Democratic socialists are in the middle of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Led by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and the “squad” of newly elected congresswomen, the hard-left coalition has laid out an ambitious agenda to transform the United States into a democratic socialist nation. While many commentators have dismissed the rhetoric around the Green New Deal, Housing for All, and End Cash Bail as pie-in-the-sky abstraction, in Seattle, the socialist coalition is quickly translating this agenda into a political reality.
After the socialist Left’s stunning victory over business-backed moderates in last year’s municipal elections, Seattle has effectively become the nation’s laboratory for socialist policies. Since the beginning of the year, the socialist faction on the Seattle City Council has proposed a range of policies on taxes, housing, homelessness, and criminal justice that put into practice the national democratic-socialist agenda. In the most recent session, socialist councilwoman Kshama Sawant and her allies have proposed massive new taxes on corporations, unprecedented regulations on landlords (including rent control and a ban on “winter evictions”), the mandated construction of homeless encampments, and the gradual dismantling of the criminal justice system, beginning with the end of cash bail.
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