerate those accomplishments.

    • Not sure why Tom thinks anyone who didn’t vote for Sawant is a Republican. You don’t have to be a Republican to think Sawant has done a terrible job of representing her district. Unresponsive to most of the district, unless it will get her on the news. And I voted for her previously!

      Btw, how is being part of a members only club that you have to pay to join (Socialist Alternative) any different than right wingers and their countryclubs? And how does that make her a representative of her district vs. of her paid club? How is an attack on union workers (which she did at the last council budget meeting) and an attack on minority owned businesses (see the boycott called for by her supporters) making her any better than those on the far right? Y’all extremists on either side are fricking awful.

      • Bob, like millennials? Haven’t boomers, generation x, millenials been all used by people as a negative term so they are name calling??

      • @Tom: No, I don’t think those demographic categories have been used negatively. But you have just called all Republicans “scum.”

      • You have to be blind or simply forgotten those terms being used as negative, usually by people from the previous generations.

        Their politicians and policies they support are way more offensive than the word scum. They destroyed people’s lives.

  2. This is the BEST NEWS EVER!

    I hope she keeps it up! I’ve loved what she’s been able to accomplish! All the affordable housing projects on 23rd/Jackson and 23rd/Union would not have happened without Sawant’s support! She is keeping the CD’s roots alive! Bless her for helping the less fortunate in ways Orion/Amazon could only dream of.

    TAKE THAT Big Business!

    • “All the affordable housing projects on 23rd/Jackson and 23rd/Union would not have happened without Sawant’s support! She is keeping the CD’s roots alive!”


      • That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. She knows almost nothing about these projects and less than zero to do with them happening. Get a clue friend.

  3. Oh it’s in the bag at this point. A 500 vote lead with only 5k votes remaining from the laziest, most procrastinating millennials? Time to stock up on the champagne and clean a few bad ballots before the victory lap🍾🥂

    • A 500 vote lead with only 5k votes remaining from the laziest, most procrastinating millennials?

      The Boomer class will be praying that those lazy, procrastinating millennials step in to help the Boomers as they go bankrupt dying due to decades of shortsighted political choices, including pissing their GDP away to the extremely wealthy.

      • If you’re talking about the Democrat Bomer pols who have set up transfer payments from the middle-income to the rich, I agree.
        But we keep asking direct questions of the Sawant voters as to what their real plans are, and we get no replies.
        There are quite a few posts here with time stamps after my post from last night, asking about alternatives, but none of them answer my questions.
        Why not?
        If you want real change, you need a real plan – so what is it?

      • here’s the plan:
        1. get mad and yell
        2. put a face to your “opponents” by demonizing boomers and big businesses
        3. pretend you’ve got leverage over them by calling for legislation that’ll never pass
        4. stick your hand out and shake your fist
        5. rinse and repeat, beginning with step 1

  4. So, looking at the results of those candidates backed by CASE, it seems that was not a good use of the Chamber’s money. Maybe they aren’t the smart business leaders they try to make themselves out to be? Or maybe, “money in politics” is not as influential as the hand-wringers try to tell us it is?

    • Here’s a thought: “Money in politics” is a GOOD thing! Where were those millions spent? Paying people locally to go door to door, injected into local printing businesses and advertising companies, and local radio and TV stations to run the ads. And, we’ve been told, that lots of that money came from out of state. That’s a net gain for us, isn’t it? I think it would be very enlightening to do an economic analysis of how those millions helped Seattle.

  5. CHS is moderating comments to what is worthy: Sawant has missed at least 13 city council meetings and funneling campaign dollars into her husbands non-profit. She has not really done anything this year, blew the amazon tax from 5 dollars a head and wanted 10 dollars a head. Lots of traveling that is not transparent. Nice job! Enjoy D3. I am moving out anyway. Since Sawant has done nothing for affordable housing unless you are homeless.
    Seattle is doomed.

  6. Nice going, D3 millennials. You have re-elected a divisive, strident, self-righteous ideologue who cares only for advancing the socialist cause and gives not a damn for D3. I’m sure your rent will go down very soon (that’s why you voted for her, right?). Dream on!

    Ugh. Another 4 years of Sawant proselytizing.

      • Oh John, you haven’t had to deal with real struggle yet. This is why ya’ll buy into this Marxism extremist trash. Many societies have done the same. I want a choice in my life, I want to be rewarded for my work, I want to be able to ensure my kids have a better education and can succeed in life. I want to make sure my kids don’t have to live through the atrocities of genocide in a Marxist society that their grandparents luckily escaped from. Please know what Sawant is really doing, she does not care for D3 or Seattle. Her funding is from NY and PA, mandates from her SA overlords determine what she does in Seattle. Nobody in Seattle is beyond her targeting, anyone that disagrees with her is to be destroyed. She is a dictator.

