Socialist Kshama Sawant debates Democrat Richard Conlin



everyone is challenging 16 year incumbent Democrat Richard Conlin for Seattle City Council for seattle city council position so what is an economics teacher at seattle central community college and a member of the American Federation of Teachers local 1789 she was an activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement and is a fighter for workers women LGBTQ people and immigrants in 2012 so 11 a historic 29-percent with over 20,000 votes as a socialist alternative candidate against Democratic Washington State House Speaker Frank Chopp the strongest vote for independent left-wing candidate in US history and the highest vote for socialist in decades and this paragraph you will find from her website and so let's give a round applause first now that introduced councilman rich economy Richard Conlin is on to have served two terms as council president from 2008 to 2011 and is excited to take on new challenges in 2012-2013 as chair of planning land use and sustainability Plus committee his work is guided by the comprehensive plan principles of Economic Opportunity environmental stewardship social justice and community he welcomes your endpoint input on policy ideas and on how we can make a better Seattle this bios also from his website let's give a round five now we're going to ask each of the candidates to give us their opening statement we're going to first as councilman Condon to give his he has three minutes thank you all for being here it's great to have the opportunity to be here and see you all and thanks to those who organized this and put it together I have come to the city council with a background in community activism I was one of the founders of an organization called sustainable Seattle which was the first organization in fact in pretty close to the world to put sustainability on the public policy agenda for the cities and countries around the world we pioneered some of the things that are now being adopted commonly all around the world and sustainable development I also will just give you another piece of background I was also one of the founders of Bike Works how many are familiar with that but it's an organization in columbia city that works to provide fights to young people the kept them engaged in Viking and get them started enjoying bicycling an alternative transportation I was involved in my community council and neighborhood planning in the city and then started to run for City Council in order to try and see what I could do to make a difference on for the city i'm going to give you an example I belong track record of things that I've accomplished and things that I'm working on but i'm going to give you an example of the kind of things that I've been able to do that are going to make a difference in your lives you all can look out here and see the where the light rail station is going to be built or being built right now it's going to open in the not-too-distant future in the next couple of years one of the things that happened around that light rail station was that sound transit bought a bunch of property around the station because they needed it to construct the station for staging and so forth I worked with the community a group called the Capitol Hill champion which was a combination of the chamber and the community council put together a plan for what the community could get out of that that sound transit are currently occupies when the station is completely goes online what we did was negotiated development agreement a development agreement that provides that there is going to be housing jobs opportunities businesses lots of other things on that site when some friends is ready to a lot to these that site to the community and it's also going to be built with a required for the housing component thirty six percent of the housing units are going to be required to be affordable which is actually our comprehensive plan go on our principal and goal is thirty-eight percent of all data house need to be available to those maybe eighty percent or less of media there's also going to be the opportunity for an LGBTQ community center that's something that people are working on and that may be a possibility there is going to be central plaza where a farmers market the current farmers market that's right out here is going to have a permanent home so we'll be able to continue to brain crush predators into the community and give people the opportunity to do make things happen with that and one of the things that's important about the farmers market and something that I was able to accomplish in the last year we have a program called fresh bucks and fresh cuts provides that if you're on food stamps if you've got an EBT you can get your value of that doubled at the farmers market I got the city to put money into that to make it happen we piloted it last year expanded it to all our markets this year and we're going to have it in a permanent part of our system in the future those are the kind of things that I do lots of other things I can talk about a look forward to the opportunity to talk about more details thank you thank you for having me here I'm happy to speak in my place of work the best place I've ever worked and I wanted to start by talking about this headline the Seattle Times the federal government shutdown has ended by even the conservative Seattle Times asks for how long the disaster has been averted for now how many times are we to be held hostage sixty percent of Americans now say the Democratic and Republican parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that the third major party is needed and this deep disappointment and his disapproval is not just at Washington DC it's happening at the local level as well really in a state with the most regressive tax system in the interrogation king county metro bus service faces seventy percent cuts devastating cuts to public education have been deep as you well know student debt is a blight on young people's lives and all this while corporations are making historically high profits and the richest have grown richer the poor released by King 5 earlier this week shows that forty five percent of the people survey disapprove of the CL City Council and that accounts for fifty-four percent who I identify as independent and the reason is clear Sierra is becoming increasingly unaffordable place to live for most of us many of the city's workers are among the working