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Pam vs Kshama

Swantism ico2A colleague of mine is leaning toward a vote for Kshama Sawant.  Here is my advice to him:

Ed.  May I suggest you meet each of them before deciding on Pam vs Sawant. There is no comparison.
 
Pam grew up in a single family home. Her mom was a Chinese/Japanese lady who died when Pam was a baby. She was reared by her African American Dad.  Her story is like that of Michelle Obama of a bright young minority woman benefiting hugely from college. After the UW Pam became a protege of Norm Rice and has “walked the walk” in the community ever since.  Now she has taken over and largely rebuilt the once decrepit Urban League of Seattle.  You tell me that someone you know disses the Seattle Urban League.  Rather than talking to your neighbor, go do some googling. You will see that Pam has done a great job with the organization .  The national Urban League was founded by an interracial group including, as its first secretary, George Hayes, the first African American graduate of Yale with a doctorate. Do you understand that in this city there are almost no interracial groups?  As Seattle has lost its African American community, the decay of the Seattle Urban League deemed inevitable Her role here in rebuilding  that group is a tribute to great leadership n the midst of the decimation of Seattle as a Black Community.
 
In praising Pam I  am not going to demonize Sawant’s background. Suffice to say that she is Brahmin from a one parent family. Despite losing her Dad to a car accident, she was able to graduate from a high profile Indian College, marry well, come to the US and earn a degree in the rural economics of India. Her leadership of the $15 effort is something we both admire.  You and I both agree that having a dissident voice is a good thing.  My problem is that I think Sawant is just that, a dissident voice.  
In a slogan, Sawant’s campaign might be called “soak the rich.”  The contrast with Banks’ actual ideas is stark. Pam wants to work with ALL groups in this District. She sees District 3 as becoming culturally impoverished as not just Blacks but artists, gays, nuns, UW faculty, and Catholics move out.  She understands the need to work with existing organizations in the District to shore up these communities and has walked the talk by meeting with many of these groups. As an example relevant to both of us, I was present today when she met with a UW official to discuss how the U and the District could help each other.
 
Back at $15, have you yet had the pleasure of eating at the new no tipping Ivar’s? (you can still tip if you want to). Without the support of the Council and the mayor Sawant’s idea would have come to naught. Even then she voted against the final deal, angering many.
 
Sawant is not just a demagogue she is a practitioner of hate speech. Just last week, after the Mayor and Council finally settled on a way to block SLU-like development all over the city by agreeing to setbacks along major arterials, Sawant was out there calling everybody else … including the community groups that worked for this … names.
 
I assume you know  about her newbie tax? Under her proposal any person buying or renting a newly built residence would pay about $150,000 tax on their purchase (or the equivalent in rent). I doubt she has thought this through but someone needs to explain some economics to this lady.
 
Sawant also wants to build tens of thousands  of units of segregated housing for the poor. And, did you enjoy reading about poor houses back when “they” made us read Dickens?  The equivalent in fifties America was the housing projects … “city owned housing for the poor.”  NO ONE who has lived in such housing or had friends living there believes we should do that again. We need housing for the poor and a lot of that will be govt financed or govt subsidized. The trick is understanding how to create neighborhoods where this housing can intermingle with a more mixed community.

 


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