Here is a statement of solidarity that was sent to us by Kshama Sawant. Note that this doesn't constitute an endorsement of our group for Sawant's campaign, as we have been far too busy with other business to take up the complicated issue of endorsements. But I will say, speaking strictly for myself, that the campaign has seemed very sincere in their outreach to us. Their approach has from the beginning been not "here's why you should vote for our candidate," but rather, "how can we help you?" The most impressive instance of this was when campaign manager Ramy Khalil showed up at a meeting of the Ballard District Council to speak on our behalf. And Kshama also seems to be only one making rent control and tenants' rights a topic in this year's elections. Here's her statement:
Kshama Sawant, candidate for Seattle City Council, stands in solidarity with the Lockhaven Tenants’ Union in their struggle to defend affordable housing, both for inhabitants of the Lockhaven Apartments and for all residents of Seattle.
Goodman Real Estate’s recent illegal attempt to evict tenants with a 20-day notice is only one of the more blatant attempts by big developers to destroy affordable housing in Seattle. Senior citizens living on fixed incomes, youth, people of color and all those struggling to get by in this economy are being pushed to the margins as rents rise faster in Seattle than any major metropolitan city, according to the New York Times.
It is high time working people have a representative on the city council to fight for their interests, not to grease the wheels for big developers looking to line their pockets at the expense of working people. Kshama Sawant’s opponent Richard Conlin has received the maximum legal contributions from Goodman Real Estate owner John Goodman and his wife, along with the max contributions from the multi-billion-dollar company’s president and his wife. We cannot expect Conlin or any establishment politicians to truly take a stand to defend the rights of renters and the working class.
Kshama Sawant is calling for rent control to cap increases in rents along with other measures to support the low-income people of Seattle. This would make it much harder for developers to brush aside residents from established neighborhoods to make a quick buck. But simply electing Kshama is not enough. The Lockhaven Tenants’ Union is an inspiring example of people in our community coming together to take a stand. It will take a movement to make Seattle affordable for all. Together we can make it happen.