Kshama Sawant is not a career politician. She is an activist who brings a passion for social justice to her work as a public servant. As a member of the City Council, Kshama pledges to be a voice for workers, youth, the oppressed and the voiceless. She only accepts the average workers’ wage and donates the rest of her six-figure salary to building social justice movements.
Alongside being a teacher, Kshama is an activist, organizer, and socialist, and is a member of Socialist Alternative, in solidarity with the Committee for a Workers’ International, which organizes for working-class interests on every continent.
Kshama Sawant is a rare bird, an American politician who is avowedly socialist and electable. The Cold War, which made red-bating a normal part of politics in the U.S., is long gone. It’s more than time for leftist politicians to come out into the open. Let’s hope it spreads. Doug Henwood has an interview with her here.
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so.
I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com.
I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com