Thursday, March 15, 2018

SPEAK UP! Your Voice, Your Vote!

This is it! This is the last time the King County Council will meet to discuss, hear public comments, and VOTE on the future of 4Culture. 

WHEN: Monday, March 19th at 1:30 PM
WHERE: King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave (10th Floor), Seattle 

Share this event - Encourage your friends and family who care about culture (isn’t that all of us?) to attend and write. 

ATTEND THIS EVENT - Advocate4Culture urges advocates to speak up and:

1. Tell the entire King County Council that you are opposed to Ordinance 2018-0086 and that you will not forget those who supported this detrimental effort come election time. 

2. Remind them all that you are an citizen and tax payer that will be watching THEM as this  ordinance is put into practice.

3. Thank Councilmembers Claudia Balduccci (District 6), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (District 4), and Joe McDermott (District 8) for supporting the integrity of 4Culture. Remind them that you will not forget their efforts come election time.

You can convey these same points by contacting Councilmembers directly:

4Culture Supporters:
Claudia Balduccci   (206) 477-1006
Jeanne Kohl-Welles   (206) 477-1004
Joe McDermott   (206) 477-1008

Ordinance Sponsors:
Rod Dembowski    (206) 477-1001
Dave Upthegrove   (206) 477-1005
Reagan Dunn   (206) 477-1009
Pete von Reichbauer   (206) 477-1007
Larry Gossett   (206) 477-1002
Kathy Lambert    (206) 477-1003

Confused by Councilmember Gossett’s recent mass email? Read the facts.

Facebook: advocate4culture 
Twitter: advocate4cultur

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Friday, March 9, 2018

It Ain't Over Until....You Speak at a Public Hearing

If you missed the March 7th King County Council hearing about Ordinance #2018-0086 and several proposed amendments, The Stranger posted some of the (unfortunate) highlights. 

4Culture also posted a summary as provided by Council staff - you can read what was passed, including the amendments. 

SAVE THE DATE of March 19th at 1:30 PM, when this ordinance will be voted on by the full council. This will be an open public meeting where we WILL have an opportunity to voice our opposition. 

So many of you have asked us WHERE IS EXECUTIVE CONSTANTINE? We are wondering the same thing. 

Write to Dow and ask him to talk to his colleagues on the Council - this ordinance reduces his role in 4Culture as well. He knows that it is a power grab, and we know that he supports arts and culture in King County. 


Dow Constantine: or (206) 263-9600

Chief of Staff, Rachel Smith or (206) 263-9628)

Thanks once again Advocates!
Facebook: advocate4culture 
Twitter: advocate4cultur

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Clock is Ticking...

The King County Council heard from you at the hearing on February 21st, and now they need to see you again on March 7th. It's incredibly important that advocates show up as the council discusses this ordinance and any amendments that are presented.

Attend this Critical Hearing!

Committee of the Whole

Wednesday, March 7th
9:30 AM
King County Council Chambers 10th floor
King County Courthouse (516 3rd Avenue)

What will happen: Witness - don’t let them work behind closed doors. Show up early - get a green scarf to represent you are against ordinance #2018-0086 and in favor of 4Culture’s independence.

Council staff have told us that councilmembers are negotiating right now. We need to act quickly to tell them once again what we expect - that 4Culture’s independence be preserved. Some councilmembers are still sadly misinformed and others are intentionally spreading false information. Write or call again:  

Urgent...Email of Call Council Members Now! Or Even Again!

Districts 8, 4, 6 + Executive Constantine:

Thank you for helping us! Don’t compromise 4Culture’s independence. We believe in you and your ability to turn this around.

Claudia Balduccci   (206) 477-1006
Jeanne Kohl-Welles   (206) 477-1004
Joe McDermott   (206) 477-1008
Dow Constantine   (206) 263-9600

Districts 1. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9:

Be respectful - polite, but firm. I’m opposed to this ordinance you’ve sponsored. Arts and culture are important to me - and impact my life directly in the following way…and what you’re doing is harmful.

Please don’t undermine 4Culture’s independence. Change your vote to NO.

Rod Dembowski    (206) 477-1001
Dave Upthegrove   (206) 477-1005
Reagan Dunn   (206) 477-1009
Pete von Reichbauer   (206) 477-1007
Larry Gossett   (206) 477-1002
Kathy Lambert    (206) 477-1003

Thank you Advocates!!
Facebook: advocate4culture 
Twitter: advocate4cultur

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Friday, February 23, 2018


This past Wednesday, more than 100 advocates showed up to the King County Council hearing to show opposition to Ordinance #2018-0086. Your testimony was inspiring (check out the video recording) - you spoke about what 4Culture means to you and your community, how you have witnessed the transparent selection panels, participated on their committees, and utilized 4Culture as a resource and a model. 

