Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant stands with members of UNITE HERE Local 8 at the Edgewater Hotel picket in 2019.
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant stands with members of UNITE HERE Local 8 at the Edgewater Hotel picket in 2019. Courtesy of Kshama Solidarity Campaign

Organized labor has stood with Councilmember Kshama Sawant through three elections, and we stand with her still. We are leaders among the twenty unions—representing tens of thousands of Seattle workers—that support the Kshama Solidarity Campaign. Our daily work involves fighting for a city where all people and communities can thrive, not just the wealthy.

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It was Sawant's very involvement in that fight for a better Seattle that led to the current recall attack against her. Voters have repeatedly elected her because she unambiguously fights for working people and social movements. But there are those who deeply oppose such a vision for a better Seattle.

Many of the donors bankrolling the recall campaign are the same wealthy CEOs, board members, and lobbyists that fight our unions’ efforts to secure living wages and safer, healthier working conditions. Who else would be so intent on removing a council member who fights for a higher minimum wage, stronger tenant protections, and affordable housing?

What’s more, they are trying to limit who will vote on the recall, knowing that they face an uphill battle in a fair election. On April 1, the Recall Campaign said the backers of the campaign want to avoid the recall appearing on November’s general election ballot because too many people vote in general elections. Recall backers instead want to put the recall vote on a low-turnout special election, at some significant cost to taxpayers.

As union members, we believe in democratic principles. We believe every voice should be heard, whether that’s in our workplaces or our halls of government. If the recall campaign were to succeed in pushing the vote out to a special election, it would be yet another move to suppress the voices of District 3, voters who have repeatedly chosen Sawant to represent them for the past eight years.

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Make no mistake, this recall effort is an attack on the democratic decisions of District 3 voters and on the victories we have won in Seattle in recent years. A decision this important needs to be made fairly, with everyone’s voice heard.

Signed,

UFCW 21
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU 925
PROTEC 17
SEIU 6
OPEIU 8
Seattle Education Association
UAW 4121
UNITE HERE Local 8
WFSE 1488
Resident & Fellow Physician Union
Book Workers Union
National Writers Union

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