      • John – That’s a horrible thing to say to Bob, whether you agree with him or not. I don’t agree with him but I don’t wish him death. Justin should ban you.

      • Thank you, Mimi. I’m afraid that John’s hateful comment is all too common among Sawant supporters. Some of them (not you) don’t just disagree with those who aren’t Sawant supporters, they actually hate them.

  7. The irony of Sawant’s self-proclaimed socialist policies, should they become the law of the city, will be that only the very rich and the very poor will be left living in Seattle, thereby creating the very situation she claims to be against.
    Anybody who can afford to flee will do so, once the tax and other burdens become too high. This will start with the lower middle-income folks and work its way up. The very poor, who are dependent upon the ever-diminishing city services, will be trapped.
    Seattle is not a walled city. The city government can’t keep people and businesses in town that don’t want to be there. If the policies become to much of a burden – and what counts as “a burden” is entirely subjective – people will vote with their feet.

      • You know that is an agist insult that impugns and trivializes an entire generation. And it enables ignorance on your part. Unless you would insult other groups, how about losing this latest meme.

      • He knows it’s an attempted ageist insult. The hilarious thing is that anyone who’s a boomer or close doesn’t GAF if you call them a boomer. The joke’s on them. I’m not quite old enough to be a boomer but I can assure you they’re not going anywhere fast, and when they do they’ll take most of their marbles with them. Having petulant fits, stomping your feel and calling them boomers won’t make any difference.

      • Millennials, such an interesting generation. As much as I despise Trump, I kinda look forward to watching millennials cry massive crocodile tears when he’s reelected. Until people realize polarization only amplifies extremists power, we’ll continue to see the white supremacists in power. Vegan burgers and laying down in traffic does not scare the far right, they will literally run over you with trucks and not blink. Come join the middle for some actionable legislation.

  8. Oh, I love drinking the bitter tears of all you who hate your neighbors so much you can’t stand the city councilmember who only represents them and not the corrupt corporate/real estate interests who are the ones who actually made this city into what you’re all complaining about. So, so sweet…

    • You’ll love it even more when you find yourself part of what’s left once the middle is increasingly hollowed out. And you’re not rich enough to just peel if off without effort, but not poor enough to be one of the ever-increasing numbers of people who get help as costs keep going up. And there you are in the middle, screwed, as the big businesses who have options de-camp for the Eastside cities standing by and waiting for them with open arms as they desert Seattle. Better have a plan!

  9. Do any of the Sawant voters have a rational explanation about how taxing the businesses in Seattle will not make them pull up stakes and move to a jurisdiction they consider more friendly?
    We are told that the only motivation for capitalist businesses in America is profit. If so, then why would they stay in a city where the taxes and regulations eat into their profits?
    Y’all just need to answer the question. No personal attacks necessary.

    • If they had any answer to that question I think you’d have heard it by now, don’t you think? Instead they’ve got Trumpian retorts like “sure Jan” and “OK boomer”.

      • They’ll move to a “friendly jurisdiction and lose out on the good smart laborers that built their company? Think not Boomer.

      • oh, why bother? No need to sink to the childish level.

        See, this is the delusion these people suffer from. They think the city of Seattle has “leverage” and Amazon (and all these other information-based companies) are “stuck” where they are, when in reality all they occupy is office space. No infrastructure, no factories, no assembly lines. The job can be moved over the lake, to another state, out of the country, or even making it mobile and work-from-home. Don’t think they can’t or won’t do it. If they want to, they can and they will.

      • @ John, just like all the heavy industries definitely stayed put in the midwest because they had money invested in infrastructure and had a skilled, trained labor pool right?

        It’s all just a little bit of history repeating…

      • Ah, well, my text had some html markups that I didn’t realize.

        Here is what I meant to post:

        Sawant’s handlers call themselves “Socialist Alternative.” but what alternative are they offering? If they want tax Amazon, then they are entirely dependent upon Amazon. They have to not be too hard on Bezos, or he’ll fly the coop.
        If they want to control rents, then they are entirely dependent on the landlords. If they put in too many regulations and limits, the landlords will beat feet for greener pastures.
        An -alternative- would be to create industries that are not dependent on corporations – owned and run by the employees, perhaps. An -alternative- would be for the socialists to buy their own properties and offer them to those in need, eventually to be owned by the tenants as a co-op. An -alternative- would be to train people in the neighborhood in basic medical and mental health care and set up local clinics. An -alternative- would be to plant vegetable gardens wherever possible and give the produce to families on TANF. An -alternative- would be to flatten the pyramid and put power back into the hands of the people.
        Are any of these alternatives that Sawant’s bosses have to offer?

