Campaign to recall Indian-American Councilwoman in Seattle

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Kshama Sawant in a poster. Photo: profile photo on Twitter @KshamaSocialist

The Seattle Times reported that the campaign to recall Indian-American Councilwoman of Seattle Kshama Sawant, had submitted signatures on a petition that calls for a special election this coming winter.

Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party, was elected as far back as in 2013 and entered the Council in 2014. She is the only member from Socialist Alternative to be elected to public office. She is also a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

According to the Seattle Times news report Sept. 8, 2021, the Recall Sawant campaign began collecting signatures in April and needs the King County Elections to validate at least 10,687 of the signatures from Sawant’s District 3 voters. If that many signatures are validated, out of the more than 16,000 collected so far, the special election will have to be held between 45-90 days after the validation, said the Times.

The Recall Sawant petition claims Sawant used city resources to promote the “Tax Amazon” ballot initiative, as well as allowing members of the public to enter City Hall during protests when Covid restrictions were in place in early June, 2020, Seattle Times reported.

According to socialistalternative.org, Sawant won her first election with over 90,000 votes, to become the first socialist in Seattle to win an election in nearly one hundred years. She was re-elected in 2019 securing 52 percent of the vote, according to a Washington Post report.

Sawant, a former software engineer, has been a forceful campaigner for the $15 minimum wage initiative, and a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as well as relentlessly pursuing the Tax Amazon effort.

A November 2019 report after that year’s elections, carried in The Washington Post, noted Sawant’s strong backing for tax on large companies and the $15 minimum wage. “But Sawant’s campaign for reelection this year pitted her against Amazon, Seattle’s largest private employer, more conspicuously than ever,” the report noted, adding, “The retail giant has put $1.5 million toward City Council races this cycle, via a business-interest group that spent nearly half a million dollars in support of Sawant’s opponent—a massive expansion of the company’s efforts to shape politics on its home turf.”

Sawant’s victory was hailed by left Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts.

“Nobody in Seattle has caused more headaches for the political establishment over the past seven years than Kshama Sawant,” the Socialist Alternative says on its website.

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