for the youth many of the youth are going to enter join the ranks of the working for the gender pay gap in the metropolitan area is one of the worst in the country rent is rising faster in Seattle than any other metro area in the US and young and low-income people of color are increasingly being forced out of city limits the city government exemplified by 16 year old 16 year incumbent Richard Conlin has overseen decades of displacement systemic gentrification increased homelessness deterioration in mass transit and an increased a loss of existing low-income housing Colin was the only council member who voted against paid sick days for C office workers he has also stated he does not support a citywide $15 an hour minimum wage he pushed for a girl to criminalize the homeless he presided over the South Lake Union land gear away to rich developers and amazon.com I am campaigning for a citywide fifteen dollars an hour minimum wage I'm calling for a citywide tax on millionaires to fund mass transit and public education I'm also calling for rent control and other measures to address the crisis and affordable housing in the same I'm also running to help empower working people the youth women and people of color to take on political leadership and to represent the interests of the 99 percent we need to reject the status quo where big business calls the shots and expects us to look the other way as poverty and inequality increase the response to our grassroots campaign though has been phenomenal and its success in already changing the political debate in the city it shows that it is possible for ordinary people to be the real drivers of social change we don't want Seattle to be like the other Washington Washington DC is a disaster area but it's not a disaster area because the Democrats and Republicans stand for the same thing it's a disaster area because we have a Republican Party that is native decision that it is more interested in destroying the government than in helping people I stand proudly with the Democratic Party and with President Obama and the Democrats in Congress who stood up for Social Security for Medicare for all the things that we need to have in order to have the right kind of a society for the future and that's what we're doing in seattle we're working to create the society that's going to work in the future we have a transit system valid work developing we've got my trail that's being built here it's going to UW its funding to north dade and Lynwood we've got a great for the east side across the Bellevue and and Redman we've got it going south from the airport we've got plans and work that's underway in order to make this happen we've got an affordable housing strategy that will talk about a little bit later this is going to help provide affordable housing for everybody here's some of the problems miss swat talks about things like rent control and looking heirs tax as she knows rent control whether it's a good thing or not because there's some issues with rent control but it was prohibited by the state legislature in 1982 we can't do read control as the City Council it's a cruel illusion to tell you the Grand control is going to control your rent even if somehow something happened at the state legislative level that's going to take years before that can be accomplished similarly with the millionaires tax we don't have the authority to join like that that's something that the people voted down actually unfortunately I graduated income tax in the state I'd like to see that happen can't happen in the city unfortunately there is so much there that needs to needs response and kind of able to address only part of it you know mr. Gannon is right washington DC the disaster because there is actually a distinction between what republicans stand for any more democrats stand for the problem in seattle is that it is a one party city it is run by the Democratic Party establishment and that's exactly the problem the problem is that there is too much homogeneity of opinion on the City Council nobody is fighting for ordinary people they all agree that they should represent big business interest but that is not a better situation that is a worse situation in a way because that is the cruel illusion that it promotes that somehow because most of the city council members are in agreement that politics is working politics is not working for most of us and in terms of you know the laws that he's talking about um we can't do rent control we can't do millionaires tax we go and change the business tax code you know his eagerness is a paralysis in fighting for our interests is matched only by his eagerness to represent into some big business look how you push that tunnel you know things move fast because money talks so if your body takes move fast for you on the City Council and that is precisely what we are trying to change we are trying to break a democratic voice into the city council so that we can actually do these things and as far as these laws that exist if a law is unjust it is our game tu challenges that is how marriage equality was achieved that is how civil rights was achieved and that is what our duty is today and it is it's a dis always to say that while we can't do this why then you can't do it but we can and we must we're we're off to a robust start and now what we want to do is to pose questions to the candidate that we've we've asked them to respond to and I'm going to ask at this time and for professors who want to respond first she will have two minutes and here's the question over the past several years Seattle has been considered one of the most sustainable and livable cities in the United States what steps could the City Council take to implement policies that ensure that CL stays on top as America's most sustainable city thank you for this very important question and in terms of the sustainability issues one of the most looming challenges that we face is the crisis of climate change which needs to be dealt with urgently here in I mean obviously this is a global issue by hearing in Washington State and in Seattle we have a particular issue to think about which is the impending Choi point terminal go terminals that would ease up in bellingham unless we you and I we stop it one study from green fees found that it would be one of the seven worst projects for climate change in the world and the asean department of transportation study found that traffic in CF would increase by three hours one