Socialist Alternative is the organization that spearheaded the campaign to elect Kshama Sawant to Seattle City Council in 2013, the first independent socialist elected in a major U.S. city in decades. We then led the successful campaign to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to the highest in the country, providing a massive boost to the $15 Now campaign that is spreading around the country. Kshama Sawant was successfully re-elected to the Seattle City Council in 2015 as a Socialist Alternative member, without any corporate cash, despite half a million dollars being spent on the campaign to unseat her.
Socialist Alternative is 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 an 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%
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, as a step toward a living wage for all.
- Free, high quality public education for all from pre-school through college. Full funding for schools to dramatically lower student-teacher ratios. Stop the focus on high stakes testing and the drive to privatize public education.
- Free, high quality health care 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 and social services! Full funding for all community needs. A major increase in taxes on the rich and big business, not working people.
- Create living-wage union jobs for all the unemployed through public works programs to develop mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
- For rent control combined with massive public investment in affordable housing.
- A guaranteed decent pension for all. No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid!
- A minimum guaranteed weekly income of $600/week for the unemployed, disabled, stay-at-home parents, the elderly, and others unable to work.
- 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.
- No more layoffs! Take bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership.
- Break the power of Wall Street! For public ownership and democratic control of the major banks.
- Shorten the workweek with no loss in pay and benefits; share out the work with the unemployed and create new jobs.
- Fight climate change. Massive public investment in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies to rapidly replace fossil fuels.
- A major expansion of public transportation to provide low fare, high-speed, and accessible transit.
- Democratic public ownership of the big energy companies, retooling them for socially necessary green production. A “Just Transition” for all workers in polluting industries with guaranteed re-training and new living-wage jobs.
Equal Rights for All
- Fight discrimination based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, and all other forms of prejudice. Equal pay for equal work.
- Black Lives Matter! Build a mass movement against police brutality and the institutional racism of the criminal justice system. Invest in rehabilitation, job-training, and living-wage jobs, not prisons! Abolish the death penalty.
- Defend immigrant rights! Immediate, unconditional legalization and equal rights for all undocumented immigrants.
- Fight sexual harassment, violence against women, and all forms of sexism.
- Defend a woman’s right to choose whether and when to have children. For a publicly funded, single-payer health care system with free reproductive services, including all forms of birth control and safe, accessible abortions. Comprehensive sex education. At least 12 weeks of paid family leave for all. For universal, high quality, affordable and publicly run child care.
- Fight discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community, and all forms of homophobia and transphobia.
Money for Jobs and Education, Not War
- End the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bring all the troops home now!
- Slash the military budget. No drones. Shut down Guantanamo.
- Repeal the Patriot Act, NDAA, and all other attacks on democratic rights.
Break with the Two Parties of Big Business
- For a mass workers party drawing together workers, young people and activists from environmental, civil rights, and women’s campaigns, to provide a fighting, political alternative to the corporate 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 failed system. No to corporate “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 oppressed peoples 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. 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.