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Kshama Sawant (born October 17, 1972) is an American economist and politician of Indian descent, and Seattle City Council member. She is the first socialist to win a city-wide election in Seattle since Anna Louise Strong was elected to the School Board in 1916.
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- When things are exquisitely beautiful and rare, they shouldn't be privately owned.
- Quoted in Sarah Stuteville, "You might be a socialist if… An interview with Kshama Sawant", The Seattle Globalist (October 30, 2012).
- If making sure that workers get out of poverty would severely impact the economy, then maybe we don't need this economy.
- Quoted in Kevin Roose, "Meet the Seattle Socialist Leading the Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage", New York magazine (May 26, 2014).
- We did this. Workers did this. Today's first major victory for 15 will inspire people all over the nation. We need to recognize what happened here in Seattle that led us to this point. 15 was not won at the bargaining table as the so-called "sensible compromise" between workers and business. It was not the result of the generosity of corporations or their Democratic Party representatives in government.
- Kshama Sawant, "Kshama Sawant's Speech at $15 Minimum Wage Vote," YouTube video, 5:28, posted by "Calvin Priest," June 3, 2014.
- As Marxists, we use the capitalist electoral system to win concrete victories for the working class, popularize and build the socialist movement, and expose in real time the limits of the fundamentally undemocratic electoral system we are using. Ultimately, we know we can’t win a socialist transformation of society through the capitalist electoral system because it’s not our system; in fact, it’s designed specifically to prevent systemic change.
- "Kshama Sawant: Why I Signed the Petition for My Own Recall." Jacobin, August 4, 2021
Quotes about Kshama Sawant
- Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and the Socialist Alternative (SA) party have, for nearly a decade, waged one of the most effective battles against the city’s moneyed elites. She and the SA have adopted a series of unorthodox methods to fight the ruling oligarchs and, in that confrontation, exposed the Democratic Party leadership as craven tools of the billionaire class. Her success is one that should be closely studied and replicated in city after city if we are to dismantle corporate tyranny.
- Chris Hedges, "How to Defeat the Billionaire Class." Scheerpost, May 30, 2022
- The Most Dangerous Woman in America. Chris Hedges for Truthdig. March 15, 2015.
- The Seattle Socialist. Jacobin. March 24, 2015.
- Meet The Fist-Shaking Socialist Behind America's Highest Minimum Wage. The Huffington Post. May 6, 2015.
- Can Kshama Sawant Build an Actual Socialist City in America? The Nation. June 17, 2015.
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