SEATTLE, Wash. -- The creators of the Webby Award-winning documentary "Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team" today announced their endorsement of Kshama Sawant for the Seattle City Council. Sawant is running against 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin for City Council Position 2 in the General Election on Nov. 5.
Councilman Conlin has alienated many local constituencies including Sonics fans. He was Seattle City Council President when its members unanimously approved the $45 million settlement agreement that let the Sonics out of the team's lease at KeyArena in 2008, officially sending Seattle's iconic NBA franchise off to Oklahoma City. Conlin missed a shot at redemption last year when he vocally opposed the SoDo arena deal and wrote an editorial letter attempting to justify his anti-arena position. Conlin has taken his recent policy cues from wealthy special interests, using city resources to sue a group of grassroots activists and being the only councilmember to vote against paid sick leave.
Running as a Socialist Alternative candidate, Sawant is a fresh, third-party voice that would crack the two-party system's stranglehold on American government. Sonicsgate identifies with the grassroots nature of the Sawant campaign, which has cultivated an open dialogue with citizens by running as a voice of the people and taking zero campaign donations from corporations.
Sonicsgate director Jason Reid said:
"Richard Conlin has proven to be smug, short-sighted and out of touch with the citizens of Seattle during his 16-year reign on the council. He needs to be removed from office to send a message that entrenched politicians aren't untouchable when they go against the will of the people. I believe it is important to have new blood with a healthily dissenting voice on the council. Although Sawant has not taken an official position on the SoDo arena MOU, her campaign shares in our outrage that Seattle was robbed of the Sonics by powerful, corrupt forces and that many local politicians, including Conlin, own a share of the blame. The Sawant campaign has met directly with the Sonicsgate team and will maintain an open dialogue on this issue. We believe Seattle's citizens will have a real voice in her administration. Living wage jobs and the enjoyment of sports are both rights we should enjoy in our community."
"We know exactly where Richard Conlin stands in his unreasonable opposition to the SoDo arena MOU. Conlin needs to be fired for his numerous actions against Sonics fans and his dismissive, closed minded method of governing. The Sonicsgate team is proud to endorse candidates such as Kshama Sawant and Mayor Mike McGinn, who actually listen to the people."
Sonicsgate is using the Twitter hashtag #ConlinIsGonelin to show support for electing Sawant and removing Conlin from office.
Sonicsgate has also endorsed the following incumbent candidates for re-election in 2013: Mayor Mike McGinn #McGinnForTheWin, Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The filmmakers now join a cadre of labor leaders, artists and community activists to endorse Kshama Sawant, including writer Dan Savage, The Stranger newspaper, Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, RA Scion of Common Market and Geologic of Blue Scholars.
Geologic of Blue Scholars said:
"Candidates who are accessible to the public like Mike McGinn and Kshama Sawant don't appear on our ballots often, or enough. It's almost as rare as seeing either of their opponents in the Southend, where I've lived for 12 years. I, and most people I know, would rather have someone in office who we may not agree with on all the issues but who'll listen to us than someone who talks a good game but isn't accessible, as most of the local politicians who have come before these two have proven to be."
The Sawant campaign is throwing a benefit show featuring RA Scion and Khingz tonight at Chop Suey (1325 E Madison Street).
The Sonicsgate producers will also join Geologic, Kevin Calabro and Shawn Kemp for a Mike McGinn for Mayor rally on Friday, Nov. 1 at 95 Slide (722 East Pike Street).