CityLab Daily: A ‘Referendum on the Amazon Tax’

What We’re Following

Head-to-head: How much political power does $1.5 million buy in Seattle? Not as much as Amazon might have liked, according to election results from this year’s city council race. That’s how much the tech giant spent in its home city to back seven pro-business candidates through a political action committee.

And according to results over the weekend, just two of those candidates won. Among the most noteworthy losses for Amazon: The victory of Kshama Sawant, a pro-labor city council member in the Socialist Alternative Party who’s long been a thorn in the side of Amazon and other large corporations.

Sawant called her campaign a “referendum on the Amazon tax,” a reference to a per-employee head tax that would have gone toward funding homelessness initiatives in the city. That tax was successfully killed last year after a $25,000 Amazon campaign.

Now that she’s won, Sawant says passing a new tax on Amazon “and Seattle’s biggest businesses” is among her top agenda items. Read Sarah Holder’s story on what became the most expensive council race in the city’s history: How Seattle’s City Council Race Became the Amazon Election

Nicole Flatow


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What We’re Reading

How California became America’s housing market nightmare (Bloomberg)

A win for the prosecutor reform movement: Former public defender Chesa Boudin wins race for San Francisco DA (The Appeal)

Jeff Bezos asked Michael Bloomberg months ago if he’d consider running for president (Recode)

Copenhagen dispatch: The city that cycles with the young, the old, the busy, and the dead (New York Times)

Activists float “sinking house” along the River Thames (Evening Standard)  


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