It’s Official: Urban League President Pamela Banks Will Take on Kshama Sawant


Does she have a magic telephone? Sawant has a telephone too, but a telephone on it's own is not very powerful. Does Banks even know what Kshama Sawant accomplished last year?
“I’ve learned over my career that you solve more problems with a telephone than a megaphone.”

That just tells me that she doesn't know how to use a megaphone correctly.
Ah, excellent - I was wondering we'd get back to infighting.
Why take on the only other woman of color on the Seattle City Council? That seems weird.
Banks has my vote.
Can someone explain why Sawant is not running city-wide against the most conservative City Councilman, Tim Burgess? It seems like it would be a repeat of the Conlin race. She has grassroots supporters in areas all over the city who would be happy to campaign for her. Also, her policy concerns seem more city-wide than neighborhood specific. I understand that winning in Capital Hill may seem easier at this stage of the race but her victory here would be a much smaller victory and her "megaphone" would be louder if she won city-wide. Just wondering.
Can't wait for the establishment to reclaim this seat! We all love it when politics is done "over the phone", which must be an improvement over the smoke-filled rooms of old.
Also, city-wide races are the most complicated and expensive races in the city. If Sawant sits this one out it may become more difficult for future progressive candidates to win either of the city wide races since big monied interest groups will only have to finance 2 candidates at that level instead of 9.
@4 Because politics is about power and not identity?

@5 Because running for office requires massive amounts of money? Sawant's strength is name recognition and volunteers- both are diluted by running city wide. Also she is target #1 in Murray's eyes- sadly she thus does not have the institutional support that her general election opponents get.
Banks doesn't think things going on at the national level affect the families of District 3?
Banks has identified Sawant's Achilles heel. Although I'm a diehard supporter, even I know that Kshama is unfailingly arrogant in her refusal to communicate with her constituency.
Kshama needs to do 180 turnaround in the way she deals with the public.
I'm sure Pamela has done very, very great work in her career, but what about the landmark work and valiant struggles that Kshama has supported and fought alongside in her short time as a city council woman? The $15 minimum wage increase that has started a sweeping movement across the country to support, defeating Seattle Housing Authority's proposed 400% increase in rental rates through the "Stepping Forward" initiative, advocating heavily for a budget that thoroughly funds critical social services, etc.? Why is there this fresh, left-of-center attack (by moderate candidates standing on single issue platforms) on Kshama's forthrightness and boldness when things are getting done and moving along faster than in the past? A democratic process towards finding the right candidate is essential, and a diverse pool of candidates is extremely healthy. But these broad, misinformed, petty attacks on Kshama's assertiveness are very strange.

That's not going to happen.
I look forward to voting against Ms. Banks.
Just read the update: so basically, she is defining herself as the same as Sawant, but nicer and quieter?

By the way, anyone know if Banks has actually met with each of the other eight Council members, as she suggests to the Times?
@6 -- Nope; Burgess is not Conlin. It would be a tough fight and Sawant would probably lose. Burgess is much less disliked in the Democratic district organizations than Conlin was. Sawant (and S.A.) are probably (hopefully?) starting to realize that Democrats are important to electoral victory in Seattle. Aggressively campaigning on "Dump the ass" is a sure road to defeat when your opponent (Burgess) is well liked by many Ds. Also, it's not accurate that Sawant has a great grassroots game city wide. She is strong in 3 and 6, OK in 2 and 4, mixed in 1 and 5, and weak in 7. There's good maps here:…
Inaccessibility? Before the vote on privacy principles last week, someone from her office contacted me and others at Seattle Privacy Coalition to ask for input. It's not the first time they've initiated contact with me. I'm no campaign donor or power broker, just someone who bothers to show up at City Council meetings periodically to speak my mind about something on the agenda.

My guess is that people who are accustomed to receiving prompt attention from City Council members because of some position of special status they hold don't get the same from Sawant, so they complain about perceived inaccessibility.

Also, the woman is busy. She showed up at a Capitol Hill Chamber event a couple weeks ago, chatted with me at the door about the LGBTQ hate crimes forum she was planning, and apologized that she needed to leave our event early because she was committed to attending a Capitol Hill Community Council meeting later that evening.

