Socialist Alternative is the organization that spearheaded the campaign to elect Kshama Sawant to Seattle City Council, the first independent socialist elected in a major U.S. city in decades. We are a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We are community activists fighting against budget cuts in public services; we are activists campaigning for a $15/hour minimum wage and fighting, democratic unions; we are people of all colors speaking out against racism and attacks on immigrants, students organizing against tuition hikes and war, women and men fighting sexism and homophobia.
We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.
We see the global capitalist system as the root cause of the economic crisis, poverty, discrimination, war, and environmental destruction. As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.
We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about. We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.
What We Stand For
Fighting for the 99%
- Create living-wage union jobs for all the unemployed through a massive public works program to develop mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
- Free, high quality healthcare for all. Replace the failed for-profit insurance companies with a publicly funded single-payer system as a step towards fully socialized medicine.
- No budget cuts to education & social services! Full funding for all community needs. The federal government should bail out states to prevent cuts and layoffs. A massive increase in taxes on the rich and big business, not working people.
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour, adjusted annually for cost of living increases and regional differences, as a step towards a living wage for all.
- A minimum guaranteed weekly income of $600/week for the unemployed, disabled, stay-at-home parents, the elderly, and others unable to work.
- Stop home foreclosures and evictions. For public ownership and democratic control of the major banks.
- No more layoffs! Take bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership and retool them for socially necessary green production.
- Free, high quality public education for all from pre-school through college. Full funding for schools to dramatically lower teacher-student ratios. Stop the focus on high stakes testing and the drive to privatize public education.
- Repeal all anti-union laws like Taft-Hartley. For democratic unions run by the rank-and-file to fight for better pay, working conditions, and social services. Full-time union officials should be regularly elected and receive the average wage of those they represent.
- For a guaranteed living wage pension.
- Shorten the workweek with no loss in pay and benefits – share out the work with the unemployed and create new jobs.
Money for Jobs and Education, Not War
- End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bring all the troops home now!
- Slash the military budget.
- Repeal the Patriot Act and other attacks on democratic rights.
- Fight global warming – Massive public investment in renewable energy and efficiency technologies to rapidly replace fossil fuels.
- A major expansion of public transportation to provide low fare, high-speed, and accessible mass transit.
- Public ownership of the big energy companies. All workers in polluting industries should be guaranteed re-training and new living-wage jobs in socially-useful green production.
Equal Rights for All
- Fight discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, and all other forms of prejudice. Equal pay for equal work.
- End police brutality and the institutional racism of the criminal justice system. Black lives matter! Invest in rehabilitation, job-training, and living-wage jobs, not prisons! Abolish the death penalty.
- Full legalization and equal rights for all undocumented immigrant workers.
- Fight sexual harassment, violence against women, and all forms of sexism.
- Defend a woman’s right to choose whether and when to have children. Publicly funded, single-payer health care system with free reproductive services, including all forms of birth control and safe, accessible abortions. Comprehensive sex education. Paid maternity and paternity leave. Fully subsidized, high-quality child care.
- Equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including same-sex marriage.
Break with the Two Parties of Big Business
- For a mass workers’ party drawing together workers, young people and activists from workplace, community, civil rights, environmental and antiwar campaigns, to provide a fighting, political alternative to the pro-big business parties.
- Unions and other social movement organizations should stop funding and supporting the Democratic and Republican Parties and instead organize independent left-wing, anti-corporate candidates and coalitions as a first step toward building a workers’ party.
Socialism and Internationalism
- Capitalism produces poverty, inequality, environmental destruction and war. We need an international struggle against this system.
- Repeal NAFTA, CAFTA and other “free trade” agreements which mean job losses and a race to the bottom for workers and the environment.
- Solidarity with the struggles of workers and the oppressed internationally – An injury to one is an injury to all.
- Take into public ownership the top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy and run them under the democratic management of elected representatives of the workers and the broader public. Compensation to be paid on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.
- A democratic socialist plan for the economy based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people and the environment. For a socialist United States and a socialist world.