On the heels of Virginia’s continued blue wave, it looks like Seattle’s Kshama Sawant, a socialist City Councilmember who ran for her third term on a platform of fighting corporate influence in local government among other things, is set to secure her seat. Sawant, who was previously trailing her challenger Egan Orion by more than 8 percent, has overtaken him by 3.6 percent now that votes postmarked or left in ballot boxes have been counted, reports Crosscut. Who says that snail mail is dead?
For many Seattleites, the recently tallied votes feel analogous to finding $20 in your pocket on laundry day, but as it turns out, not everyone in the city is excited for sudden windfalls of money.
In fact, many of those on the opposing side of Sawant’s reelection blame a last-minute, million-dollar contribution from Amazon for swinging the vote in her favor, including Orion. “Amazon’s late contribution to [the Chamber’s PAC] was our October surprise and a great gift to the Sawant team who previous to that clearly saw this race slipping away from them,” he said. If only there were a way for politicians to avoid accepting money from our corporate overlords!
Amazon’s presence has long been a source of contention for the city’s residents, who are growing wary of corporate influence in local government. “The voters are interested in candidates who are not going to listen to corporate power brokers, but are going to advocate for what people want,” said Tammy Morales, the recently elected Councilmember for District 2. Doing public service for the public? Go all the way off Tammy.
Some might even say that Seattle’s blue wave is… bluer than blue? Three of the newly elected members are apparently just as, if not more, left leaning than who they’re replacing (which, coincidentally, was the feedback I got from my last boyfriend). And it looks like there’s a feeling this newly elected slate might once again bring up Seattle’s “head tax,” legislation that was passed and repealed in 2018 (what happened to the no takesies backsies rule!), involving taxing high-grossing businesses in the area. We’re looking at you Bezos.
Of course, only time will tell whether this new, more progressive team of Councilmembers will be able to rally the forces necessary to combat inequality in the Seattle area, but damn am I excited to see them try.