Second Seattle recall petition targets city council member

A petition to recall Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant accuses her of abusing her powers as an elected official.

Filed on Tuesday with King County elections by Seattle resident Ernie Lou on behalf of the “Recall City of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant Committee,” the petition outlines a series of accusations against the seven-year council member.

It asserts that Sawant misused council resources to promote a ballot initiative in February and violated city hiring rules by giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative, of which Sawant is an outspoken member.

The petition also claims that Sawant endangered city employees by admitting hundreds of protesters into Seattle City Hall and”created a criminal environment” in the East Precinct area of Capitol Hill where the former Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone was created.

The petition will be forwarded to the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

If approved, Lou will have until March to collect roughly 10,700 certified signatures from registered voters or around 25 percent of the total votes cast in the last District 3 election.

A special election asking voters to recall Sawant would take place on Feb. 9, 2021.

Sawant has been among the city council’s most vocal critics of the Seattle Police Department and was the sole member to vote against the council’s multi-million dollar police budget cuts, saying the cuts did not go far enough.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announcedher resignation after 28 years on the force following cuts to the department’s budget.

Sawant has not minced words about Best’s purported role in what she describes as a culture of “racism, and of anti-poor, anti-working-class sentiments” in the Seattle Police Department.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who along with Best clashed with Sawant and the council in past weeks over budget cuts, faces a recall petition of her own.

Durkan has unsuccessfully challenged the petition several times. Her latest appeal is now currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Washington.

*story by The Washington Examiner