The Politician Amazon Is Dead Set on Defeating

The Politician Amazon Is Dead Set on Defeating

Kshama Sawant is a committed socialist who has been involved in some of Seattle’s biggest workers’ and tenants’ rights fights. And now she’s up for reelection.


When Kshama Sawant was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2013, her local victory made international news. An immigrant from India and an academic who taught economics, hers was an interesting story—especially because she campaigned in favor of bold proposals such as a $15-an-hour minimum wage. But what everyone was taking about was the fact that she was a socialist. At that point, before Bernie Sanders had entered the 2016 presidential race and long before the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress in 2018, Sawant stood out on the American political scene.

Now, as she seeks reelection six years later, there are a lot more socialists seeking and holding elected office in the United States. But Sawant still stands out. In part, this is because of the policies she has championed in Seattle: the $15 wage, taxes on millionaires, and rent control. But also, in part, because of the enemies she has made. Just as Franklin Roosevelt famously welcomed the hatred of the bankers and speculators who opposed his New Deal initiatives, Sawant relishes fights with economic and political elites.

This year, she faces the biggest fight of all: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and others among the city’s billionaire class are trying to defeat progressive council candidates. And they are focused, in particular, on beating Sawant. That’s a daunting political reality because Bezos, who in 2018 was named the richest man in the world (though he faces competition on any given day from Microsoft’s Bill Gates), has a limitless bankroll. But Kshama Sawant is undaunted. She’s our guest this week on Next Left.


Amazon Is Spending Big to Oust Seattle’s Socialist Council Member, The Nation, Hallie Golden

Kshama Sawant Says Socialism Isn’t ‘Only in Seattle’, The Nation, E. Tammy Kim

Kshama Sawant Shows That Ordinary People Aren’t Afraid of Unapologetic Leftist Politics, In These Times, Jonathan Rosenblum

Seven Lessons From the Sawant Campaign, Jacobin, Luke Elliott-Negri

Subscribe to The Nation to support our podcasts:

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy