On October 19, about 85 people braved a rainy morning in the middle of Capitol Hill to begin the final phase of the campaign to re-elect Kshama Sawant. With mail-in ballots beginning to arrive at voter’s addresses, their goal was simple: go door-to-door to drive up the voter turnout for Sawant, the socialist candidate building movements to win rent control, a green new deal for working people in Seattle, and taxes on corporations and big business.
The egregious one-million-dollar money bomb Amazon sent to the pro-corporate CASE PAC earlier in the week certainly spurred forward attendance to the rally. After Tuesday’s spending spree, Amazon’s total contributions to this local Seattle election total $1.5 million, a completely unprecedented amount. In addition, luxury housing developers Vulcan Developers, Puget Sound Energy, Comcast, and other big businesses have pushed the corporate PAC war chest up to around 4 million dollars. Corporations intend to use this money to tip the scale in all seven city council district races and buy themselves an even more business-friendly local government in the city. But the focal point of the conflict is in Sawant’s race, with her opponent Egan Orion being the primary beneficiary of the corporate support.
Over the coming weeks, this money will blanket Seattle in dishonest attack ads via the mail, television, and paid canvassers, but Sawant’s volunteer doorknockers are ready to fight back against the disinformation. After a short rally in which the 85 volunteers piled under canopies to stay dry, everyone dispersed through the neighborhood to begin knocking on doors. “The Hill is such a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood to call home, and every time I go out doorknocking I’m struck by the wide range of working people who support Kshama and the movement,” said Socialist Alternative member Gabe Mahan. “I want to make sure every one of my neighbors is registered to vote and knows what’s at stake, and more than anything I don’t Amazon stealing our representation with misleading faux-progressive messages and corporate money.”
Keeping this seat in the hands of a working-class representative will require reaching every single supporter in District 3 to insure they mail in their ballot for Kshama Sawant. Working-class people face numerous obstacles in participating in the electoral process, be it keeping their registration up to date or simply forgetting to vote due to the stresses of everyday life. With such hostile terrain, voting is not enough to win the demands we need to make Seattle an affordable and sustainable city for all. That’s why we need the strongest possible grassroots campaign over the coming weeks to re-elect Kshama Sawant! Every working class dollar and working class hour contributed by the election deadline, November 5, makes a dent in Amazon’s ill gotten stash!