Posts Tagged ‘seattle’

How (not) to buy an election

November 9, 2019

In Seattle, Amazon spent $1million, in the 2019 local elections, in an effort to secure a more right-wing council. The company had, in 2018, scored a victory against an attempt to tax big business, after 7 of the 9 council members caved in and repealed a “Head Tax” on big business to help fund affordable housing. Starbucks and Amazon stood to pay $millions as the largest employers in the city into the fund. They put huge pressure to bear on the council to repeal the tax. The only two council members who refused to bow to corporate pressure were Kshama Sawant (Socialist Alternative) and Teresa Mosqueda (Democrat).

Amazon’s most trenchant critic, who helped win a $15 minimum wage in the city has been Kshama Sawant, also said that she would fight to reinstate the tax if re-elected. Has Amazon’s attempt to buy local democracy in Seattle paid off?

Despite promising early tallies for Egan Orion, the Amazon-backed candidate, Kshama Sawant is heading for victory when all votes are counted, as later ballots tend to lean to the left – people who have to work all hours to make ends meet are more likely to vote later in the election. The likelihood is that there will be an astounding third term for the first socialist candidate to be elected in 100 years in the US.

The influx of electoral money prompted a tweet by Bernie Sanders:
“Jeff Bezos and Amazon think they can buy elections. They spent $1 million to stop City Council candidates @d1forLisa, @TammyMoralesSEA, @VoteSawant and @ElectScott2019. Show Amazon that they can’t buy our democracy and that their corporate greed won’t stand. Get out and vote!”

It seems that the people of Seattle are supporting his call and refusing to listen to corporate attempts to buy democracy.

Read more from Socialist Alternative US (the sister party to Socialist Alternative in the UK):
https://www.socialistalternative.org/2019/11/06/amazons-bid-to-unseat-seattles-socialist-too-close-to-call/

Seattle

April 20, 2014

Occupy leads the way, the Spirit of ’08

Wall Street crashes, but we fight back – strike and demonstrate.

Questioning accepted truths, capitalism’s realm

Tide of humanity, dispossessed. Overwhelm

Squares and centres, reclaim the 99 per-cent

Stolen from us by avarice and greed. Hell-bent

To destroy jobs and welfare, profit at all cost.

If you cannot pay the rent, then all may seem lost.

If you push us too far, we have nothing to lose

Except our chains. We won’t comply and sing the blues.

The rich in charge, capitalism’s ‘fair’ exchange.

Obama raises the stakes, empty promises of ‘Change’.

Fast food workers first take up the union’s cause

Across the states, they demand – take back what is theirs;

Decent pay, a living wage, not too much too ask,

Healthcare when we need it. We take Walmart to task.

No corporate donations, ties with which to bind us

We built this ourselves – in the battle you’ll find us

In Seattle, we shout – $15 an hour!

Sawant’s elected, we realise our power.

Fight until we win –  we’re no longer satisfied

With crumbs from your table, now that we’re organised.

 

 

Note – Excellent article here on the progress of the $15/hr campaign and the impact the election of Kshama Sawant is having on people in Seattle and across America.

 


You can read some more of my poetry in ‘Little Red Poetry’. All proceeds go to build a new party for ordinary people, against cuts and privatisation. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Copies are also available from Left Books