A Seattle City Council member is standing by her convictions and vowing to retain only 34 percent of her salary in order to donate the remainder to social causes. The council member, Kshama Sawant, represents a shift in the makeup of local Seattle politics. Sawant identifies herself as a Socialist, and she has been an active member in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
According to Raw Story, the amount of money Sawant will take home for her service on the council will equal about $40,000 after taxes. The typical salary for a Seattle City Council member is currently around $117,000.
Sawant has pledged to donate the majority of her salary to charity organizations that promote social activism. Charities that have already received a portion of Sawant’s salary include 15Now, an organization pushing for a $15 minimum wage, as well as union group Puget Sound SAGE.
Sawant discussed the abnormally high pay that Seattle City Council members receive and how that can affect their judgement when dealing with issues relating to citizens with average or lower pay.
“Seattle city council members receive over $117,000 a year - the second highest of any city council in the country. Inevitably, such a salary removes Coucil members from the realities of life for working people. I will take home $40,000 per year. This amount is roughly the full-time take-home pay of a Seattleite,” Sawant said, according to Seattle Weekly.
Sawat has pledged to keep all of her donations transparent by setting up the Solidarity Fund, where her money will be initially deposited and from which the donations can be distributed accordingly.
A major aspect of Sawat’s campaign was the push for a $15 minimum wage for all workers in Seattle, and Sawat’s pledge to take a smaller salary demonstrates her commitment to that goal.