Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to 2011

We look forward to working with all arts and heritage advocates in 2011 to secure funding for 4Culture. If you haven't already done so, join the Advocate4Culture Coalition so you can learn more about how and when to get active. See who else is already on board.

We know it is going to be a tough session, but we're in it for the long haul and we hope you are too. The session starts January 10th. Get ready to rock it!

From all of us at Advocate4Culture - Happy New Year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Its time. Please send a holiday greeting to your legislator!

We are one month away from the start of the 2011 legislative session. We need advocates to educate their legislators about why we care about arts and heritage in our region.

Send your senator and representatives a holiday greeting – tell them why arts and heritage is important to you and urge them to support legislation that supports continued funding for 4Culture. No need to write a novel, just write a few sentences will do the trick!

FIND MY LEGISLATORS
Follow the link below. You'll travel to the State's website where you can type in your street address and then you'll be taken to a map with the names of the three legislators that represent you. Click on their names and you'll find all of their contact information. CLICK HERE TO FIND MY LEGISLATORS

Happy Holidays to all of our fellow advocates!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get ready, get set....

Now that the election results are in, we know who the players in Olympia will be during the 2011 legislative session.

Some legislators are new and will need to be educated about why 4Culture funding is critical to the health of arts and heritage in King County. We must also remind returning legislators, as they are overwhelmed with so many demands. We will be reaching out to all of you in very near future to contact your legislators. We'll make it fun and easy. Stay tuned!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Urgent message to our friends in the 48th!

Our champion in Olympia, Ross Hunter, needs your help!

Representative Ross Hunter, who represents the 48th District, has been a HUGE advocate for arts and heritage funding through 4Culture. Please consider voting for him and encourage others to do the same. You can learn more about his vision and values on his campaign website.

The 48th District includes: parts of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and all of Medina, Clyde Hill, Yarrow Point and Hunts Point. Find out if you, your friends or family are in the 48th here.

Representative Hunter has been a consistent and powerful voice for arts and heritage in Olympia. Share, tweet and yell from the rooftops "Ross Hunter supports us, we support Ross"!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We have Dow - now on to Olympia!

We received word this week from our friends at 4Culture that they had met with King County Executive, Dow Constantine and that he has committed to support 4Culture’s efforts in Olympia in 2011! If you see Dow, thank him for his continued support of arts and heritage in our region. Advocates, we must now turn our attention to the Washington State Legislature. Here are two things you can do to help:

1. KNOW who is running for office in your area. Create your personalized voters guide to educate yourself on the candidates and issues. If you’d like to learn more about candidates stand on the arts, check out this candidate survey from the Washington State Arts Alliance.

2. VOTE by November 2, 2010. Learn how here.

The outcome of this election will have a HUGE impact on the make up of the state legislature this year.
YOUR VOTE can make a difference to arts and heritage funding in King County for many years to come. No joke!

Image: cc 2004 Kevin Ott

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Join us for the first annual Dow Drive!

The Dow Drive is when we ask the arts and heritage advocates like you to write to King County’s Executive, Dow Constantine, to tell him why important arts and heritage are to you and urge him to support 4Culture in Olympia in 2011. Please write before Thanksgiving (November 25) and we will be so thankful!

Why are we asking you to do this now?
Dow is working furiously right now to finalize King County’s budget and legislative priorities for 2011. We want to make sure funding for arts and heritage through 4Culture is near the top of the list.

Why will he care what you have to say?
We pay taxes, we vote, and we matter! We are a powerful sector of the workforce in King County, we drive cultural tourism, we educate, and we make people proud to live and work in this region.

Here is how you can help:
Write a personal note to Executive Dow Constantine. Let him know that you are an ______ [e.g. artist, heritage specialist, arts/heritage administrator, preservationist, fan of culture] and that you are also a ________ [e.g. mother, educator, truck driver, business owner] and a proud citizen of King County. Urge him prioritize securing 4Culture’s funding future in the 2011 legislative session in Olympia.

Send your note or email to:
The Honorable Dow Constantine
King County Chinook Building
401 5th Ave. Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104

E-mail: kcexec@kingcounty.gov

Thank you for being part of the first annual Dow Drive!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Volunteer and get in free to Genius Awards!

Advocate4Culture needs volunteers at The Stranger's Genius Awards on September 17.


We have the opportunity to put up to 20 volunteers inside The Stranger Genius Awards this Friday, September 17th to collect contact information from artists and cultural advocates. All volunteers get in FREE to the Genius Awards party.


Will you be one of those volunteers? If so, please RSVP jkrebsy@gmail.com and plan to be at The Moore Theatre at 6:30 pm for a quick training.


Our goal will be to collect 1,000 signatures and contacts to help support 4Culture legislation get passed in the 2011 session. Please feel free to forward this information to other people who are close in the arts and heritage community.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ACTION ALERT! Support Ordinance 2010-0466

As you may know, King County Councilmember Larry Phillips has introduced legislation to implement the recommendations of the King County Historic Preservation and Historical Programs Advisory Task Force. The legislation would allocate funds collected under HB 1386 as recommended by the Task Force. We support this legislation!

