Socialist council member calls for tax on super-rich

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

SEATTLE - People packed into City Hall to cheer as Socialist Kshama Sawant took her oath of office as a Seattle City Council member.

They waved signs and some wore T-shirts supporting a $15 dollar minimum wage, one of her big campaign points. In her speech, Sawant declared, "Capitalism has failed the 99 percent."

Sawant talked about higher minimum wages, lower rent, and urged workers and young people to organize mass movements.

William Washington brought his 2-year-old daughter Zoe because he said he's worried about her generation.

He called Sawant a breath of fresh air.

In her speech, Sawant also called for taxing the super-rich for massive expansion of transportation and education.

She said afterwards that she encouraged anyone with ideas about a progressive tax to reach out to her.

In November, Sawant told Boeing workers to take over the factory if the corporation decided to move their jobs elsewhere.

When asked about the recent Boeing contract, approved by a thin margin after voted down an initial offer, she said it was a sign of the pressure workers are under.

"It's a reflection of the intimidation and the threat that they have been under," she said.

"Remember, it's not just the Boeing CEOs that have been intimidating them -- it's the entire state Legislature.”

Sawant said she will now focus on serving on the city's Income Inequality Advisory Committee and organizing grassroots movements for a $15 minimum wage Seattle-wide.

She plans to hold a rally on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Labor Temple in Seattle.

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