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.
So there you go, Sawant-hating comment trolls: Promise made, promise kept.