two three hours per day this is a major thing that we have to prevent from happening and when you understand how to prevent it we have to think about the politics behind you who is behind the code rings it's corporations mega corporations like BNSF are you know from home colin has taken maximum contributions and it's also financial Giants like Goldman Sachs who you know engineered the financial collapse preventing this coterminal is not going to be that easy we will have to you know first stop at banning code phrase again mr. Connor will collectively tell you that it can't be done but you know of course it can be done however that will not be enough we will need to organize mass nonviolent civil disobedience against cold rains and that is what are you know that is what we should be talking about but outside of coal trains transit is a serious issue and and the cmo's traffic and congestion for all the you know achievements that mr. Conlon is loading for himself CMS traffic congestion is the eighth worst in the US and it grew more than the national average since June eighty-one percent of satellites are still driving to work we are we are fully in support of light rail but the reality is that the right light rail the way it is being planned is going to service three to five percent of the population the majority of the population is not going to be serviced because they're getting pushed out of the city because they can't afford to live here so these problems are interrelated and you have to talk about it in that form but to begin with at least we have to talk about attacks million on millionaires to find mass transit in a permanent ring give one pleased to see technology mention how significant and important climate changes it's something I've been working on in all my time on the council on the year 2000 the City of Seattle became the first city in the country to take a formal position than supported the Kyoto Protocol the first attempt to try and challenge carbon emissions around the country for years ago under my leadership was council president we adopted a planned a climate neutral for the City of Seattle these is the first city in the country to do that we've got a strategy that we're pulling together and making happen and we have the opportunity to really be again the leader to help challenge climate change is incredibly important as a member of the leadership alliance against coal as a matter of fact the leadership alliance against Cole I will be representing the city of the hearing in tacoma tonight and helping to work on the ways in which we can pull together local officials challenge the coal train through every legal and political means possible and we are quite confident that we're going to win I don't have any doubt about it in fact the we talked about it's a city though there's a lot more than we need to think about the trying to make the city continued to be livable and sustainable in the future you know about the city of Detroit in the 1950s at the highest household income of any city in the country think about that think about what deter it is today we are very fortunate in Seattle that we have jobs and housing and thousands of people who are coming here because they want to live in Seattle because we have that a pretty good job of creating a city that really works but we can't take that for granted we kept taking for granted that we are going to have a city that works for everybody it doesn't there are lots of people who need assistance I led the council in making sure that we maintain every single human service program in our budget during the times of the recession when we were cutting tens of billions of dollars out of our budget and i sponsored adding additional programs emergency food domestic violence assistance for domestic violence victims for housing a special program to help refugee women who are victims of domestic violence because they have special needs and interests for legal assistance because of fears about their immigration status those are the kind of things we need to do in order to keep Seattle sustainable for the future so I just wanted to say that you know for sure Paul that does you know it's important to look at the details of the climate action plan mr. Collins touting the city has put out a 92 or 98 eh PDF document I can apply my action plan and it looks really nice that's really nice grass but the two phrases that it does not mention our mass transit and if all trains these are two very very important probably the most important issues that we need to focus on if we are truly to live up to this reputation of being sustainable and livable and as far as one has been accomplished in the decade and a half of mr. Collins courier I think I of course it's true he has done some things you know he has passed laws for pygmy goats in the backyards of people here stashed he has made p patches possible he has made fresh produce possible you know for a smaller close to the fresh bucks program we support all these things the point is how long are we going to set the bar to decide what is a sustainable city and what the City Council should be doing for our see for all the small little programs that the city has done vast numbers of people go without nutritious food and seattle and seattle metropolitan area has been identified as one of the other this is a dubious distinction one of those cities with some of the largest food deserts meaning you know Nick vast neighborhoods where people don't have access to food because they live in neighborhoods that are not serviced and because they have such low wages that they can actually afford good food as you know it other than just fast food and I think that if we are you talking about sustainability then we have to talk about the fact that a majority of this city is now being pushed out of the city limits you know mr. Conlon has also famously said that the city center is too hard for low-income people to live it and people are being pushed to earn three bus transfers away from their place of work that is not a sustainability plan I'm surprised that some of the words she puts in my mouth things I've never heard of before you know I was named by food lifeline as hunger fighter of the year for this year for my work to challenge hunger we have a strategy that we put together with me up with the United Way put together a complete program to make sure that we actually have the resources that we need in order to make sure that we