Sawant has called for Durkan’s resignation, blaming the mayor for the aggressive tactics used by police in the early days of protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis cops. Sawant ramped up her tactics by letting hundreds of demonstrators into City Hall for an unauthorized rally and then by leading another group of protesters over to Durkan’s private residence.

In response, Durkan asked the City Council to investigate Sawant for these activities and, perhaps, expel her from office for her “contemptuous” behavior – a step the council refused to take, even though Sawant’s antics exposed City Hall staff to exposure to the coronavirus and breached the security of the mayor’s home.

Sawant is not your typical municipal politician. She is a proud – some would say arrogant – political activist who uses her official position to promote what she ceaselessly refers to as “the movement.” Ask her to help get a pothole fixed on your street, and she will likely respond with a screed about why potholes are another manifestation of an oppressive capitalist system that must be toppled by a socialist vanguard.

Durkan comes from a prominent political family and served as U.S. Attorney before being elected mayor. She is calm, cool and cautious, while Sawant is agitated, hot and ready for revolution. By any normal measure, Durkan has solid progressive credentials but, to Sawant, she is nothing more than another corporation-loving, establishment Democrat.

Maybe the two women will find common ground in the days to come, but it seems far more likely this is just the beginning of a protracted grudge match.

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