Thank you!

We hope the Councilmembers heard you and are taking your messages to heart. So many of you spoke that the Councilmembers were left with no time for discussion and a vote. 

The next Committee of the Whole hearing will be on March 7th at 9:30 AM. There may or may not be an opportunity for public comment, but it is critically important that advocates show up to demonstrate that citizens are still engaged and just as opposed as ever, amendments or no amendments! 

Why haven't we heard anything from our County Executive Dow Constantine and he needs to know that this power grab by the Council is inappropriate and unnecessary. We need to hear that he continues to support arts and culture in King County.


1. CONTACT King County Executive Dow Constantine or (206) 263-9600)

Ask him to Veto Ordinance #2018-0086; and 
Thank him for being a great supporter of arts and culture in our region; and remind him that the cultural community votes. Assure him that with his help now, the arts and culture community will support him in the future.

2. CONTACT Pete von Reichbauer of District 7 (South King County/Federal Way/Auburn) 

Tell him why and where you live, work, or visit in his district; and 
Ask him why he is sponsoring Ordinance #2018-0086 and urge him to vote against Ordinance #2018-0086

Thank you advocates. You are making a difference!
Facebook: advocate4culture 
Twitter: advocate4cultur

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Unite and Fight to Save 4Culture!

JOIN US! Please attend this critical public meeting to fight King County Ordinance #2018-0086 on Wednesday, February 21st at 9:30 a.m. Meet fellow advocates at the King County Council Chambers located on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse [516 3rd Avenue]

Advocates will be on hand to assist you when you arrive. You may choose to sign up to speak during the public comment period if you wish. You don't have to speak. Simply being there is powerful! Let's remind the King County Council that they work for US - not the other way around. We live, work, and VOTE in King County. Lets SHUT THIS ORDINANCE DOWN. 

Plan to arrive early. Parking is available in pay-lots, but can be expensive. Bus and Light Rail (Pioneer Square Station) are recommended. You will need to go through a security screening as you enter the building. Council Chambers are on the 10th Floor. The building and 10th floor are ADA accessible.

We look forward to seeing you there. All are welcome!

Facebook: advocate4culture 
Twitter: advocate4cultur

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

We Are Having An Impact. Don’t Let Up!

King County staff are counting the letters, emails, and calls they are receiving for and against Ordinance #2018-0086 which proposes devastating changes to 4Culture. We need to keep the pressure on so that they are overwhelmed by their constituents and community urging them to say NO to this ordinance. 

Let’s not waste our time on the councilmembers who are determined to yank control from the people (the hundreds of citizen volunteers who serve to guide 4Culture). They are stubbornly going to hold onto their ill-informed reasoning and deceitful commentary. We won’t change their minds with facts and logic now.

We must focus on select councilmembers and the King County Executive because they can and will make a difference in this fight. Let’s provide them facts and share our experiences as cultural workers (that’s you!) that 4Culture functions ethically and efficiently in services to the people of King County. 

Contact our King County Executive Dow Constantine ( or 206-263-9600and:
  • Ask him to Veto Ordinance #2018-0086;
  • Thank him for being a great supporter of arts and culture in our region; and 
  • We vote. Assure him that with his help now, the arts and culture community will support him in the future. 

If you haven’t already contacted your Councilmember, NOW is the time (Find Your Councilmember). 
We believe the councilmembers who are sponsors of the Ordinance, yet are thoughtful and listening right now are Pete von Reichbauer (District 7) and Reagan Dunn (District 9). Do you live in South King County, or know other cultural advocates that do? Urge them to contact Councilmember von Reichbauer and Dunn. When you contact them:

  • Let them know where you live, work, or visit in their district 
  • Ask them why they are sponsoring Ordinance #2018-0086 
  • Urge them to vote against Ordinance #2018-0086

Here’s how to contact them:

Thank you advocates! 

Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.

Councilmembers Are Misinformed. We're Setting the Record Straight!

Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove, Rod Dembowski, and Kathy Lambert are spending lot of King County taxpayer time on social media spreading information about 4Culture and Ordinance #2018-0086 that is simply not true. Here are the facts:

WRONG: Councilmembers have stated this ordinance does not allow the council to amend the 4Culture budget only approve or reject. 
FACT: We’re not naive. Numerous staffers at King County have confirmed what we suspected - Councilmembers will hold a budget hostage if they don’t get what they want. Allowing the Council to approve or reject the budget leaves the door wide open for them to demand pet-projects be funded and those they deem unsavory to be censored. 

WRONG: Councilmembers have stated 4Culture is an elitist organization that only funds big institutions in Seattle.
FACT: You’re joking right? Jump on to 4Culture’s website that lists “past grants” and check out just the first few pages. 10 Degrees, 206 Zulu, 3 Ring School of Circus Arts are the first three organizations that pop up. Those are not exactly elitist or big. The first two support artists of color and the LGBTQ community and 3 Ring School of Circus works with low-income families in Issaquah. 

