Recall petition launched against Seattle city council member who helped Antifa occupy city hall

Ernie Lou, who lives in Capitol Hill, where activists took over a six block area and held it for 30 days, filed the complaint saying that the councilmember has lost touch with her district.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

A petition has been filed with King County Elections to recall Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant. Ernie Lou, who lives in Capitol Hill, where activists took over a six block area and held it for 30 days,  filed the complaint and told KOMO News that the council member has lost touch with her district.

"This is the grassroots citizens of District 3 of Seattle that says we don't support what you're doing Councilwoman Sawant," he said. "They were elected and voted in, but I really feel like the current makeup of the City Council does not represent the true values of the city of Seattle."

Lou told KOMO that he felt compelled to try the recall following a controversial vote by the council to defund the Seattle Police Department earlier this month.

A judge will decide if the allegations rise to the level of a recall. According to the Washington state constitution, an elected official can be recalled if that politician, "has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office." If the judge concludes that at least one allegation does meet the requirements of a recall, petitioners would have 180 days to get the required amount of signatures for the measure to be added to a ballot.

A website created for the recall lists six accusations against Sawant including: "relinquishing authority of her office and disregarding city of [the] Seattle employment hiring rule," through the giving of decision making authority over her office to her Marxist organization the Socialist Alternative.

"Misuse of city of Seattle council office resources to promote a ballot initiative or other electioneering" and "misuse of councilmember sawant's official position in admitting hundreds of individuals illegally into City Hall after hours."

"Using her official position as City of Seattle councilmember and possibly staff to encourage attendees at a rally she led on June 28, 2020 to illegally 'occupy' city property, the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct."

"Using her official position as City Councilmember to lead a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan's private residence whose location is in the State of Washington Confidential Program since Mayor Durkan was the US Attorney for Western Washington." The mayor had previously called on the council to investigate this as well as other complaints, but the council rejected the Mayor’s request.

Finally, the petition states that "Councilmember Sawant's actions have created a criminal environment around the Capitol Hill Occupation Protest (CHOP) Zone and Capitol Hill endangering residents and businesses and devaluing businesses and real estate values."

Lou’s efforts will face an uphill battle. Many of these complaints have been filed before and been rejected by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission which is appointed by the council. Additionally, Petitioners would have to collect signatures of 25 percent of the amount of people who voted in the prior District 3 election, which amounts to approximately 10,800 signatures.

Meanwhile recalls against other council members may be in the works. Yesterday, Tim McConnell launched an online petition to recall Seattle District 1 Councilwoman Lisa Herbold who voted to defund SPD. As of today, no formal paperwork has been filed to remove Herbold and digital signatures are not accepted. Herbold voted to defund the police even though she had texted former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best when a homeless RV appeared outside her home. Herbold incorrectly assumed it was a political stunt. Herbold was fined for abusing her position.

Several lawsuits against the city are also pending from businesses, residents and others affected by the CHOP Zone.

Additionally, according to sources inside SPD, a legal challenge to the defunding of SPD is being investigated for possibly violating the Seattle City Charter as well as existing contracts of officers.


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