I've never felt so well-represented by a legislator as I do by her. I've seen instances when even reliably-lefty Nick Licata toes the party line, but Sawant apparently votes her conscience. I live in district #3 and would be very disappointed to see her lose.
I have to say, the criticisms that Sawant is "not responsive" don't compute or stick. As a community organizer and worker in District 3 (i've been priced out of this district) - Council member Sawant's office has been incredibly responsive. When Gender Justice League approached them about addressing hate crimes on the hill - they were more than responsive! They worked closely to make the event happen. Her office has continually sought feedback, I have seen her routinely at community events - Black Lives Matter marches, Trans Pride Seattle, Cap Hill Community Council, on and on. I think if this is the best her opposition can do, they're going to quickly run into problems. Her office has been far more proactive in connecting with community than any other council member.
And once again the "moderates" demonstrate they'd much rather cripple the Left than actually achieve any sort of moderation.
I don't blame Sawant for not challenging Burgess. Have you ever watched him during a Council meeting? He has the coldest expression I've ever seen. He doesn't have constituents; he has financial backers -- and he will crush anyone who challenges him.
This article pisses me off. Could CEO Banks please explain why she is trying to unseat the most progressive person on the council. Why not run for the open at large seat? Why not ran against Burgess? City council has a lot of problems but Sawant is not one of them. Either CEO Banks hates the increase in the minimum wage, affordable housing, and the other stuff Sawant stands for, or she hates that Sawant is willing to call out all of CEO Banks' buddies in the halls of power. Either way, CEO Banks has lost all credibility.
Somebody please tell me what Sawant has accomplished other than getting arrested, interrupting working class traffic and comparing herself (in quite the self promotional manner) to people who have actually made a change in this world.
Homelessness is up, crime has skyrocketed.
What solutions has she offered up? None.
Kshama Sawant is a wonderful, accessible and effective leader.
Pamela Banks is misguided. Running against Sawant is foolish.
Here's free political advice, Ms. Banks: don't run against the only other progressive woman of color on the city council. ESPECIALLY since there are plenty of incumbent dorky old white guys you could run against, instead. Grow a brain.
Hi, some excellent posts as to why 3 strike-breaking scabs are fronting the capitalist enemy's sustained effort at unseating the inspiring Socialist fighter Kshama Sawant.

Because Kshama's a shining example for us.
And a mortal threat to them.
And to their mega-profits.

Take the resounding, though incomplete, $15 minimum-wage victory in Seattle:
For 100,000 of our underpaid sisters and brothers, a chance to truly live!
For their exploiters, a billion-dollar hit to their obscene profits!

Kshama's willing to risk arrest, fines, jail, in defense of Seatac workers.
Whereas the rest of the Seattle City Council, and the Mayor, and the "Three Stooges" running against Kshama are all conspicuous by their absence!

Kshama and low-waged tenants defeated the Seattle Housing Authority officialdom's diabolical scheme to raise rents by 400 per cent.

Kshama raises her voice in outrage and sorrow against the never-ending police murders of innocent black youth!
If #BlackLivesMatter and #15Now burgeon into a mighty united movement of the 99% for independent mass struggle, that will be the beginning of the end for the Democrat-Republican corporate duopoly!

Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!
@25: Ah, the panicky bleating of the Sawant sheep. You folks sound pretty worried about this Banks person.
@26 I don't think they're "worried" per se, but the same old "Dump the Elephant, Dump the Ass! Build a Party of the Working Class!" trope is certainly not helpful. This is a city council race, not the international workers conference.
The Empire Strikes Back (Empire = Local Political Establishment) They don't like outsiders - ask former Mayor McGinn.
@26 I didn't realize "being too realistic" was a common insult thrown at Socialists. Of course the opposition is scared of big money and the Murray Machine. Pamela Banks is also a much better candidate than they other two no-names.
So she has no specific ideas about the issues she will supposedly run on, and is just trying to position herself as not an activist? Sounds like careerism, not leadership.
"More problems get solved with a telephone than a megaphone." So the $15 minimum wage would have gotten passed if you just called the Mayor up and asked nicely? Is she criticizing organizing the community behind an agenda?

Being quiet is not a virtue if you're trying to stand up for your constituents.
People like Banks are more damaging to the cause of progressive change than the worst Republican. They emulate the rhetoric of real social justice advocates like Sawant but ultimately take their marching orders from the business establishment. At Republicans are honest about where they stand and who they serve.
Let Banks waste her time by running against Sawant. And fuck Ed Murray.
This will be quite a contrast. Sawant who took no corporate funding and gives back most of her city council salary, vs. the CEO of an organization that is funded by big business and government.

Among the funders of the Seattle Urban League, other than massive amounts of government funding, are Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Union Bank, Key Bank, Safeco Insurance, Walmart, Microsoft, Comcast, Google, Eli Lilly, Cambia Insurance and the Chamber of Commerce.

Their board includes Vice President for Eli Lilly and Company, a financial adviser to wealthy people and banks, a retired commercial construction executive, an executive with Cambia health insurance who had a 15 year career as a banker before that, Senior Director of Business Development for Microsoft who used to work with the telecoms AT&T and T-Mobile, and a Program Manager at Starbucks, among others.

So, Banks gets funded by bankers that foreclose on people, foreclosures that Sawant has tried to stop. Both claim housing will be an issue they focus on -- I wonder if the bankers candidate has the same views as the people's candidate on how to solve the housing problem in Seattle?

Looking at who Banks is connected to it is obvious who will be behind her campaign. This will be a campaign of the people's candidate (Sawant) vs. the corporate candidate (Banks)? Which side are you on?
She has ideas, mostly out of the leftist South American variety. Nationalize industry. Seize lands from the wealthy. Presume government can do better than them the public.

And she has a PHD in economics? Really? Fascinating /popcorn
good conversation folks... thank you for everyone's input.

@34 you seem to have done some research on Banks and the Urban League... thanks for providing some interesting information.

i'm trying to make up my mind.. folks saying that she's with the establishment but it seems like she has some activism in her as well.