get all the same the not only food all kinds of foods but good nutritious food out to everybody in our community lots of things that we're doing on that and that's an important part of being able to take care of the situations that we need to deal with in our society the fact is sustainability does require a lot more than that we need to challenge hunger we need to make sure that we have housing for people need to make sure we have jobs for people and good jobs for people those are the other things that are important to have happen and that means providing job training and assistance it means making sure that we have a business budget that's going to be successful so one of you want to start to small business you have the opportunity to actually make things happen 30 seconds okay yeah so for example one of the things that I've been able to do one of the restaurants are one of the places where people often think about starting new businesses and it's particularly important to the immigrant refugee communities where this is often one of the best ways in which people get started in the business community turns out there are four different governmental entities that you have to get a permit from an ordeal restaurant nobody had coordinated these things I pulled them together we've started a process we're moving towards a one-stop permitting system for restaurants so we can actually have people come in not have to navigate the incredible bureaucracy that they have to navigate right now but actually get it happen so that they can go on the street and get their business started as soon as possible that's the sort of thing we need to have as part of an overall strategy for making Seattle more sustainable our next question shifts from discussing the environment and sustainability to matters of race and policing over the past few years it has been an escalation of police violence and the United States Justice Department did an investigation and determined that in their opinion Seattle's policing in terms of violence was unconstitutional and they selected a judge to oversee reforms in the cities devil with the work of the mayor and city council office thanks for turning the light back on ah and that policing has been especially violent towards people of color of darker color we're all people of color layers of code people of darker color what would you do to address this and I want to start this time the council person two minutes thank you very much this is an extraordinarily important part of city government and an important part of an issue that we need to address it is a disgrace that Seattle is under a Department of Justice mandate to reform and frankly things should have been done in the past that would have made it better now but now isn't the opportunity thankfully the part of Justice has given us a mandate and a direction for what it is that needs to be done my diagnosis of the issue that we've had with our Police Department is fundamentally a lack of management training and policy approaches the gym please on the street the direction that they need to have in order to be successful we actually have lots of great police officers in the city most of them do very well they work hard they take care of people they create maintains of the safety and they don't and the practices that we're talking about here but there are enough that have caused a significant problem that we take care of that so here's what we need to do number one new management management is going to be responsive and responsible and make sure that things happen in a different way number two a set of new regulations and policies which is what the department justice is calling at us to do and those are being developed in a steady pace and we are going to be implementing them over the next few months thirdly the Community Police Commission which has been created as part of that it's going to continue to be in existence and give us advice and assistance and trying to work out how those policies are going to happen and finally we need to make sure that when people are actually committing the crimes that the crimes that we're talking about which are crimes against the public that those people need to be punished and have consequences for them and there is the prospect responsibility making this happen we look at the terrible situation that happened with John Williams for example that was a young cop who was on the street without supervision he came into when they investigated Police Department themselves investigated what he had done and they said he had done for different things and he should never have done under the proper protocols that's a lack of management and that's what needs to be changed in our Police Department it better I'm really glad this question is being asked this is so relevant for everybody who cares about social justice but especially for the people who are targeted which is people of color and low-income people in the homeless the SPD is along a notorious record of abusive repressive and racially biased actions and it's not new it's a systemic thing that has been going on for decades and the investigation that called mentioned found that one in five uses of force by the SPD violated constitutional procedures and half of those cases involve people of color this is a systematic process of discrimination and targeting of people of color and I'm like that mr. Conant mentioned the the absolutely heinous crime of the shooting of first nations but card with John Dee Williams but the question here is about leadership on the city government did you leave mr. Conlon are you know stand up on the podium he call a press conference and say I condemn this and we need to stop this let's get people of color together let's get all the people in the car city together let's have massive town halls let's have a democratic discussion about what needs to be done and what needs to be done is a major overhaul of what's happening in this city and he causing a problem of management and that's partly true but the reality is that this is the elephant in the room the underlying racism sexism homophobia that exist in society and if you want leadership in the city government we want leaders to be talking about these unspoken things and that is absolutely central to this question there is many concrete things we can be doing but look at what's happening even after the DOJ report was released the City Council are shown itself completely unwilling to