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Tue Mar 17, 2015, 11:37 PM

Why are they targeting Sawant?

The Urban League is going after the only leftist and the only woman of color on the Seattle City Council. Rather than challenging the pro-corporate advocates of neoliberalism, whether Democrat or Republican, who increasingly dominate U.S. politics, this well-known liberal organization is expending its energy on defeating the left.

Pamela Banks, president of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, announced this month that she will run in the next municipal election against City Council member Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative candidate who won national attention for her successful 2013 campaign.

Sawant has been a leading figure in the Fight for 15 campaign, a national movement to demand demands a living minimum wage of $15 per hour. As Salon.com pointed out, she was one of the few officeholders in the U.S. to "openly and unapologetically criticize" Israel's war crimes against the Palestinian people. She is also in a virtual dead heat for the highest approval rating citywide of any City Council member, and has far and away the most name recognition, according to a poll published last October.

Because of her election success and her principled left-wing stands as a City Council member, Sawant has become an important symbol throughout the country that a democratic, anti-racist, feminist, socialist alternative to the Democratic Party is possible. Yet Banks and the Urban League want to pull down this symbol.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/03/17/why-are-they-targeting-sawant

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Reply Why are they targeting Sawant? (Original post)
TexasTowelie Mar 2015 OP
Scootaloo Mar 2015 #1
TexasTowelie Mar 2015 #2
freshwest Mar 2015 #3
eridani Mar 2015 #4
Chan790 Mar 2015 #5
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2015 #6

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 02:16 AM

1. Thanks for posting this

 

Didn't see any mention in the Seattle Times (but i suppose that's no surprise.) I adore Sawant, and find this to be a massive head-slapper. And the article is right - it's partisan. Can't let someone go out-liberaling the Democrats, now can we?

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 02:29 AM

2. You're welcome.

I only have limited knowledge about Sawant (please remember that I'm in Texas), but I thought that the message that she provided after the SOTU addressed a lot of issues that extend beyond the Seattle area. Pamela Banks should run against one of the other candidates rather than contesting that city council position.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 02:37 AM

3. Not only Banks, but two others are running:

...Banks, endorsed by former King County executive Ron Sims, is running against Councilmember Kshama Sawant and two other challengers, Rod Hearne and Morgan Beach...

http://www.seattletimes.com/news/urban-league-president-will-run-for-seattle-city-council-challenge-sawant/

Read the rest. It's probably not about Sawant as much as it is getting that seat on the council.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 05:03 AM

4. If you'd like to support her campaign this year--

(all council candidates must run again because Seattle now has district elections) her website is https://votesawant.nationbuilder.com/donate

For those not in Seattle, there may be phone banking opportunities. With very few exceptions, her Dem supporters are doing it under the table. Given that I'm an officeholder in my local LD, Mr Eridani will be donating to her campaign.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 06:32 AM

5. The obvious reason isn't ideological...

 

as much as the article wants to make it about ideology.

They're targeting her because she is a member of a non-major party meaning she doesn't have the more-extensive financial or logistical resources behind her as the council-members from major parties. A seat on the council is a valuable asset and she is, metaphorically, the most-vulnerable antelope for the lions to pick off.

If we want to keep Sawant on the council...a whole lot of us are going to have to commit to support her campaign beyond what we usually do. Sure we all donate money and free time, but it might require more...those of us who can take a work-sabbatical and have the experience or skills needed might need to make arrangements to sleep on a floor so we can volunteer F/T for the campaign, to provide Sawant with the fiscal and logistical resources that she lacks that made her vulnerable and which she will need to win.

Tl;dr: It's money/time/life where our mouths are time...if we want viable socialist progressive candidates, whether running as Socialists or as Democrats, we're going to have to make the sacrifices to make that viable because no institution, no party-committee, no corporate backer, no organization, think-tank, PAC, SuperPAC is going to do it for us.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Mar 18, 2015, 08:33 AM

6. It's right there.

Sawant has become an important symbol throughout the country that a democratic, anti-racist, feminist, socialist alternative to the Democratic Party is possible.


There are a LOT of folks with a strong investment that the US can only ever be a '2 party' country. The idea that third party candidates can be anything other than a fluke threatens the basis upon which they've set themselves up in power while at the same time pretending that any serious changes are impossible, that the best we can hope for from the left is 'minor, incremental' changes.

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