The Seattle city council is in the process of finalizing its 2023 budget. Their final vote is scheduled for November 21. Activist and non-profit organizations are fighting for two sets of amendments to Mayor Harrell’s budget. Based on input from DSA members and allied organizations, the Seattle DSA Local Council has decided to endorse both sets of amendments:
1) We endorsed the Seattle Solidarity Budget which calls for taking money away from SPD to fund housing for all, community-led safety solutions, a Green New Deal, and more. YES to increasing pay for human services workers – NO to cop hiring and retention bonuses!
2) The DSA Local Council also adopted this resolution to endorse the People’s Budget amendment from Councilmember @Kshama Sawant to make abortion free in Seattle. Free abortion would make reproductive services more accessible for working people in Seattle as well as those in need from states where abortion has been criminalized. This amendment would increase the Amazon (Jumpstart) Tax on large corporations, not working people. This poses important questions to the Democrats who control City Hall. Will they sign onto these amendments? Will the Democrats match their progressive rhetoric with actual funding for social services? Will they make abortion free? Will they fund these urgently needed programs by reducing the police budget and increasing the Amazon tax?
As socialists, we fight for these specific improvements while simultaneously demanding a complete overhaul of the budget. In this fabulously wealthy city, thousands of people, including children, are being forced to live, or die, on the streets. Full-time jobs often don’t pay enough for workers to afford to live in this increasingly expensive city. Social services and environmental programs are nowhere near the level needed to address the human and climate crises. This city needs a fundamental change to correct its upside down priorities.
This is why we are focused on building an independent mass working-class movement while also working toward electing a socialist mayor and socialist majority on the city council to take on big business and run Seattle in the interests of the working class and oppressed people, as part of a wider national and international effort.
What We Can Do:
- Be ready to join a protest which may be organized at a city council meeting.
- Email the City Council and speak in the city council public comment sessions. You can easily email all the individual councilmembers by emailing [email protected]
- We ask DSA working groups, particularly our Housing, Reproductive Justice, and Eco-socialist working groups, to look into mobilizing members and the public to speak up for these demands.
- Finally, Seattle DSA encourages activists and organizations supporting the Solidarity Budget and the People’s Budget to unite and work together this year and in future years. The left can have a stronger united impact by demanding a budget that meets the needs of oppressed communities and all working-class people — and making the corporate elite foot the bill.