    • People don’t seem to be aware that Redmond makes Microsoft pay a head tax for each employee. It’s sound policy from the Eastside! See:

      Would Amazon move more employees to Bellevue and Northern Virginia if Seattle imposes a modest head tax? Yes, but that’s their long-term plan, anyway.

      And, Spike, you said in another comment that landlords would leave Seattle if rent control was implemented. How can landlords move their apartment buildings?

      • They “leave” by converting their buildings to condo, selling all the units to those highly-paid tech workers, and taking them out of the rental pool. And all the rent control in the world won’t help if that happens.

      • You sell your condo to a corporation in China or to any other offshore investment corp. Even if no one lives in it they can take the loss off on their taxes and because it is foreign owned, rent control can’t touch it. There are about 4 of us who are thinking of selling to a “shell corp” I think there are a lot of landlords speaking with their lawyers right now. right now.

  10. Listen, the error in judgement that Amazon made in these local elections is astounding and I firmly believe that the way it was publicized by sawant and her fucking cronies tipped the election. But the fact the people of district 3 were not able to look past the rhetoric and vote for the best person for d3 is fucking disappointing and embarrassing.
    Fuck y’all and fuck chs, let’s start fighting now to get this motherfuckin narcissist out of office.
    I’m out chs, this is the damage you bias blog can do.
    Ban chs and their advertisers.

    • I don’t agree with everything you say (or the profanity), but I do agree that the Amazon money was what tipped the election in favor of Sawant. It was a mistake, and Sawant quickly took advantage of it.

  11. TO TOM, “I hope the worst things will happen to you.” How were you raised and have evolved that you think this is a decent sentiment? Everyone on this planet has terrible things happen to them. Be a better person.

    • I am not the one who supports politicians and policies that lead to cuts in medicaid and snap just so the rich can get an even bigger piece of the pie. If you do, you deserve to get a taste of your own medicine.

      • @ Tom
        “I am not the one who supports politicians and policies that lead to cuts in medicaid and snap…”

        Neither is anyone else on this thread. So we should all be happy. Do you think you can manage that?

  12. Love the passion! Let’s NOT BLAME Amazon, Microsoft and the other tech companies for all the problems we’ve experienced with the massive growth of our beautiful city. We the people and Our City Leadership are to blame. We let this happen and now we need to fix it by electing leaders who can run the city. Rent Control doesn’t work, forcing businesses to pay more, give more benefits doesn’t work, homeless camps don’t work. Build more public housing, The City of Seattle needs a public health care option (including mental health), Education Opportunities for low-level offenders, and crews keeping our streets and roads clean. We need to show respect to the community that we live in, and the people who live in them; if we can’t, then why are we here?

    • You hit on the biggest missing links to Seattle’s “solutions” to income inequality, homelessness, and affordability. The big companies won’t be strong-armed into financing all Seattle’s problems, even though their successes contributed to them. Seattle’s response to all these has been lacking in anything to help people support themselves even when they ARE able to fix themselves up. There’s no job training, there’s nothing to help people get off never-ending public support and handouts and feed/clothe/house themselves and work towards self-sufficiency. That’s what Seattle should be asking businesses to help with. Joint programs to give people job training to fill positions that are going begging. All Seattle does is stick a collective hand out and shake a fist with the other hand. That doesn’t work and it won’t work.

      • I’m new to this blog and confused by how it’s possible to reply to some post/comments and not to others. Can someone explain this to me? Anyway, I’m responding to Jim98122x’s reply to my comment. Jim98122x said:
        “They ‘leave’ by converting their buildings to condo, selling all the units to those highly-paid tech workers, and taking them out of the rental pool. And all the rent control in the world won’t help if that happens.”

        My reply to this is that apartments converted to condos frees up the apartments that these new condo owners vacate! The housing stock isn’t diminished at all, just changed. And if the head tax causes Amazon to move workers elsewhere–guess what!–rents go down everywhere, so no need for rent control at all.

      • Layout only allows nesting to a certain depth. Further replies need to be to the upper level comment or reply. Sorry not elegant solution.

    • I wonder how millennials feel about that line on their paychecks that say how much social security was taken out of the check. That pays for the Boomer generation social security. It’s so flawed that my generation and the millennials generation will continue to pay for the Boomer social security, but we will never get any ourselves. Oh well, that’s socialist math for you. As my dad has told me each year for twenty years of his retirement so far, keep working, I want my social security and government pension check to keep coming. 🤪

  13. I didn’t vote for Sawant, and am disappointed in the result. But, I commend Sawant and her organization on their successful get-out-vote effort. Impressive, well done!

