Dispatches

The latest on local issues, education on class struggle, chapter news, and actions.


Candidate Survey Results: Questions 4 & 5; Seattle Income Tax & a New Youth Jail

These are the responses to questions 4 and 5 of our candidate survey.

Question 4: In response to Trump’s threats to cut federal funding for cities that oppose his policies, Seattle activists, led by the Transit Riders Union, are advocating for wealth taxation to “Trump-proof” the Seattle budget. Do you support this effort? Will you support further progressive reforms to our regressive tax system?


Candidate Survey Results: Question 3; Minimum Wage & Wage Theft

 

These are the responses to question 3 of our candidate survey. See here for responses to questions 1 and 2.

Question 3: How do you plan to use the city’s regulatory capacity to enforce recent minimum wage gains and prevent wage theft by employers? What do you think the minimum wage should be?





Candidate Survey Results: Questions 1 & 2; Paid Family Leave

The following are candidates’ responses to questions 1 and 2 from the Seattle DSA 2017 Candidate Survey. For more on our city council and mayoral candidate questionnaire, see here. Responses are presented as they were sent to Seattle DSA and have not been edited in any way.


The Seattle DSA 2017 Candidate Survey

 

UPDATE: During the May general meeting, Seattle DSA members voted to endorse housing activist Jon Grant for at-large City Council Pos. 8. Read more about the endorsement here.

Seattle is fortunate to have an active political climate that produces several candidates competing for leadership positions. This upcoming November, Seattleites will vote on candidates competing for Mayor of Seattle as well as at-large city council positions 8 and 9. All three positions serve four-year terms.

Recognizing that voters run the risk of becoming mired in evaluating candidates based solely on resumes, media appearances or vague associations of one’s own, the Seattle Democratic Socialists of America’s Activism and Communications Committees produced a 13-query survey to help cleave local candidates’ views into discernible positions on issues that are vital to socialists and, we believe, the public at large in 2017.

Candidates who filed earlier than March 8 received their questionnaires that same day and were asked for answers by April 8. We contacted the campaigns of those filing later — usually on the day of announcement — and asked for their participation as well. For non-respondents, a Seattle DSA working group sought to determine the candidate’s position based upon public statements.


Transit Riders Union Income Tax Gains New Major Supporter: Mayor Ed Murray

Mayor Ed Murray speaks to the crowd at a debate for mayoral and city council position 8 candidates hosted by the 46th District Democrats Thursday, April 20 in Lake City.

Support for a Seattle income tax reached a peak Thursday night when Mayor Murray said he would support an income tax on “high-end” households.


Coding a Different Workplace

Featured image by the Seattle DSA design team.

An oft-repeated story, across industries and disciplines is this: a technical team is called upon to help co-workers improve a workflow, and the programmers learn the ins and outs of the workflows they are supposed to improve. They form relationships with fellow workers and push hard to build platforms that might even be enjoyable to use. But something’s not right; some workers are hesitant. They appreciate the new coats of paint, the speed gains and the lovingly crafted user interfaces painstakingly designed by the tech team. But still, they resist.

This resistance is perfectly natural, whether conscious or unconscious, because it highlights the power tech workers have. This power, unchecked, can directly impact entire sectors of workers. Our colleagues’ jobs and livelihoods are on the line, but is this ever addressed in our rigorous design phases?

This isn’t some complex economic theory — it’s just how capitalism works. A workflow is improved, there’s celebrations all around, and we all have more time to think about our respective fields and worry less about the fiddly details of some dreary corporate intranet that was replaced. But despite these productivity gains — these shiny coats of paint on existing workflow systems– workers continue to suffer. Our work allows them to do their work faster, but for what gain?


Building a center of resistance at the Seattle Socialism Conference

Featured image: Jon Grant, who is running for Seattle City Council Position 8, speaks to around 600 people in the University of Washington’s Kane Hall for the Seattle Socialism Conference, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Photo by Joanna Magner/Seattle DSA

By Ty and Cora Alexander

Socialism is experiencing a massive resurgence in America in the face of the Trump administration, and nowhere was that more obvious than at the Seattle Socialism Conference held Sunday, April 2 in the University of Washington’s Kane Hall.