Socialist Alternative asked me to wait until after Kshama's election to highlight that a lot of workers in Seattle don't get overtime wages. After the election they said they were 'done talking about this' and that I needed to get with the program. When I met Kshama and Phillip at a Town Hall event last year, they told me they stand in solidarity with workers who enter into struggle. I've struggled to get my current elected representatives to help me fight for overtime wages for all non-salaried workers. Jamie Pedersen put it best when he told me he sympathized with not getting overtime but, "I am a corporate lawyer". I thought this would have been a slam dunk for SA, as their $15/hour message was quickly co-opted by Democrats, with McGuinn stating it's a "fair starting point" (meaning he would have supported more than $15). I've found paying overtime to all non-salaried workers is not so easy for Democrats to get on board with. This is a perfect issue for SA to push in the fight to distinguish themselves from Democrats. Socialist Alternative's 'Seattle Executive Committee' refuses to bring the issue to a vote internally. When I said that I would force a vote, because they call themselves democratic, I was asked what it was I truly wanted, to which I replied "solidarity". Nothing much, just a tweet in support of these workers not getting overtime to prove that SA supports these workers. The tweet never went out. I've was banned from their Facebook page for simply for bringing this up twice. They told me it wasn't the appropriate forum, to email their mailing list, which I did, asking for solidarity. I didn't hear back so replied two months later, the email was rejected, I was banned from their mailing list after sending that email. Would someone at The Stranger do me a favor and ask Kshama if she supports overtime for all workers? For the life of me I can not get a straight answer out of her. Also, it seems to me if Socialism is going to succeed in America it can't be at the expense of democracy. I understand that putting this to vote puts the SEC in an awkward position. They have a plan, and it's a good plan, and my bringing this to a vote complicates their plan. It would be hard for a lot of the SA members to vote against a workers issue like overtime, so it seems like the SEC's doing anything and everything (ignoring, blocking, mocking) to not have to talk about this with me. Phillip Locker (who is on salary with SA) asked me why this issue deserves attention currently and not the death penalty or women's rights. That is a good question, one that I think the membership of the organization should answer by voting. If the membership votes and isn't interested in organizing on behalf of workers not getting overtime, then so be it. But to not allow this to come to a vote, and to do everything in their power to prevent me from bringing this to a vote, Socialist Alternative reveals itself to be fearful of the democratic process. The leadership of SA has not changed for many many years. There are no term limits on leadership positions. Knowing this, it could be years before the current leadership of SA deems overtime for all workers a valid issue around which to organize. Which is quite a different reality than the image they project (aka: we're democratic). I voluntarily built their new socialistalternative.org
website into a powerhouse for members to organize through while waiting for them to take up my issue. Problem was, they didn't want anything of the sort. As Jess Spear later explained to me, SA is a propaganda organization. They aren't interested in empowering their members to organize more democratically so much as building a base of activists to distribute propaganda. Once they were satisfied that further voluntary production from me would be met with demands they do what they said they would do (stand in solidarity with workers not getting overtime), they quickly took the website off my sever and put it on their own, where it lives still. In my experience, Socialist Alternative has a seriously clouded agenda. Is Socialist Alternative democratic? Is Socialist Alternative a 'workers party'? Wouldn't a workers party allow members to vote on workers issues instead of dictating what member's can and can't vote for?