Sawant to become Seattle's first socialist City Council member

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 9:28 PM

Socialist Kshama Sawant will be on the next Seattle City Council.

Longtime Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin conceded to challenger Sawant Friday evening, after new election numbers showed her ever-widening lead of 1,640 votes in the race for Position 2.

“It has been a privilege to be your representative and I am proud of what we have done together,” Conlin said Friday after the election numbers were released.

Sawant sat down with KING 5 News on Friday. She admits she isn't entirely accustomed to the political spotlight.

"I didn't set out to do this. I wasn't thinking about holding an elective office. I just wanted to be an activist," Sawant said.

Watch: Extended interview with Kshama Sawant

Sawant, 41, grew up in Mumbai, India. She says she realized early on she was a socialist who hated the Indian caste system she grew up in.

"I never bought into it. I was completely and I remain completely against the caste system," she said.

Sawant came to America for a graduate degree in economics and moved to Seattle three years ago to become an economics teacher at Seattle Central Community College. She was also part of the Occupy Movement. Just three years ago she became an American citizen.

"And having me on the City Council as an immigrant woman of color with an Indian accent, I think that, I hope, will inspire other people," she said.

She believes that alone she won't change City Council, but she'll be part of a movement to bring change.

"There's a real unrest in the American population for change and things are going to change more  rapidly in the coming years," Sawant added.

In the coming months, Sawant will check in as the first socialist council member in recent Seattle history.

 

KING 5's Linda Brill and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

 

 

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