During her successful campaign for Seattle City Council, Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant repeatedly promised to take accept no more salary than the average Seattle worker. Today, in a press release, she announced what that specifically means—$40,000 a year after taxes—and what she plans to do with the remainder of her $117,000-plus salary:
“The people of Seattle elected me as a socialist on the platform of a $15/hour minimum wage, for affordable housing, and to tax the rich to pay for public transit and education. In addition, I strongly support all efforts to increase wages. Data shows Seattle median wages for men at $60,000 while only $51,000 for women; and people of color earn only 45% of the median income of white workers. I will fight to close the gender pay gap and to overcome the structural racism in working and living conditions.
“Seattle City Councilmembers receive over $117,000 a year – the second highest of any city council in the country. Inevitably, such a salary removes Councilmembers from the realities of life for working people. I will only take home $40,000 per year. This amount is roughly the full-time take-home pay of a Seattleite.
“After paying taxes, the remainder of my salary will go to a Solidarity Fund to help build social justice movements. Throughout the year I will be making donations from this Solidarity Fund to causes such as workers’ strike funds, and environmental, civil rights, and women’s rights campaigns.
Sawant promises "regular and transparent accounting" of her Solidarity Fund, and has already pledged two donations: $500 to Puget Sound SAGE and $15,000 to 15Now.org.
So there you go, Sawant-hating comment trolls: Promise made, promise kept.