Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/872/21494
USA: Socialists breaking 'political stagnation'
Socialist Alternative Seattle city councillor, Kshama Sawant (above), is seeking re-election on 3 November. Socialist Alternative (co-thinkers of the Socialist Party) and Kshama have been to the fore in successfully championing a $15 an hour minimum wage, and campaigning for rent controls against the vested interests of big business and its Democratic Party allies in the city.
A recent New York Times article discussing 'third parties' said: "It's no coincidence that the newest third-party politician elected to office, the Seattle city councillor Kshama Sawant of the Socialist Alternative party, rode to victory in 2013 in part by calling for a $15 minimum wage. Now that movement is going mainstream, with a number of cities following suit. Third-party movements in America have helped break political stagnation and enable the country to shift direction at critical times."
Socialist Alternative added: "What's causing 'political stagnation' is an establishment that puts corporate profits over our communities. We can see this on full display in education.
"The Washington State Legislature has handed over billions to Boeing in tax handouts and created 600 corporate tax loopholes, all while short changing our children and educators by billions, forcing Seattle teachers to go on strike.
"Seattle's richest 1%... is absolutely dedicated to defeating Kshama and any movements of the 99%. They see unseating Kshama as instrumental in solidifying the Democrat-run City Council as a compliant body to advance corporate interests."
The campaign for rent controls to make housing affordable is also gaining ground in the election. Kshama commented: "Nothing would upset the real estate industry more than to see the only city council member who can't be bought re-elected and ready to continue the fight for affordable housing".
Kshama condemned the Obama sanctioned recent visit of China's dictatorial president Xi Jinping to the USA, starting in Seattle. She denounced the systematic violation of human rights, democratic rights in general, and workers' rights in particular by the Chinese government and US corporations operating in China.
In The Socialist 30 September 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party features
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns