This week, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an effort to recall Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant can move ahead. Sawant had appealed a lower court ruling that the recall effort met the requirements of state law.
The latest ruling could result in the recall election being placed on either the August primary ballot or November general election ballot. Supporters will have 180 days to gather more than 10,000 signatures from registered voters in Seattle Council District 3 to place the recall on the ballot.
Sawant represents Capitol Hill and part of the Central District. She was elected citywide in 2013 and elected to represent District 3 in 2015 and 2019. Sawant’s current term runs through 2023.
The Kshama Solidarity campaign has announced a Saturday rally on Capitol Hill to build support for Sawant’s anti-recall campaign.
The Supreme Court found that three charges against Sawant met the requirements of state law:
- that she allegedly used city resources to promote a “Tax Amazon” ballot initiative;
- that she allegedly allowed demonstrators entry into City Hall during a nighttime protest in June, despite City Hall being closed to the public due to Covid; and
- that she allegedly spoke at a protest in front of the home of Mayor Jenny Durkan, whose address is protected by a state confidentiality program due to her history as a federal prosecutor.
The Seattle Times reports that the state law governing the recall of elected officials requires the charges to represent “misfeasance, malfeasance or violation of the oath of office.”
Sawant views herself as a champion of working people and renters. She has been a frequent critic of her Council colleagues while gaining fame for leading the passage of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law, as well as laws to protect the rights of renters.