District 3 Endorsement: Kshama Sawant

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Seattle City Council Districts map.With a victory in District 3, Kshama Sawant would become the senior member of the City Council. And in her time in office, she has redrawn the path to power in our city. She has broken conventions and fought the influence of big business money and won. But she’s currently fighting her most difficult campaign since her unlikely, narrow win over Richard Conlin in 2013.

Sawant has been a steadfast ally for biking, safe streets and transit in Seattle. And as a longtime member of the City Council Transportation Committee, she has consistently voted to move our city’s most ambitious efforts to make our transportation system work better for everyone. And she often speaks up to make sure equity is being centered in decision-making.

No, biking is not one of the primary centerpiece issues for her office, but that’s OK. It doesn’t need to be everyone’s top issue (that would be weird, actually). But she is always there when needed. And as I’ve written in several previous endorsements of Sawant, I’m not fighting for safe and connected bike lanes that only the rich can use.

Her opponent Egan Orion isn’t anti-bike or anything. But he is receiving an enormous sum of cash from big businesses, especially Amazon, in an effort to kick her off the Council. We need a Councilmember we know will stand up for the people if we are going to make the bold changes to our transportation system that we need, and Sawant will do that. Just watch her in this April Transportation Committee meeting fighting back against Mayor Jenny Durkan’s decision to cut the planned, designed and funded bike lanes on 35th Ave NE:

Download transcript (.txt)

Sawant has also been endorsed by Washington Bikes, Seattle Subway (PDF), the Urbanist and the Transit Riders Union.

Yeah, Seattle Bike Blog enthusiastically endorses Sawant for reelection.

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19 Responses to District 3 Endorsement: Kshama Sawant

  1. Pingback: District 2 Endorsement: Tammy Morales | Seattle Bike Blog

  2. Pingback: District 1 Endorsement: Lisa Herbold | Seattle Bike Blog

  3. Zach says:

    I appreciate your reasoning here Tom, I do. But I just don’t think I’ll be able to vote for Sawant. If you try to call her office about any Safe Streets issue, they’ll literally laugh at you.

    They won’t do anything that isn’t greenlit by her soviet, as reported by SCC Insight a few months ago. Orion sucks, and Sawant sucks. It’s a big bummer that De Wolf didn’t make it through the primary.

    I totally hear that bike lanes don’t have to be everyone’s top priority, but constituents shouldn’t have to give a tithe to a socialist party in order to have a chance at getting safer streets.

    • socialistworld says:

      Hi Zach,

      What’s this hilarious nonsense you’re spouting?

      :)

      Socialist Kshama Sawant helped Seattle’s worst-paid workers win a $15 per hour minimum wage.
      We fight to extend that victory nationwide!

      It’s okay if you disagree with some of, or even all of, Kshama’s policies.
      Regardless, as a fellow-worker, as one of the 99 Per Cent, you’re both honor-bound and duty-bound to vote for Kshama.

      Why?
      Because Kshama is a workers’ delegate, on a worker’s wage — she takes only $45,000 plus expenses from her annual $120,000 Seattle city council salary, giving all the rest to the workers’ fightback.

      The fightback against billionaire bullies such as Bezos, the paymasters of Kshama’s opponent the “Seattle Chamber-pot of Commerce” candidate.

      If you vote for the ”billionaire bandits’ blue-eyed boy”, or if you don’t vote at all, you’d be betraying yourself — you’d be acting as a strike-breaking scab.

      So ask yourself: Are you a “traitor”, or are you a fighter?

      And having answered the question yourself, please vote for Kshama.
      And even more importantly, please donate to Kshama’s campaign.
      And most important of all, please consider joining Socialist Alternative.

      Together, we have a world to win!

      https://www.kshamasawant.org/

      https://www.socialistalternative.org/

  4. Bruce Burger says:

    Since you are endorsing based on bike policy, I’d like to see more about the other candidate’s positions than just “Her opponent Egan Orion isn’t anti-bike or anything”.

    • sally says:

      The one time I saw Egan Orion talk about bikes he said that we should fix all the potholes before we put in any new bike infrastructure. That is a recipe for making sure that we never put in any new bike infrastructure.

