25.5.16

Kindred Journey 16 - Kshama Sawant


I heard of Ms Sawant several years ago and with the onslaught of information one receives daily (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not) I swept her to the back of my mind. When researching her for this I realized what an incredible feat it is to be an open Socialist elected official in a US city. As she has said in interviews, many young people do not have the same anti-socialist , red state, cold war view of Socialism that their grand parents once did. In fact they are the youth all over the US and the world who are protesting, occupying, and asking questions. Kshama is a teacher, activist, software engineer, and now a seated member of the Seattle city council which makes decisions about the direction of that city. Sawant was born in 1972 in India. She came to the US in 1994. She studied economics in North Carolina and became politically motivated by the incredible disparities between classes both here in the states and in India. She joined the Socialist Alternative (a nationwide crew of socialist activists) in Seattle and ran for US house of representative for Washington. She lost but won a seat as a city council member in Seattle in 2013 and was re-elected in 2015. One of the greatest victories she has been a part of among several losses is the winning of a $15 an hour minimum wage which so many other cities and states then began fighting for.  This is a quote from her while she was talking about past examples of socialist societies, why socialism is no longer such a dirty word, and why it is important that working people have excellent access to healthcare, education, safety, and more:

Socialism cannot survive in one country. If you have a really successful example of a workers economy, what would happen? Working class everywhere would look at that economy and say hey we want that. And thats very dangerous for the ruling class because as long as there is a successful example of and people clamoring for that they're not going to have that kind of control that they have now over the working class" -Kshama Sawant


Sources: Richard D Wolff, Wikipedia,  Talking Stick

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