WRONG: Councilmembers have stated 4Culture gives grants.
FACT: The fact is all award funds distributed by 4Culture are EARNED. Additionally, nearly all dollars awarded by 4Culture are decided by CITIZEN review panels composed of citizens who are dedicated to the arts, history, and culture. 

WRONG: Councilmembers have stated that 4Culture doesn’t fund refugees, immigrants, or people of color.
FACT: This falsehood is particularly hard to stomach. At this moment, Gallery4Culture features Mexican-American artist Marilyn Montufar and the Mexican Consulate proudly hosted her opening on First Thursday Gallery Walk. Again, visit the past grants section of their website, you’ll quickly see councilmembers are WRONG. 

WRONG: Councilmembers have stated 4Culture’s budget is voluntarily appropriated by the King County Council every year to 4Culture to support its mission.
FACT: State law defines the use of the funds and existing county ordinance defines 4Culture’s role. It’s not as if the council has to sit down each year and decide whether or not to use these funds for arts and culture or some other random use like waste water treatment.

Dembowski: “Councilmembers will not be involved in grant decisions or specific proposals. I take seriously my duty to ensure that the budget fairly supports initiatives that fund organizations and artists, across the spectrum of our diverse county, and to ensure that overhead is kept in check so that these funds get into the community.”
Advocate4Culture: Councilmembers are already involved in grant decisions and specific proposals in many County programs. We’ve been hearing from County employees that they are directed by councilmembers to give monetary awards to groups that never even applied for support. Not only are these groups not earning these funds, they didn't even ask for them. 

Dembowski: “I have been a strong supporter of 4Culture and its purpose, and am optimistic that increased collaboration with King County will strengthen the case to further support its mission and funding.”
Advocate4Culture: Really?  If you are such a great supporter of the arts and culture community, why couldn’t you talk to 4Culture, or anyone outside of the council chamber, when you and Councilmember Upthregrove were writing this ordinance?  How about asking 4Culture how you could pitch in to help rather than trying to win political points by flinging mud?  

Dembowski: “Looking at recent grant data from 4Culture, I am concerned that funding has, for too long, not been fairly distributed to all communities. For example, over a three year period (2012-14), grants to organizations and artists in my district totaled between $217,986 and $243,674 per year for a three year total of $700,694 (4.99% of all funds). This put District 1 organizations 7th out of 9 districts in funding. “
Advocate4Culture: We’ve looked at their numbers too. Have you also seen that the vast majority of applicants don’t come from your district? The old “you can’t win if you don’t play.” phrase works well here. We've talked with several people who have served as "panelists" for 4Culture and they've said that 4Culture ask them to prioritize applicants from outside Seattle. Applications from outside of Seattle have a far greater chance of being funded. 

Dembowski: “And we put Access for All on the ballot last year, and came close to passing it. However, one of the chief criticisms of the proposal centered on weak oversight of the significant investment of public dollars.  A second criticism was that too much concentration of funding left behind many areas of the county and smaller organizations.”
Advocate4Culture: Councilmember, Access for All isn’t the same as 4Culture. 4Culture may have become the organization that managed these funds, but if Councilmembers were the ones to put Access for All on the ballot, maybe you should have figured out your 'criticisms' before you did so. Doesn’t putting a measure on the ballot cost like a MILLION DOLLARS? 

Dembowski: “I personally testified before the legislature to help secure this funding stream.”
Advocate4Culture: Funny, we were there for every hearing through 2011 and we don’t remember seeing or hearing from you at all.  We don’t recall your being there in support of 4Culture. You must be mistaken. 

Dembowski: “Funding for the period 2015-17 shows that organizations and artists in my district received just 2.66% of all funds, ranking 8th out of 9 districts. While I don’t advocate for precise equality in distributions countywide, this data points to an out-of-balance and inequitable funding record, depriving small and diverse arts, culture, and heritage programs from growing and thriving countywide.”
Advocate4Culture: Again, did you know that applications from outside Seattle have a far greater chance of being funded by 4Culture?  If you didn’t know this you should have taken 5 minutes to ask 4Culture for the numbers, like we did.  What arts or history groups in your district have not applied to 4Culture or did apply and feel that their applications were not considered in a fair and equitable manner? What citizen volunteer from your district who has worked as a reviewer or advisory member agrees with you that funding allocation is made by an unfair process? 

Have you announced all of 4Culture’s opportunities in your newsletters? Do you tell your constituents at your town halls that they can apply for grant funds? What have you done to spread the word? Using this as an excuse to seize power when your office has done virtually nothing to help is hypocritical at best.

Let's keep setting the record straight advocates!