During an election dominated by career politicians loyal to big business, Kshama Sawant is running to make sure there are independent, pro-worker candidates in Washington State worth voting for.
Sawant is running as a Socialist Alternative candidate against Democratic incumbent Frank Chopp to build a stronger movement that fights for the needs of working people and the poor.
While the Democratic Party pays lip service to working people, in reality both the Democrats and Republicans are bought and owned by the richest 1%. It is high time that we, the 99%, have our own political representation.
Since the Great Recession broke out in 2008 Washington State has cut $10.5 billion from essential services such as education, health, and human services, as well as cutting benefits and jobs for state employees.
The state Basic Health program has been decimated with $1.7 billion in funding slashed, cutting 60,000 off its rolls. Other cuts include $2.7 billion in K-12 education and $1.3 billion in higher education.
Washington State is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest corporations, including Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks. Over the last three decades, they have extracted over 500 tax exemptions for big business from the state legislature.
These total an astonishing $6.5 billion per year in lost revenue – enough to reverse all the cuts and improve our state services!
Our opponent, Democrat Frank Chopp, will try to blame Republicans for this. However, this argument doesn’t hold water. The Democratic Party has held the governorship and majorities in both the state House and Senate over the past period.
If elected, Sawant will relentlessly expose the corrupt big-business policies of the state government, and instead provide a political voice for workers, youth, the poor, and all those oppressed by capitalism such as women, people of color, and LGBT people.
The Occupy Wall Street movement showed how people are ready to fight Corporate America and stand up to Wall Street’s two political parties.
Occupy succeeded in shifting the national political dialogue in a matter of months, demonstrating the potential power that workers and youth have when we get organized. History shows we have the power to change society through building mass movements and determined struggle.
We will be using our campaign to build support for all grassroots movements of the 99%. But we cannot win only through struggles in the streets. We also need to expose and challenge the corporate agenda in the political and electoral arenas.
For example, Occupy struggles have faced a brutal response from government police forces. This was ordered by elected politicians. Sawant will demand a full investigation into how our state and local government ordered these actions, and push for legislation to stop police brutality, racist targeting of people of color, and attacks on social movements.
This underlines the vital need to break from the two parties of big business and build a mass workers’ party drawing together ordinary people, youth, and activists from Occupy, civil rights, environmental and anti-war campaigns, to provide a fighting alternative to the corporate political parties.
Capitalism has clearly failed the 99%. The interests of workers and young people cannot be served within the framework of this decaying system.
As socialists, we believe another world is both possible and necessary – a world based on the needs of humanity and the environment. Please support our campaign and join the struggle for democratic socialism!