Kshama Sawant, she of volubility and endless energy, became a city councilwoman as a dark horse candidate. Much of her support came from numerous random meetings with working and needy people. She thus became virtually evangelistic about their needs, the burdens upon them, and the widening disparity between the affluent and the rest of the population. In that regard, she takes only $40,000 of the $117,000 annual city council salary and allocates the rest to her solidarity fund. Her concerns entail several matters. One is that of the homeless. A bill to allow encampments on city property was narrowly defeated. She has mounted a crusade to reverse this ruling.
Another is the minimum wage. She contends (and who can deny?) that the $15/hour wage prices anyone out of decent Seattle housing. She contends that the hard-won $15 wage shall help, rather than inhibit, business. With purchasing power on the increase, people can support business by becoming more frequent customers. Affordable housing is diminishing. Corporations buy up affordable housing in order to raze the land for luxury apartments. She named the prices of both rents and homes, stating the fact that they are far out of reach for the working class and the poor.
She advocates a year-round female shelter. This would fill a need for victims of domestic abuse who would otherwise have to return home for financial reasons. Sawant also points to a regressive WA tax system, which offers corporate rewards but little or nothing for others. She offers quite a bit more of her observations and items needing action, including unfair city subsidies for large developers, the ecological consequences of Arctic drilling, the threats to labor unions, and hate crime.
Comment: A dynamic councilmember, with verve regarding several simultaneous issues. The fact that she enjoys considerable support suggests belief in her diagnoses and plans for remedies,