Mostly quiet since the effort was announced, Kshama Sawant supporters are ready to make some noise in support of the District 3 representative in opposition to a campaign to recall the Socialist Alternative city council member.
Surprisingly quiet following Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of police department budget cuts, Sawant’s office is planning a September 16th Kshama Solidarity Rally to defend the veteran City Council member “against the right-wing recall campaign.”
“Seattle’s working people need to stand together against the right-wing attempt to silence Councilmember Kshama Sawant and the Black Lives Matter movement with a recall campaign!,” a message sent this week to Sawant supporters reads. “The recall campaign, if successful, would overturn last year’s re-election and push our working-class representative out of office.”
“Most importantly, the recall petition is an attempt to undermine Seattle’s social movements, which have won major victories against big business,” the email reads.
The rally is slated for 9:15 AM on Wednesday, September 16th at the King County Courthouse where the recall campaign’s petition is scheduled to be reviewed before signature gathering can begin.
In August, CHS reported on the start of the campaign to recall Sawant launched by District 3 resident Ernie Lou claiming that her “actions and policy proposals are not supported by a majority of District 3 residents.” Lou, who was working as a contractor for Capitol Hill nonprofit Three Dollar Bill Cinema, lost his job in the process.
“As racist violence persists, like both the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the vigilante attack on peaceful protesters in Kenosha, it’s clear that the #BlackLivesMatter movement is needed now, more than ever, to continue the fight to defund the police by at least 50%, win community control over the police, and to end police brutality and systemic racism,” the rally invite from Sawant reads. “Please RSVP and invite your friends to the important rally!”
If it meets basic legal requirements, the recall effort would then have until early 2021 to gather just over 10,000 signatures — “25% of the total number of votes cast (42,956) in the November 5, 2019 general election for City of Seattle Council Position #3″ — to throw the choice into the hands of voters.
Sawant’s political organization Socialist Alternative has already maintains a “solidarity fund” that accepts donations “to help build social justice movements.”
UPDATE: The Stranger looks at the money contributed to the campaign so far and finds what you would expect:
According to the latest campaign filings, the Recall Sawant now reports over $40,890 in contributions from over 1,700 people. A whopping 19 of those donors listed their names and addresses. The rest are lumped in anonymously as “Unitemized Contributors of $25 or Less.” Recall Sawant received 94% of its funds from these anonymous donors. But emails between the campaign’s chair and others paint a clearer picture of who else is contributing time and resources to the campaign.
The report also includes details of “confidential” emails from campaign chair Lou including a plea for a donor email list from Egan Orion, Sawant’s unsuccessful opponent in last fall’s D3 race. “I can help. But I want my participation kept a secret. Is that possible? I have a list of 2,500 supporters who donated to my campaign,” the Stranger reports Orion replied. The outlet does not say how it acquired the campaign emails.
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