Sawant says to Recall: “put up or shut up.”
Stop the Recall’s blatant voter suppression: Help us force the Recall to the November ballot. In order to urgently mobilize the resources necessary to collect the remaining signatures, we need to raise $50,000 by the August 3rd deadline. Please pitch in whatever you can spare right now!
In response to the Recall Sawant campaign’s announcement that they have collected over 9,000 in-district signatures toward their overall 10,739 signature goal, the Kshama Solidarity Campaign is taking the unprecedented step of collecting signatures for the Recall Campaign in order to force a November recall election and thwart the Recall’s voter suppression tactics!
Back in April, as soon as the Washington State Supreme Court released their decision allowing the Sawant recall to move forward, Recall Sawant Campaign Manager H John Bridger II held a press conference where he announced that their campaign wanted to avoid a November election. Intentionally bypassing the November election in favor of a winter special election would be a blatant act of voter suppression. Special elections have dramatically lower voter turnout, particularly for people of color, renters, youth, and the working class.
“But just this week, we saw a complete reversal from the Recall Campaign,” stated Kshama Solidarity Campaign Manager Emily McArthur at a press conference this morning. “They say in an email to their supporters that they really want to make it onto the November election, and with 9,000 signatures in hand it seems like a real possibility. It’s amazing how quickly things can move when your campaign is fueled by half a million dollars from CEOs, billionaires, over 100 Trump donors, and more than 400 Republican donors! Despite how they made it happen, we’re excited to hear them make this reversal. And that’s why we’re here today. We’re here to take the Recall Campaign up on its appeal for help to collect the last round of signatures by the August 3rd deadline to get on the November ballot.”
We must be clear: the petition itself is not a co-signing of the Recall Campaign’s trumped-up charges. McArthur continued, “The petition we are asking our supporters to sign asks for an election on whether or not a recall should take place. We will go all-out in fighting for a NO vote on the recall, but we want that decision to be made in the most democratic way possible. Kshama has been elected three times by voters in District 3, and each time on the basis of record voter turn out.”
At the same press conference, Councilmember Sawant described the recall effort against her as part of a “growing wave of voter suppression across the country as wealthy Republicans are gearing up to try to steal the midterm elections.” She continued, “The Recall Campaign pretends they’re not attempting to carry out voter suppression in District 3. They don’t pretend very hard though. They want a winter special election because they don’t want ordinary working people to vote. They know Black people, working class people, young people, typically vote in dramatically lower numbers in special elections. Sometimes turnout is as much as 40 or 50 percent lower, as it was in 2016 and 2018 here in King County.”
“They are afraid of a democratic election, and want their wealthy base, the corporate elite of District 3 who live along the waterfront, to decide this bogus recall election. What they are doing is very similar to the recent Arizona voter suppression law – only the Recall Campaign is being even more blatant about it.”
“It appears they plan to make excuses, and they’ve already begun to, to explain why they’re turning in their signatures after the August 3rd deadline. If they do, this would put this election on the winter special election, likely in January or February. The right wing nationally does this because they are afraid that there is no support for their right-wing policies among ordinary people and the oppressed, and they are correct about that. And so they want to push politics to the right by undemocratic means, by whatever means necessary.”
“The right-wing Recall Campaign does it for the same reasons. They know I have been democratically elected three times as a socialist in Seattle. They are afraid they won’t win in a more democratic election, just as they were defeated in 2019 in my re-election in spite of Amazon’s blatant attempts to buy it with unprecedented corporate PAC money.”
“The right wing, who are teaming up with big business in this recall, want to overturn the historic victories our movements have won in Seattle: the Amazon Tax, the $15 minimum wage, landmark renters rights laws. But they know my socialist council office stands in their way. And so do working people in District 3, and that is whom they are most afraid of.”
“We expect more excuses. But if that’s what we hear, and they don’t turn in the signatures by the August 3rd deadline, then it will remove all remaining doubt that voter suppression is their game.”
Kshama ended the press conference by saying, as quoted in The Stranger, “Our message today, from our movement to the Recall is: put up or shut up. You say you want to turn in your signatures and get on the ballot in November? Then do it. The Solidarity Campaign will collect the rest. Let’s have a vote.” Kshama then signed the petition to place her own recall election on the ballot.
Join us in forcing the vote to November! You can sign the petition tomorrow at our Solidarity Campaign Volunteer Picnic in Pratt Park or by finding us at our typical tabling locations from now until August 3rd.
This is an absolutely critical point in our campaign. Since the Recall Campaign was launched, we have been saying that the Recall’s attempt to overturn Seattle’s democratic election is an attack on all working people. Since then, the Recall publicly stated their intention to push for an even more undemocratic winter special election. Now we have the opportunity to take matters into our own hands and stop this blatant and racist attempt at voter suppression. But we need your help to make that happen. In order to urgently close the gap between the signatures the Recall Campaign has and the amount needed to trigger a November election, we need to raise another $50,000 to go all-out for November. Can you make a donation today to ensure that we have the best chance possible of forcing the election to November and stopping the Recall’s voter suppression?