rein in SPD abuse of power in March of this year council members including Richard calling exempted the SPD from even a minimal process of public inquiry before acquiring drones I don't know how many here aren't shuddering at the thought of SPD having access to drone giving card clown should be I speedy for the use of drones it's like hiding a cloud to a boy and so you know it's odd that people invention that drone policy because it is one of the most far-reaching in I think progressive policy that any city has adapted but we have actually said we're not going to allow you to get drones or use drones except when you come to the capital get approval yet authority and actually who know what the mission is going to be and we know exactly what's going to happen and we told them they had to give back the drones that they had already gotten from the federal government so I actually think we're pretty much on top of that but let me turn to the most important thing that we talked about here and that is race and social justice the city has a race of social justice initiative we understand the issues of institutional racism we understand the issues that people people to deal with the white privilege and the other things that you need to address as part of our institutional structure in this city and we are consequently doing within the city race and social justice training for everybody in the city not just people in the police department we're working on them as well but everybody in the city is going through race and social justice training making sure that people understand not only the fact that all of us consciously say we're not racist but the fact that they're unconscious things we do and act on that can often have untoward consequences because of that institutionalized racism so this is an important strategy that we began a few years ago it's been accelerated over the last several years and the police department gives us another great reason for making sure that we continue to do this and most importantly about this one of the things that we looked at was overhauling our participation models for how many get people engaged involved in city government and our models often traditionally have said well come to our meetings and you can we'll talk to you about that you can talk to us and we can hear from you but in a lot of things people are not necessarily comfortable coming to city meetings and that's not the way in which they necessarily are used to dealing with things community so one of the things that we've pioneered as part of this as part of the update of our neighborhood planning program is to go out to people in the communities going to the churches going to the community organizations going to people in their own places and making sure that they're they have the opportunity to stalk when they feel comfortable when they feel safe and we have the opportunity to listen and come up with ways of strategies in which we can make things better thank you so obviously these questions you know run these issues run deep and I don't think we can have your become solve this problem purely by policy measures but I knew 10 outlined several policy measures that will make a difference but I wanted to start by saying that at the end of the day these issues of racism and police brutality die very closely with the underlying poverty inequality and income and racial segregation in our community and those are the issues that we need to address eventually but in terms of you know immediate tasks on police brutality I think first we need a democratically elected civilian oversight committee with full hiring firing and subpoena powers over the SPD 3 yes he needs to be accountable to ask the community not to the city government which has utterly failed in holding it accountable there are many other measures breaking the code of silence requiring officers to report on criminal wrongdoing by other officers and then protecting the reporting officers from retaliation do not cooperate with federal agencies from with carrying out raids against workers and immigrants all police policies must be put up for thorough public debate restrict off from carrying lethal weapons at protests marches ban on tasers mandatory shoulder cameras and you know what I didn't invent these ideas it's from the ACLU these ideas exist out there for years what we are lacking is a back home in the city government to actually push for the idea and say we need to do this now I said we have to address the question of affordable housing which we're going to talk about because that has a lot to do with income segregation and i would say another start would be to get a little more diversity on the city government all right now are there any chairs available I thought so no there is not sure does anyone have a chair baby you see one if you do raise your hand and raise your hands so that somebody can take that seething we want you to sit down if you can and just some people you can sit on this I guess you could sit on this heating cooling thing a bit about three people could move forward over here and said that okay now go to shift from the environment sustainability from race and leasing to affordability matters of inequality and housing in a country in which the top 400 people make more than 150 million Americans Seattle also in that context he also has issues of inequality recently the Seattle Times featured a report which shows the Seattle in the past years had the fastest growing rent in the country what would you do to address this problem and we want to start with professors what so I have to start by saying you know as as an immigrant from a poor country the thing that strikes you the most is how wealthy this country is and yet faces such deep problems of inequality and you know not just an equally in general but on such basic issues as housing housing should be a human right and affordability is a key human right issue but what we see in this wealthy city of ours is a real crisis of affordable housing it's important here I'm going to go into my economics economists mode here for a second because there's this common perception that the lack of affordable housing is because of you know mismatch between supply and demand and we need to build more housing units of course that's entirely true of course we need to build more housing because more people are moving into the city but if you look at what's happening to housing we see over 30,000 units being