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‘Kshama Solidarity Rally’ planned for courthouse to oppose Sawant recall petition — UPDATE

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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32 thoughts on “‘Kshama Solidarity Rally’ planned for courthouse to oppose Sawant recall petition — UPDATE

      • Sorry to make things complicated for you, but not only am I not a police officer, I am not even yet a supporter of recalling Councilmember Sawant. Turns out I think elections should mean something, and I am not sure she has done anything that voters who supported her would not have supported when they cast their ballots. In other words, she is consistent, and though I dislike her positions and tactics intensely, I like representative democracy more and willy nilly recalls make me nervous about the future of our democracy.
        What I object to is how she is cloaking herself in the Black Lives Matter movement (read the article) as a means to avoid accountability for her actions. Her position risks diminishing that movement through association, and that would be a shame. So, I have not given my $25 to the recall effort…as yet, and I hope I never have to. Too complicated for you?

  1. Where to begin? Encouraging citizens to gather and destroy businesses struggling during a deadly pandemic. Developing an enemies list containing Starbucks, Uncle Ikes, etc. Ernie Lou is correct that Sawant does not represent the majority of DIST 3 residents.

    Not clear why Sawant is using Jacob Blake as a cause to rally around. He was assaulting a woman whom called 911 for help. The video I saw was a clinic on how to get shot by police. Well done everybody.

  2. The clock is ticking for Sawant and she knows it. Odds are the recall effort will raise enough $25 donations (their requested max) to easily mount a successful signature gathering of 10k. From there all it will take is one of the complaints to make it through the courts and on to the ballot during next year’s primary. Then it’s an up or down vote where she’ll be the first person to ever be kicked off the City Council – history in the making. She bit off more then she could chew supporting the overthrow of city government by socialist bullies.

  3. District 3 is diverse indeed. I support BLM. I supported $15h minimum wage. I do not support Kshama, her agenda, or her tactics.

    Any other place in this union I’m considered progressive and liberal. Here, if you do not agree with Kshama, you’re a right wing conservative.

    She’s never even pretended to represent all the people of her district.

    Buh bye!

    • Agree with CD_Dave. I’m a liberal in favor of the so called “right-wing recall campaign” which goes to show Sawant’s loyal-to-the-point-of-blindness followers don’t know much about who she is pissing off.

    • Agreed. I’m left of center on just about every single issue, but Sawant’s wing would label me a Nazi. They don’t compromise – it’s her Socialist way or the highway. Very frustrating.

  4. Hey folks, there is a process. Your opinions matter but more important is how the process plays out. Starting with the judge who will determine whether the matter may proceed on legal grounds. Then the signatures. Finally a vote of the people in the District. I personally gave 25.00 to the effort. Those who favor Sawant are free to donate to hers. What I will have a real issue with is if the City Council authorizes city funds to defend Sawant in activities that were clearly extracurricular with respect to her elected position. I predict that if the judge permits the matter to proceed, she will be handily unseated. And please poll watchers, her election was sketchy to the degree she gained many points in the last 48 hours. Has me wondering how many of her last minute “voters” were homeless, registered at the last minute from throughout the city and “moved” to a District 3 address at the last minute. Just wondering here. To the degree this occurred, expect more of the same if this goes to a vote. The key will be for all who care one way or other to vote. I suspect that gathering signatures will be a pleasure for so many that it will be done by volunteers and no paid gatherers will be needed.

  5. As a Socialist, who initially voted for Brahmin Kshama Sawant for the at-large City Council Seat, and for every other Socialist and Communist candidate since 1972, when I became eligible to vote, I do not think that I am “right-wing” for supporting Sawant’s recall.

    I also believe in representative democracy and the rule of law, which Sawant has not demonstrated by her actions she believes in.

    Where was Sawant when Paul Allen’s Vulcan corporation took over Yesler Terrace? When has she ever concerned herself with neighborhood issues? Protected the small businesses on 15th Ave E, owned primarily by people of color, women and members of the LBTQ community.

    I am not the only Socialist former Sawant supporter who feels betrayed by Sawant’s refusal to represent the citizens of District 3.

    Ellen Taft
    District 3

  6. Calling this a “right-wing” recall campaign is laughable. The signatures, and the final vote if it happens, will be driven mostly by moderate residents of D3 who are fed up with Sawant and her arrogant shenanigans.

  7. A majority of District Three constituents are Democratic, not Right Wing. they support change and BLM. Ironically, Sawant is using a page out of Trump’s playbook, though, in hijacking BLM and framing herself to be a victim here. Ponder that.

    And maybe check yourself if you think District Three is full of entitled white people. It isn’t, and you’d know that if you lived here.

    Me personally? I worked my way through college – sometimes working three jobs at a time as a janitor, or in fast food, or as a bartender…whatever paid my bills – to get a degree and then work my way through a series of jobs to get benefits and save up money to buy a home. I don’t make tons of money by any means, but I watch what I spend and don’t live outside of my means. So excuse me for saying to you that YOUR sense of entitlement is ridiculous and it’s insane for you to try and shame me for wanting to protect my home, which I worked so hard for. Don’t like it here? Bye, Felicia.

  8. I wish I were Felicia. She’s always going somewhere!

    But seriously, while I’m not a fan of Sawant and I agree with much of the criticism that has been leveled her way, this is an abuse of the recall process. Sawant is not credibly accused of doing anything illegal or even flagrantly unethical — it’s all about her positions and personality. And yes, I oppose Durkan’s recall (I don’t much like her either) for the exact same reason. We already spend far too much time, money and effort in this country on endless political campaigns that start right up again immediately after each election. Let’s not make a bad situation even worse by normalizing and routinizing recalls. Right now all our political energy needs to be focused on removing Donald Trump from office and Republicans from the Senate majority. We’ll survive three more years of Sawant, but we very likely won’t survive four more years of Trump.

  9. @MarciaX, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but it is just that. Here is the criteria for a recall process being permitted per the state constitution:
    A judge makes the call for proceeding, and the signers and voters take it from there. The process is there for a reason. To claim that using it is an abuse of it and that claims against her is not credible is not credible in and of itself. Here are the various charges:

    In reading them, I admit that some, like creating a toxic environment, are subjective and likely won’t and should not stick, but others would appear to have significant merit. We shall see shortly where the judge will land on the matter. I would think as a non attorney that a judge will likely lean towards moving the process forward and give the voters leeway if there is some level of merit to the charges, rather than stop them. If anyone knows the judicial standards here please weigh in. Interestingly and perhaps relevantly, the Supreme Court of WA just weighed in that a petition process to unseat the Snohomish County Sheriff may proceed:
    Here is looks like his threat of non-enforcement of a governor edict paved the way for it. It also can be inferred from this that there is an appeal process up to the Supreme Court, which I imagine the losing party may avail themselves of.

    • OK, let’s look at that bill of particulars against Sawant. (A) is concerning but sadly not unusual, though in most cases the “outside” group driving the councilmember’s agenda is one that’s far more powerful and far less benign than Socialist Alternative. (B) is, if true, a relatively minor statutory offense she should probably be fined a few hundred bucks for. (C) through (F) are matters of questionable judgment that may well be relevant to the 2023 election. None of it comes close to justifying the expense and distraction of a recall campaign, especially not this year.

  10. I do enjoy the impliciation that because I don’t want to give Sawant’s mob my name and address, I’m some big business crony. Give me a break. These are people who got the organizer of the recall campaign fired. These are people who lead an angry mob to your literal doorstep. Of course those who support the recall want to remain anonymous. I sure as hell do.

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