US election campaigns: Socialists make History!
17th November 2013
Big success for $15/hour minimum wage campaign; breakthrough for independent working class politics. Socialist Sawant poised to win seat on Seattle City Council.
The US is seen as the home of capitalism, the world's richest and most powerful nation. But it is also home to millions of working class people who are struggling to get by, let alone live the American Dream. In 2011 Occupy camps mushroomed across the continent, giving expression to the growing discontent as working class people, young people and black and ethnic minorities revolted against being made to pay for the crisis caused by the bankers in Wall Street.
United States capitalism is in a deep economic and social crisis. The political establishment is discredited, and, especially after the recent government shutdown, its system of government appears broken. The situation is crying out for an alternative.
But the resistance is growing. Occupy Homes grew out of Occupy in Minneapolis and has scored important victories in defeating attempted home evictions.
Fast-food workers have begun to organise and inspire with their '$15 an hour and a union' campaign. It is increasingly understood that both the Republicans and the Democrats stand for the super-rich 1%.
Against this background, two Socialist Alternative candidates sent historic shock waves through the United States left and beyond on 5 November. Both candidates, Kshama Sawant in Seattle and Ty Moore in Minneapolis, mounted the strongest election campaigns by open socialists in a major US city in many decades.
Seattle’s King County Elections ballot count saw the Socialist Alternative candidate for Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant, pulling further ahead of 16-year incumbent, Richard Conlin. The Socialist candidate has now won an incredible 90,818 votes compared to the Democrat Richard Conlin’s 88,529 votes.
Ty Moore, an Occupy Homes activist, got 43% of the vote as an open socialist for City Council in Ward 9 of Minneapolis.