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Seattle Socialist Kshama Sawant Takes Office

Posted on Jan 6, 2014
Democracy Now!

Seattle’s first socialist city official in decades, an economics teacher, former Occupy Wall Street activist and former Truthdigger of the Week, ran on a campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She enters office Monday along with Mayor Ed Murray.

“The important thing about running as a socialist is, for one, to show that there is a definite openness for clear alternatives, not only to the big business parties, but the system that they represent, the capitalist system,” Kshama Sawant told “Democracy Now!” on Monday.

Seattle’s new mayor, Ed Murray, has announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all city employees, a decision that will affect 600 people. Meanwhile, voters in the nearby community of SeaTac recently increased the minimum wage for many local workers to $15. The vote suffered a setback when a judge ruled last month that the hike does not apply to workers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the area’s largest employer. That ruling has been appealed.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

‘Democracy Now!’:

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