There are definitely some very sharp differences between supporters of socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Donald Trump. They can complain all they want, but she still accomplished something the so-called president did not — winning the popular vote.
Just a year after Sawant won her 2015 re-election bid — with 56 percent of the vote in the newly created District 3 — an online petition was created to recall the councilmember.
Rather than treat this as news — because it did recently gain interest on Reddit — we’re going to make fun of it to fill editorial space.
There were 30,684 votes counted in the 2015 election. At that time, the District 3 population was 91,197, most being of legal voting age, according to the Seattle Times. Putting it lightly, voter turnout was crap.
Sawant was a socialist when she won her first “nonpartisan” council race against incumbent Richard Conlin, by a squeaky 3,000 votes when considering 184,213 people voted during that one, and there were no districts. Oh, and that Conlin had his own recall issues that year with the Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel.
The point is, Sawant has — for good and bad — been her true self for years, and she still somehow got elected and reelected despite a bevy of liberal alternatives.
The problem with this petition (besides it being stupid) is that it is not being solely endorsed by District 3 voters, or even Seattle voters. You can see someone is from Washington, but there are two Washington states, as many in this lovely liberal bubble can attest.
We have no doubt Sawant is unfavorable in parts of Florida, but that has no merit here.
For a recall effort to even have a chance, petitioners must prove malfeasance on Sawant’s part while in office. It didn’t work with Conlin in 2011, and it won’t work here.
“Kshama Sawant is not respecting the will of the people,” the petition states at the very beginning. “She’s using her platform to incite violence and call for protests and riots.”
Protests? Yes. Violence? No. Riots? Also no. Using her platform? Wouldn’t you?
Sawant does her fair share of protesting, both inside and outside of council chambers. While she hasn’t always played nice with her fellow councilmembers, she has championed some good legislation, particularly in regards to affordable housing.
What we’d like to see is Sawant take her marching shoes off every once in a while and spend a little more time advocating specifically for the district she represents.
Yes, she’s opposed to a new juvenile detention center in the district, and that’s great and all, but there are other things.
We rarely see her at community functions that don’t involve megaphones, and the work she does on the council is more all-encompassing. When’s the last time she checked in on businesses on 23rd? What is she doing on the council to address hate crimes and gang violence here? Her Twitter feed doesn’t often reflect any thoughts on these matters. We recently called and asked one of Sawant’s staffers what she thought about Broadway businesses reversing their support for a streetcar extension. He said she wouldn’t have an opinion until there was a more concrete plan. Well, someone should tell SDOT, because it came up with a plan a while ago.
That said, she is still a champion for the underdog. She aims high, and Donald Trump is president, so expect these protests to continue. While the authoritarian in the Oval Office might be ousted before the next election, it’s not likely for Sawant.