built all over around us but a very small proportion of those accessible to most people because the rents and you know the the prices are set at a level where the majority of people can't afford especially if you take into account of the fact that their wages are so low so it's a combination of skyrocketing rent and low wages and in reality when we talk about supply and demand we have to recognize that demand as defined by economics of capitalism is not simply a desired by something it's the ability to afford that good and what we have here is to seize we're building you know the city government is catering to one city which is full of people who are able to afford the high rank units and the other see that has not that does not have the ability to afford it and that is why we are recommending rent control as one part of comprehensive affordable housing program in order to bring rent control within the realms of the overall cost of living so that people can actually afford to live in homes where they work in the city of living two or three bus transfers all right now so see how the suffering from the problems of prosperity in housing if you want to get really cheap bread there are a lot of cities around this country where you can get really cheap breasts because they're not doing well the prop fact is that we have lots of jobs we have lots of opportunities for people and people wanting to move to see how the video that's such a great city and we're happy to have them here but we must have more housing and that's the key strategy that we have to do we need to put more housing in place by zoning for additional housing around particularly around transit stops and transit stations we need to encourage people to actually get through the construction process get the permits going make sure that people have to have the opportunity to create more housing and we need to help people be able to afford that housing through a whole series of tools that we can put in place one of them is transiting because the fact is that if you have good transit people can afford to live in housing the tax would cost a little bit more than otherwise they would be able to afford they don't have to spend much of their money up on your vehicle and on travel but they will actually be able to afford more housing so that's a key strategy and putting housing around our light rail stations are the transit lines is one of the most important ways if we can get more portable housing as I mentioned in terms of the Capitol Hill Station the stationary agreement we also have low income housing lemon we have significantly increase the amount of low-income housing in the city over the last couple of decades as a result of the fact that the voters of this city it's truly extraneous we have great voters in the city they have voted to tax themselves to build low-income housing but most of them will never use and they're they're actually this is an extraordinary commitment on the part of the people of Seattle finally we need to have a combination of things that are going to actually produce more affordable housing within the housing that's being built incentives so many programs i actually got the first bonus program tastin the ten years ago we actually I introduced in South Lake Union way next time when the bonus program provided zero zero incentive housing under the old zoning in the new zoning we introduced the first program that actually provided for requirements for affordable housing in that project we have a multi-family tax exemption that's helping to create affordable housing and other communities there are lots of other tools we can use there is no single way in which you can address the affordable housing issue it has to be a whole variety of ways so yes it's true that the city is doing well compared to cities like Detroit but you know that's like I don't know comparing it to the bottom of the bottom and saying that we're doing great here the question is what can be made possible given the extreme wealth in this city and h2 density is doing well but what mr. Conant forgot to point out is that it's doing well because tens of thousands of workers are doing the work of making this city run every day and are getting very little out of it in terms of wages or housing the definition of affordable housing that the city often uses is you know any person of the median income that's a completely ridiculous definition it has to come much lower and as far as the South Lake Union are you know resolve that mr. colin is talking about that you know that include all fees per 0 and then they go ahead up to 21 do you know holidays in San Francisco it's three hundred dollars per square foot compare what he's offering to what is possible and that is by here it's our jobs not it's not so much about him it's about us are we going to open our eyes and understand what is actually possible if we if if you think rent control is to socialist fine why aren't you doing things that other comparable cities have which is development in factories inclusionary zoning and you know higher fees like cities like San Francisco in New York City and as far as the housing license and B are fully in support of that but we don't think it should be paid for by regressive tax ID it should be paid for by taxing corporations and the wealthy and the local family tax exemption that he's talking about that gave 66 million dollars in tax breaks to developers which exceeded the amount of the two thousand nine thousand eleven so again it's a question of looking at what can be possible as opposed to what is on offer and making what is possible for ourselves Cisco to tell me that San Francisco is a muzzle for affordable housing people in San Francisco are paying seventy percent of their income in many cases for their rent you know whatever San Francisco is doing its not working and we should not be taken down as a model we need to develop something that specific to Seattle and specific to Seattle is really the way in which we can get people housing and by doing all the things that are possible in Seattle incentives only needs to continue to be expanded we have lots of other opportunities and things that we can do to actually change it and make things better in Seattle and make more housing but the bottom line is unless we have more housing that's being developed we can't achieve those of the goals were we're living for one of the great models that we have in this city is the redevelopment