Kshama Sawant is a Seattle City Council Woman and a member of Socialist Alternative. She made history in 2013 by becoming the first Socialist elected in Seattle in 100 years, after campaigning on a $15 minimum wage. Following her election, she initiated the 15 Now movement, and helped lead the way in making Seattle the first major city to pass the $15 wage.
Last year Kshama, was re-elected to the Seattle City Council in spite of united opposition of the Democratic Party establishment and big business, with record amounts of corporate money being spent to defeat her.
Before being elected to office, Kshama was a teacher and economist, with a PhD from North Carolina State University. She has taught at Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, and the University of Washington Tacoma. She joined Socialist Alternative in 2006 and since then has helped organize demonstrations for marriage equality, participated in the movement to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was an organizer in Seattle’s Occupy movement. Kshama has also been an activist in her union, the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, fighting against budget cuts and tuition hikes.