Leaders of Communities of Color Endorse "No" Vote

This afternoon, leaders of communities of color gathered in the heart of the Central District to emphatically call for a “No” vote on the racist, right-wing recall, and point to Kshama’s powerful advocacy for marginalized communities.

“We’re here because Kshama stands for us,” said Reverend Angela Ying, of the Bethany United Church of Christ. “Where was Councilmember Kshama Sawant last Friday night? In the cold and drizzle, she was listening to Black and Brown seniors at the Rainier Court apartments, telling their stories of not having heat or water, having broken appliances. She has done this for hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants facing eviction. I know because I was there.”

Speakers at the press conference included former King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Reverend Dr. Robert Jeffrey, Reverend Angela Ying, Raghav Kaushik of the Coalition of Seattle Indian-Americans, Kshama Solidarity volunteers Varun Belur and Helen Vinh, Black and Brown senior tenants at the Rainier Court apartments, Black community housing activist Renee Gordon, Abby Brooke of Jewish Voice for Peace (personal capacity), and a statement from Jewish community activist Robby Stern. 

Tenants at the Rainier Court apartments, who organized with Kshama’s office to win a cancellation of rent increases, spoke at today’s press conference. “We are a community of primarily Black and Brown people, and we are considered low-income… I have witnessed Councilmember Sawant standing beside us as we held our first protest. She’s been there to hold press conferences with us in the cold, marched with us through the rain, and with her help we were able to stop the rent increases [on our buildings]. We’re here to say we need [Kshama], and Seattle needs her too.”

District 3 voters have their ballots now, and have less than two weeks left to vote. If you haven’t yet voted “NO” on the right-wing recall, fill out your ballot TODAY and put it in your mailbox, a blue post box, or a ballot dropbox!

Read this statement from today’s press conference from community member Helen Vinh, who’s been volunteering for the Kshama Solidarity Campaign to help non-English-speaking voters cast their ballots. Watch the full press conference here

“As a volunteer for the Solidarity Campaign, I’ve had the honor of speaking with elders in the district, where a common refrain has been the shared anxiety of displacement caused by rising rents and rapid gentrification. Many of these elders do not speak English as a first language. Many of them endured unthinkable hardships before coming to this country. Our campaign has regular door knocks in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Somali, Oromo and materials in Amharic. We are speaking every day with the very people the right-wing recall campaign was hoping would not vote in the first December election in Seattle’s history. 

I’ve talked to numerous people, some as recently as last night, who still did not know about the election. Some mistakenly received special election ballots in English, and did not know what it was for. But when we talk about the wins Kshama has fought for, they feel strongly about what’s at stake, which is why we are organizing.  While on a volunteer shift the other night, I met a woman who said to us in Mandarin, “I already voted no on the recall. I support Kshama because she speaks the truth!” I think we need more politicians like Kshama Sawant who speak truth to power, not fewer.

We need to be clear that this recall is not just an attack on a woman of color and a genuine working class fighter in the halls of power - this is an attack on all of us!”

Our campaign is fighting against the right-wing Recall Campaign’s voter suppression for the highest possible voter turnout from working people, communities of color, renters, and youth. To do that, we need our supporters to VOTE NOW, and get involved to help us beat back this right-wing attack. Join us for our post-Thanksgiving MEGACANVASS at on Saturday 10am at Cal Anderson park, so we can talk to as many people in the District as possible! If you’re a new volunteer, don’t worry, you’ll be paired up with someone more experienced.

If you can’t volunteer, are out of town, or can’t vote in this election, we still need your help. A corporate PAC backing the recall has already raised more than $150,000 in a single week, and they’re going to use it to spread right-wing lies to voters across the district. We can win this election, but it will take everything we’ve got! We urgently need to raise $70,000 between now and Election Day, and there’s only 13 days remaining. Can you chip in $200, $100, $27, or any amount to help us reach this goal? 

As of today, more than 4,500 District 3 residents have donated to our campaign – nearly 3 times the number of D3 donors the right-wing Recall Campaign has. But with PAC money weighing in heavily to this election, we’ll need to make every remaining day count. If everyone on our list donated $20, we’d break our fundraising goal TODAY.

 See you on Saturday for our post-Thanksgiving MEGACANVASS, and vote “NO” TODAY!


Greyson Van Arsdale

Kshama Solidarity Campaign