  5. Southeasterner says:

    I’m not a big Sawant fan but it does bring up a big red flag that Amazon is spending so much money on Orion. What are they expecting in return? I thought the voucher system was supposed to make sure big business couldn’t buy off a candidate?

    • Connor says:

      They’re investing in never paying taxes, ever, as our infrastructure (which requires taxes to support and expand) steadily degrades under population pressure, as the planet heats up from car use, etc.

      Sawant’s second biggest platform issue is a Green New Deal for Seattle, primarily meaning expanding mass transit like buses and making them free and fully electric. This would be great for everyone who has to use the currently choked streets as well as for the environment. But it comes at the cost that money has to be spent on it, and it has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the billionaires and wealthy corporations because they’re hoarding it and no one else has it.

      So what Amazon is paying for is to politically defeat any attempt to tax them, through the anti-democratic power of paid canvassers. Orion doesn’t say he isn’t going to tax them, of course, he just hedges on everything around it, but they’re Amazon executives who are presumably good at investing. They know what they’re buying.

  6. Greg says:

    Seems like a backward endorsement. Amazon has big financial incentives for employees to be able to bike safely. If Sawant represents the common people, well, they all have cars. Biking, especially in Seattle, is about as elitist as you can get. Fixing potholes would be a big help to fast cyclists that use roads.

    • AP says:

      > Biking, especially in Seattle, is about as elitist as you can get.

      I’m so tired of this claim. Biking as a commute option can require flexibility in work hours and amenities (e.g., showers) at your destination. That makes it a more popular option for the stereotypical tech bro.

      But neither is a requirement. And I can assure you that I see lots of people riding bikes that are not the stereotypical tech bro.

      Driving a BMW or Tesla Model X is about as elitist as you can get. And I can back up that claim.

      (As for the rest, sure. Amazon has huge incentives for their people to bike safely to work.)

  7. Alvin says:

    Do you really think Sawant is still grassroots about biking safety as she claim these days? She only cares about her next big issue that she can sensationalize and cause disruptive behaviour in our city. Eg what she did with Showbox. That costed the city, ie US through taxes, a whopping 5 million in legal fees and the Showbox will still most likely go away … That’s the type of things she does, she just wants to grab headlines and make a name for herself. She doesn’t have your best interest at heart.

    And, I am all for biking on the road, but regulations must be introduced where if bikers are found to be not following that they will be disciplined. I don’t know how many times I have seen bikers not follow road rules, ride into pedestrian crossing at I tersectikns at road intersections. It’s just dangerous to both themselves and to the pedestrians.

    • AP says:

      Now do car drivers.

    • M.B. says:

      For the record I got a ticket for running a stop sign on my bike. Super lame. . . But bikes are subject to the same rules and can be issued citations. As a driver and a cyclist I see far better behavior by cyclists then drivers.

      • Conrad says:

        Me too. Cars stop for people in crosswalks way less than 50 percent of the time. I have seen people in cars yell at pedestrians in marked crosswalks numerous times. And the most important thing that nobody ever seems to mention is that a bike weighs around 30 lbs and a car is usually over 3000 lbs . People are hit and killed by cars on a regular basis. When is the last time someone was killed by a cyclist?

    • socialistworld says:

      Ooh! A pseudo-psychologist named “Alvin” caterwauling “Socialist Kshama doesn’t care for you-OOO” !!!

      On the contrary:

      Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative are genuine socialists.

      We care most profoundly for all our class, all the 99 Per Cent, all our sisters and brothers!

      Heck, we care even for nitwits like you!

      :)

      The question clearly posed at this election is:
      Who gets to run Seattle?
      Bully Bezos and other billionaire brigands?
      Or the 99 Per Cent, the working people?

      Hence our appeal to every fellow 99 PerCenter to:
      * Please vote for Kshama.

      * And even more importantly, please donate to Kshama’s campaign.

      * And most important of all, please consider joining Socialist Alternative.

      Together, we have a world to win!

      https://www.kshamasawant.org/

      https://www.socialistalternative.org/

  8. Pingback: District 4 Endorsement: Shaun Scott | Seattle Bike Blog

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  10. Voting for Sawant is insane. Historically any socialist country has failed…. miserably. Higher taxes for 80% of the population and free benefits for the lazy. No thanks.

  11. Pingback: District 6 Endorsement: Dan Strauss | Seattle Bike Blog

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