Will Big Business Get To Pick Durkan’s Replacement?

Last week, the dust settled on the mail-in ballots for the primary, and it became clear that big businesses’ anointed candidates were going to make it through to the general election. Importantly, none of them do so with a lead, but the left cannot afford to be complacent.

There are two courses set ahead of us in November that will radically change how working people in Seattle get through the tumultuous period of climate change, COVID, and the housing crisis. Will the slate of corporate-backed candidates succeed or can working people deal big business a decisive defeat?

Nikkita Oliver is running as an independent socialist and their role as a movement leader is something working people need more of in city hall. Their platform for housing, especially the demand for rent control and for massive investment in social housing has the potential to ignite a broad movement of renters and working class homeowners. It can also build on the momentum of Councilmember Sawant’s rent control legislation

With rents skyrocketing 22% already this year, and a tsunami of evictions expected to come from the rollback of the federal eviction moratorium, it’s clear there’s a lot at stake. The Rental Housing Association and National Association of Realtors have picked their side: they’ve already poured over $30,000 into Sara Nelson’s campaign.

On the mayoral side, Jenny Durkan’s term has been characterized by serving the will of big business in the city. She literally worked weekends to make special, illegal, backroom meetings happen with Amazon when they wanted to repeal the first Amazon Tax.

Bruce Harrell promises to be a continuation of subservience to establishment politics. That’s why George Petrie and his wife have poured nearly $100,000 into the PAC supporting Harrell.

As a wealthy executive for Goodman Real Estate, Petrie stands to profit off the rollback of renters rights that would begin immediately if Kshama was undemocratically removed by this right-wing recall. That’s why he’s maxed out to the right-wing Recall campaign, and why he was Washington’s top donor to Donald Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election, paradoxically called “Stop the Steal.” He’s pouring tens of thousands into the unprecedented amendment to the city charter that would enshrine sweeps without any new funding for housing and services, which has the Orwellian name “Compassion Seattle.” 

Corporate landlords and big business have a plan for this November: hold onto the mayor’s office and prevent the left from gaining any ground. Having accomplished that, they want to use a low turnout winter special election to oust the socialist and roll back renters’ rights victories. 

The way we will defeat George Petrie and his billionaire pals is by getting organized. We’re asking our supporters to help us build the movement for rent control and build the biggest Get Out the Vote operation Seattle has ever seen

Building our movement means raising grassroots donations from thousands of ordinary people. Already over 7400 people have donated to our campaign – if you haven’t donated yet, can you make your first donation today? If you’ve already donated, can you chip in $50, $20, or even $5 to defend the voice of working people in city hall?