    I hope all of D3 can now get together and do what little we can to defeat Trump. With him in office, there will be fewer fed income tax dollars for homelessness, especially in West Coast cities. He will divert Washington State federal dollars to his despicable pet projects, and red states. I’m tired of it!

  14. These comments are just as toxic as I thought they would be…

    Good job Kshama, happy to still have you as my council member.

  15. I am really saddened by all of this disdain for “the other,” whomever they might be. Why do you have to be so mean?? I attribute it to Trump.
    People of all age demographics have something of value to offer society. Not all of the boomers caused our current climate problems. Not all millenials are responsible for all of the damage caused by technology. We are all people who deserve to be treated with respect.
    BTW, I am 63 (a boomer) and I voted for Sawant. Please treat me as an individual rather than as a member of a particular demographic.

  16. There is a deep seeded unhappiness in our society. I’m certain that Sawant will continue to do the things she has been doing. I was unaware of her achomplishments. Thank you @Sasha Morgan for sharing the link:

    What I believe we’re experiencing in our society is a society where everyone is winning and losing. So hear my argument out.

    Back in the day the biggest struggles were getting food and clothing and housing. We solved that for a bit and had equitable housing costs, food and clothing. Now things are out of wack for everyone.

    Food and clothing is (as long as you don’t go crazy) pretty easy to get and pretty cheap. I could live in the city on $25 eating out for a week. No, I wouldn’t get the healthiest food and no I would have exactly what I wanted but I could eat every meal for $25 a week. Clothing is the same. You can get an outfit for under $100 that will last you for a very long time if taken care of.

    What we are suffering from is housing costs. And people that are fortunate enough to buy housing in Seattle understand how lucky they were to get at the price they did. Like our place is 850k when bought is now over a million. And this is a place that 10 years ago would have been 500 – 600k. So I’ll get my 1/2 million if I ever sold. But I’m stuck buying at the new market rates. AND I’m one of the “lucky” ones.

    There are many that live in our city that can’t even afford an apartment. Those that own or are lucky enough to live here will think, yes that is fair. That if the people that want to live in the city they need to get a career that pays enough for them to afford it.

    I don’t agree with that. We lose culture, opportunities and diversity when we price everyone out of areas in our city.

    Amazon, Microsoft and others are not directly to blame. They didn’t raise housing prices directly. Rather the employees they hired required a larger income and drove up that market. Now a 1 bedroom on capital hill that used to be 800-900 is not 1800-2000. But salaries for those not working at those companies is stagnant compared to the housing market growth.

    I think housing is one of the major issues in Seattle and it will continue to be. We need to build enough housing to house all those that want to contribute and create an equitable society where everyone can flourish.

    Maybe Sawant can help my home not become 1.5 million in another 10 years. Some will argue, “god, why would you not like to see your equity grow?!”. I’ll say, yes it is nice that it grew. But at what costs? So I become part of the haves while the have nots become a larger and larger part of our lives.

    I don’t want a society of “me first” and I only care about myself. I want to make sure that we’re taking care of others too. Because yes, I have a house right now and such. But you never know when bad luck and rainy days hits all at once and it is all gone. Just try to be thoughtful of those that are less fortunate when you are commenting about how evil those representing the poor are.

    As far as Sawant, I didn’t vote for her but I see the value she brings. I wish she was just less screaming and yelling and more action. Work and fight but don’t scream and yell. Seattle is a pretty chill town and yelling only disengages voters.

    I am glad big business is getting the message that they can’t just freewheel over our society here in Seattle. We need to have rules and regulations. Otherwise these businesses will do whatever they want that may not benefit our society as a whole. We can appreciate the jobs they give us and keep the side eye on their practices and making sure they are regulated (although they hate regulations it is a necessary evil).

    • “I wish she would scream less” that’s the most sexist BS I’ve ever heard. Male politicians do this all the time and no one says anything. She’s gotten TONS done. You’re just ignorant of them. She’s gotten two successful low income housing efforts in the CD done and one more to come.

      Educate yourself:

  17. Do Jim and Bob have anything else to do besides whining about results that don’t go their way then blaming the ones who voted against their beliefs? Do you hate democracy or…what? You lost. Move on.

    • Get real. You and other Sawant voters would have “whined” a little too, and
      “blamed” boomers, if Orion had won. So, get off your high horse.

      But, yes, I’m moving on. Not much choice.

  18. Thank you for your coverage through it all! I appreciate the deeper looks at sawants funding,the numbers on the pac $ covering homelessness and other issues, and your reporting on the debates.