The radical council member’s 4-year-term term ends in December. She first took office as the District 3 representative, which includes Capitol Hill, the site of 2020’s deadly Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, and other surrounding neighborhoods in 2014.
The 49-year-old activist announced that in March she will launch "Workers Strike Back," a national socialist labor movement campaign.
She also slammed socialist members of the "Squad" in her announcement. "Since I was elected in 2013, more than two hundred self-identified ‘democratic socialist’ candidates have been elected nationally. But unfortunately, with rare exceptions, the overwhelming majority of them have abandoned their campaign promises and have failed to stand up to the political establishment."
She added, "Just last month, we saw the historic and shameful betrayal of railroad workers by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including caucus chair Pramila Jayapal and self-proclaimed democratic-socialist 'Squad' members such as AOC."
She also claimed that the "Democratic Party is moving further and further right in their loyal support of the corporate elite."
Sawant’s socialist supporters have been successful in infiltrating local Democratic parties and pushing them father left.
"We cannot put our faith in the AOCs or the Pramila Jayapals, even though I understand there were many who had high expectations for them," she continued.
Sawant also called out the party that has unwaveringly supported her, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), for not holding AOC and the Squad "accountable."
"It gives me no pleasure to say this, because I am currently a member of DSA. But the DSA leadership has, for the most part, provided cover for the misleadership of the Squad."
Sawant made the intentions of her new movement "Workers Strike Back" very clear in her announcement. "Capitalism needs to be overthrown. We need a socialist world. And that is only possible by mobilizing many millions of working people around genuine socialist ideas and fighting relentlessly for our interest as a class."
Sawant has championed radical progressive policies which have been proven failures for Seattle’s workers. She championed the $15 minimum wage which led to reduced hours for low-wage workers and more automation. Many businesses including grocery stores gave up on Seattle rather than pay the increased wages.
Her efforts to tax Amazon and other large corporations led to the companies laying off staff in Seattle and relocating jobs and offices to nearby Bellevue and elsewhere.
She was also one of the originators locally of the defund the police movement which led to the mass exodus of officers and a massive increase in crime, all while she and other council members have supported decriminalizing misdemeanors.
Sawant championed "Stop The Sweeps" to prevent the city from clearing homeless encampments and offering services to campers, which led to encampments growing in size, spreading across the city and a massive increase in drug-related deaths among the homeless.
In May 2021, Sawant admitted to violating the city’s Ethics and Elections Code, just one of many violations that allowed the Washington State Supreme Court to rule that a recall effort against the city’s first Socialist councilmember could proceed. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful.
Sawant admitted to using city funds to support her Tax Amazon initiative and was fined after being found in direct violation of the city’s code of ethics.
She also used her key to let protesters from the deadly autonomous zone during the 2020 riots into Seattle City Hall after hours while it was closed to the public due to the COVID pandemic, in order to occupy the building.
In addition to Sawant supporting the deadly occupation of six blocks of Seattle during the riots in 2020, her staff set up tents inside the zone to collect signatures for a ballot initiative she was promoting at the time.
Shortly thereafter she led rioters and protestors to the undisclosed address of then-Mayor Jenny Durkan. The home was vandalized during the protest. Sawant praised the riots in her announcement.
"And it was less than three years ago that the biggest street protest movement in United States history took place—the Black Lives Matter struggle in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police."
Most recently, after advocating to defund the police and years spent demonizing them, Sawant demanded they protect her home after vandals threw human feces at her front door and demanded forensic testing of the fecal matter.
Sawant is the fourth of seven incumbent Seattle council members whose terms are expiring to announce they will not seek reelection.
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