of our low-income housing communities the other terrorist is great it's about to be redeveloped we've already completed red Rainier Vista High Point and knew a few Holly and in all of those cases we dramatically increase the amount of housing that was present in those communities we replace every single low-income housing unit and added low-income housing units finally I just want to say that the eighty percent affordable housing standard is not a city policy that is state and federal law we actually look at it in two terms there's workforce housing which are people in the sixty to eighty percent rate and then there are people who are below that for the thirty to fifty percent range that's very low income housing we need to provide both and you can't have a strategy to focus I just wanted my past a councilperson content if you not ask a question of this one but as you probably know ce mec the political arm of the LGBTQ community has not only given me an AAA AAA rating the highest rating possible but an endorsement and I'm the only person not from the community who's been endorsed by them in this election I because of my long track record of successful achievement we have to be LGBT community so I just want to ask if you'd like to talk about the things that you've done in the LGBTQ community first of all I would say that as far as somebody's endorsement some associations endorsement or what people said about you I feel that I you know one thing then should be pointed out is that if you serve on the council for 16 years and if you've really done well by ordinary people and by the concerns of the community then you shouldn't need to rattle off a list of people who have endorsed you I could also do that it is a long list of organizations and individuals who endorsed our campaign but we want our people to judge candidates on the basis of what they have done in reality and as far as LGBTQ community is concerned I think first of all it's important to recognize that it is not any one person's of you know great work that has achieved as unique you right so far in reality it has been a process of struggle and activism starting with a Stonewall Rebellion right up to marriage equality that has been achieved last year in many states and this is a collective effort and it would be dishonest of me to sustain your rent out my individual achievements and so I want to talk about the initiatives and a process or a protest and I'll being part of in order to push forward the questions that are particularly affect the LGBT community when the national equality march happened earlier enjoying the Obama administration out of the sheer disappointment and anger of the letter gpd community and their needs were not being addressed in a way that they wanted it to be addressed the national equality march was organized in Washington in Seattle we have a solidarity March and that was a hugely important even you know protests are not simply symbolic protest movements especially if they are large and energetic bring out a community from there atomized units of social justice into a collective unit of social justice and that is what moves mountains in terms of these issues and I was part of the coalition as part of social swatter graphs represent a socialist alternative in that coalition in order to make that possible and the rows are wonderfully you know satisfying experience and as far as LGBT community is concerned we also need to recognize that there are some of the most over-represented in poverty inequality in homelessness in child abuse in domestic abuse situations and we need to support them in those things and that implies that we need leaders on the City Council who are not only going to pay lip service to these issues but I'm going to fight for a fun full funding of these programs programs and that will inevitably require the you know the willingness to tax the body so it's money that mr. watt would poo poo endorsements and she goes after them as eagerly as you can but the fact is the reason why people go after endorsements is because you have to believe me and you don't have to believe her you can believe organizations that look at our record and say yeah this person was actually accomplished something that's why I'm proud of my endorsement I see mech and that's why I'm proud of all the many other endorsement i have in this community from the sierra club to the question conservation voters to the King County Labor Council the SEIU Local 775 in 925 lots of folks the King County Democrats they're literally dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals we've given endorsement so that's an indication that they value what I've done you don't have to just believe me let me just say a couple things I've done in the LGBTQ community i sponsored the legislation that provided for a private right of action so that people wouldn't have to depend just on city or state action to protect their rights when they were threatened with discrimination I thought your legislation that created the extended our prohibition on discrimination and employment to all businesses to small businesses not just the large ones that were previously covered and most recently in june of this year as a member of the board of directors of the National League of Cities I got the National League of Cities which represents 17,000 cities around this country in places like Grove Minnesota and Mississippi and Arizona to endorse marriage equality that was a pretty extraordinary achievement it took us months to get the board to that standpoint and the fact that we now have cities from around the country saying marriage equality should be embraced is an extraordinary victory those are the kind of things that turn being endorsement I've been fighting for fifteen dollars an hour since last year as a stranger said since before it became cool fast food workers in Seattle and other major cities are also demanding fifteen dollars an hour there is a ballot initiative for fifteen dollars an hour in the city of seatac as a city council member you were playing around 120 120 thousand dollars a year you have said that you don't do not support fifteen dollars an hour can you explain how a family can live in seattle on less than fifteen dollars an hour for that question i actually never said that I didn't support fifteen dollars an hour when I said as we needed to design a path right take us towards a higher minimum wage ideally that has to be on the state or regional