During her two terms on the Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant has brought a distinctly different style of politics to city hall. The Socialist Alternative rabble rouser — or should I say champion of the common people — has shown herself not especially interested in comity and compromise. No more “Seattle nice.” Sawant believes in confrontation with the local business interests that are part of a capitalist system that she calls “the mortal enemy.”
Sawant claims to speak for the working people of the city, although some of those workers are not too wild about what she has to say when she raises her bullhorn. A group of construction workers shouted her down at a demonstration where she was pushing to retain the city head tax on businesses. And this town’s biggest cohort of workers are employed by Amazon, her greatest nemesis. Do those workers want to follow her to the ramparts or are they happy and content toiling for the richest man in the world?
The question facing voters in council district 3 this fall is whether they are weary of Sawant’s stridency or eager to let her carry on. The verdict from that vote will be the most interesting and, perhaps, the most significant result of the 2019 city election.
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