Self-Proclaimed ‘Socialist’ City Council Member Pushes For Rent Control In Seattle

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Mia Hernandez Contributor
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Self-identified socialist city councilmember Kshama Sawant sponsored a bill discussed Friday that would set rent control provisions in Seattle.

Council Bill 120606 comes as a result of increasing rent in Seattle, according to KOMO News. The bill would regulate residential rent increases and establish rent control provisions, tenant protections, enforcement provisions, a Rent Control Commission and District Rent Control Boards to authorize rent control exemptions.

The Rent Control Commission would be made up of 35 renters and seven landlords, KOMO reported.

The median rent in the Seattle area for a one-bedroom apartment is just over $1,500 a month, according to Zillow. Sawant’s bill would run up against Washington state law, which has banned rent control measures since 1981.

Rent control “decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative spillovers on the surrounding neighborhood” in the long-term, according to a 2018 report from the Brookings Institution.

Sawant spoke at a Bernie Sanders Rally in 2020 and called for a “powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.” (RELATED: Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks)

The councilwoman is a member of Socialist Alternative, a Trotskyist group with the goal of a “socialist United States and a socialist world,” according to its website. The group’s platform also aimed to take control of the “top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy” and pay compensation “on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.”

Sawant was also a former activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Following Trump’s election, she used government resources to help organize anti-Trump “Occupy Inauguration” protests.

Sawant did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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