level we can get them back they probably probably can't we are going to have to take some action on the city level and so that strategy is going to be to bring people together to find way to identify where it is that we can move it most effectively what the right number is whether it's fifteen dollars an hour you know senator Warren says that it should be 22 dollars an hour so there are lots of opportunities for us to think about expanding this and the fact is that that's the reason why SEIU 775 who are the people who gave up with a fifteen dollar an hour initiative and are sponsoring the initiative in seatac have given me their endorsement because they didn't know that I understand how to make things happen for working people in the city I understand that you have to have partnerships you can't just go out and do things entirely on your own you have to be able to involve people in a gay people engage the entire community and make these kinds of decisions that's why you look at the CPAC initiative for example it targeted very carefully so that it actually focuses on Calvin restaurant industry around the airport because they realized that that was an area where in fact these people were in a basically a captive market they're not going to be businesses not going to be able to move out and they're also a situation where these people have the resources and the opportunities to be able to afford to pay their workers and they help this was a great pilot in which they could try it and see what would happen we have that opportunity in Seattle we're going to work with SEIU and we're going to develop a strategy and go as far as we can and I think that's the position that's been adopted by just about all the people are running for office including the both mayoral candidate as far as the day he says he does not support there is a venture that she was that he said that he stood right next to me and said that but you know that's less important the more important thing at the political points which is that you know the fact that for years people like him have been in city government never talked about increasing wages and now he's quoting Elizabeth Warren and saying that she's asking for 22 dollars an hour that's disingenuous of him you're not even fighting for fifteen dollars an hour but why are you trying to talk about $22 an hour you know that's like you know trying to fool people you think people aren't that stupid that you don't understand that they don't you're not even fighting for something less than that you have said that 50,000 hour is fine in the sky and yes it is pie in the sky if you have a leadership that will not fight for you but it's not buying the sky given how urgently it is necessary for people and if one be fine in disguise if we all fight for it together and I agree with mr. Khan we need to engage everybody but that's exactly what we're doing look at how our campaign has come forward a grassroots campaign with very few financial resources we have over 200 volunteers working with our campaign and making sacrifices because they believe in this and because i think it's going to happen because of a mask when we are spearheading and the harsh cruel movements you're having and the change in the debate that has occurred with the two mayoral candidates falling over each other to like your support fifteen dollars an hour that's a wonderful thing but that may not happen automatically that happened because we have a grassroots campaign challenging all the gadgets to take a stand on this important issue and because we have a fast food movement fighting for it you want shift now to questions from the audience but just before we do and actually want you to write them we're close to well maybe we we have one question from the audience but just before I ask it I've got to recognize a lot of prominent time up here but I was one of the lesser involved people putting this on I want Craig shorts to stand up because I know that he's heavily involved in putting this on and I won't pray to let me know go on up for really fast let me know if there's anybody else let's say something what I want to say is that an event like this makes the participation of a lot of people but what's more important is that we need to do a lot more of them we need to revitalize the political culture and seattle central drinking a bra the canvas when you have here today and we need to be sure we do something like this consistently so that we become the beacon voice of a progressive Seattle let's see if you can't Mississippi can't ask two questions rather succinctly and then i'm going to read one of these questions this is really unfair together but and then asked him the kind of respond to these three questions at once so you don't know if you got it only really i was told us 15 I got it alright we're going to have to finish because we got to make a got to make a fair commitment to those involved can we give a big round of applause




Comments
  1. this woman spreads hatred ..she helps fuel white guilt.She turned her back on India to come here and enrich herself ..

  2. agree with some of kshama's approach to governance…i hope she progresses further into higher levels of politics and i also hope she doesnt succumb to the powers that be..ie the establishment

  3. thanks for your energy and work, you may be in terested to learn of the Banking on Coal report put out by Bankwatch dot org. just do a pdf search, for example the top 4 banks that finance most of the global coal industry are american banks. 

  4. <rant> Just for next time, get the camera handler a tripod, steady cam or maybe a gym membership… That camera was too heavy a burden. Thankfully Sawant had enough good content to listen, without having to watch. </rant>

  5. Richard Conlin, a Democrat and candidate for the Seattle City Council has capitulated before his socialist opponent Kshama Sawant. Collin was able to raise more money and was backed by the corporate elite of Seattle. But in the end Kshama Sawant was able to defeat this ´´progressive´´ liberal in the city of Seattle. Sawant campaigned as a genuine revolutionary socialist, in opposition to the capitalist Democrats and their corporate supporters. With this huge victory, the Seattle Democratic establishment has been dealt a huge blow in the face. A revolutionary socialist is elected into a American city council, for the fist time in almost 100 years! 

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