In 2013, Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative made history by electing the first socialist to a major US city in decades. Within six months of taking office, Kshama helped build a movement and win the historic $15/hr minimum wage.
And she didn't stop there. In just two years of being in office, we have defeated rent hikes of 400% on 7,000 low-income families, won millions of dollars in funding for human services, established Indigenous Peoples' Day, and played an important role in the Shell No actions that recently secured a victory against Arctic drilling.
It came as no surprise that the political establishment and it's corporate backers were hell bent on defeating Kshama this year. Every corporate council member endorsed Kshama's opponent, who raised a stunning $140,000 in maximum donations from CEOs, landlords and big business alone. In addition, a Republican-backed PAC dumped $18,000 into the race, and in the final week two anti-union, anti-$15/hr PACs spent $40,000 attacking Kshama.
To counter this onslaught, our campaign accepted no corporate contributions and relied solely on the power of working people. We mobilized over 600 volunteers, got endorsements from 30 unions, and raised more money than any other candidate by collecting 3,000+ contributions with a median donation of $50.
Victory on election night was not guaranteed, especially after two years of lies and opposition from the political establishment, corporate media, real estate industry and the corporations that dominate city politics.
When election results were announced on the evening of November 3rd, 2015, Kshama Sawant had defeated the candidate put forward by the political establishment and backed by big business.
This just the beginning. We will build off this victory and won't stop until we have a society that prioritizes human needs over corporate greed.