This story is from December 5, 2021

Indian American city council member faces recall vote in Seattle

Kshama Sawant, an Indian-American council member who has served on the city council of Seattle, Washington, since 2014, is facing a recall vote on December 7.
Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative and the first and only member of the party to be elected to public office in America, faces recall on four grounds with petitioners alleging her of relinquishing the authority of her office; misusing city funds for electioneering purposes; disregarding regulations related to Covid-19, and misusing her official position.
Though the office of city council is officially non-partisan, Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party and was the first socialist elected to the Seattle city government in 97 years.
Sawant had responded to the allegations in an opposition filing with the superior court, arguing the recall effort is politically motivated and had asked the court to dismiss the petition. However, in April 2021, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the recall could proceed on all of the alleged grounds except for the allegation that Sawant relinquished the authority of her office to a political agency. Supporters of the recall petition submitted signatures on September 8, 2021, ahead of the October 19 deadline. The Recall Sawant campaign has said that they have submitted 16,273 signatures ahead of the vote.
Sawant, an IT professional, went to the US to study economics and ran for the Washington House of Representatives in 2012, but lost. Her political career has been that of an activist who says that she brings a passion for social justice to her work as a public servant. As a member of the Seattle City Council, she has pledged to be a voice for “workers, youth, the oppressed and the voiceless”. She only accepts the average workers' wage and donates the rest of her six-figure salary to building social justice movements.
Her supporters under the banner of Kshama Solidarity, are highlighting that she has “unapologetically fought for working people since she was first elected in 2013”. They allege that it is a right-wing group which is behind the recall petition. Among Sawant’s supporters is Bernie Sanders, the high-profile senator from Vermont.
Significant among the causes that Sawant has been fighting for is imposing greater taxes on Amazon and other big businesses to fund Covid-19 relief for working people and expansion of affordable, social housing.
“If the Covid-19 pandemic teaches us anything, it’s that the existing profit-hungry capitalist system has failed the vast majority of working people. And it will continue to fail us. We must organise our own independent political movements, raise our demands, and fight for our rights as working people,” she says in a message on her Seattle City Council web page. As a member of Socialist Alternative, she says that she recognises that “we have to fight for a socialist society, one that puts people’s needs before corporate profits”.
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