It's critical and imperative that you act now. Please contact your council member no later than Thursday (8/26) to express your support of this measure. If passed, this legislation would mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in support for the vital programs and services for our heritage community.

As much as $500,000 may be collected this year from filing fees, according to the latest estimates. The Task Force recommended that 40 percent of revenue be reserved for the King County Historic Preservation Program, and 60 percent allocated to 4Culture for distribution to heritage organizations (and you know they'll do a rockin' job of getting the funds out there)!

Please contact your King County Member and ask him/her to support Ordinance 2010-0466. If you are unsure how to contact your Council Member, please visit this link:
http://www.kingcounty.gov/council.aspx

You can also contact Councilmember Larry Phillips directly at 206-296-1004, or larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov to let him know you support his efforts.

Finally, if you'd like more information about this Ordinance and its history, please contact Task Force Member, Joe Follansbee at joe.follansbee@fyddeye.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

help us take over the world! (or at least get funding for arts and heritage)

It's on. We hope you've saved the date for our summer Advocate4Culture Leadership Rally. If you're an arts and/or heritage activist, learn how to help secure funding for culture once and for all in the 2011 legislative session. [Seriously, we have to do in in 2011 or 4Culture will evaporate].

But it's only summer you say? You think it might be too early to get ready for January of next year? No way! We have to come together now to educate ourselves and become part of the "Advocate4Culture" team. Besides, we're a fun group and we like to talk about culture and drink, if that motivates you. If nothing else, you'll meet a cool group of people who love arts and heritage. Can you think of a better way to spend a Monday night?

The details:
When: Monday, August 30th, 6-8PM
Where: ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street, Seattle

See you there!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

save the date: rally for success in 2011!

Advocate4Culture Leadership Rally
Monday, August 30, 6-8pm
ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street, Seattle

You are invited -
Local arts and heritage leaders are hosting a casual gathering that promises to wonk the house! Enjoy beer and chips (provided by said same local leaders) and learn what you can do to ensure that funding for arts and heritage is secured. We promise both geekiness and silliness. You'll walk away fully informed and ready for action. Please join us!

Hosted by the Advocate4Culture Coalition: Convened by Great City.

Friday, April 23, 2010

planning and advocating for 2011 session

As many of you have heard by now, 4Culture was not "successful" in passing legislation in the 2010 session. First off, we want to THANK YOU advocates for taking time and energy to write and call your legislators and and extra thanks to those of you who made the trip(s) down to Olympia to sign in and show your support for arts and heritage in King County.

Advocates4Culture is already planning for the 2011 session where we believe once and for all we will be able to secure funding for our vital creative community. Articles like this one from The Stranger's, Jen Graves ask political powers like Mayor McGinn to step up to save 4Culture.

In 2011 we will be asking not only Mayor McGinn (whose city benefits tremendously from 4Culture's work), but others with some pull in Olympia including Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmembers and suburban and rural Mayors and City Councilmembers.

What can you do to help in the "off season"? Contact County Executive, Dow Constantine and your County Council member and ask them to support 4Culture in the 2011 legislative session and why 4Culture's support of arts and heritage matters to you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

special session - still advocating

Advocates continue to work through Olympia's special session. The Senate and House floor calendars were cleared on March 11th at end of the 2010 session. The special session started up on March 15th.

Both 2ESHB2912 and ESSB6051 moved back to the Rules Committees in their respective houses and we're waiting for them to get pulled onto the floors for a vote any moment now.

We'll keep you updated here. We haven't given up hope that our heros Senator Ed Murray and Representative Ross Hunter will make this happen this year!

Keep the pressure on. Contact your legislators in support of 4Culture!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

call, write, wait, watch, call, write, wait, watch


Advocates around King County and across the state have called and written their legislators. If you haven't already, please do!

If you have, watch the Senate floor for 2ESHB 2912 or stay tuned to this blog for updates.

The session is set to end Thursday, but some media is saying it will be extended.

Fingers crossed 4Culture!

Photo: Advocate4Culture


Sunday, March 7, 2010

keep the pressure on!

No movement on the Senate floor for 2ESHB 2912 yesterday. The Senate meets again today at Noon, but this bill isn't on the agenda. Could they throw it on there? Sure, it seems they have a lot of flexibility.

The end of the session is this coming Thursday, March 11th. We are still hopeful that arts and heritage legislation will move forward in the next few days.

Keep calling and writing your legislators. We have to keep the pressure on. We can't give up!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

8:30 AM Saturday - do you know how your Senator will vote?

Legislation that supports funding for arts and heritage through 4Culture is up for a vote this morning on the full floor of the Senate. 2ESHB 2912 will be reviewed and our fingers are crossed for its passage.

However, many amendments have been made to it - a huge number by Senator Rodney Tom. We're concerned that this has become a bit of a kitchen sink bill and that arts and heritage funding could be jeopardized.

We'll let you know more when we do. You can tune in here if you'd like to see for yourself.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

update from the pio square laptop rally


Hey! Jim Kelly, Exec Dir of 4Culture, stopped by the laptop rally tonight to write his reps. Thanks Jim!

If you haven't written your legislators yet this week, it's not too late! Any letter written before Monday will have a great impact!

For tips click HERE

First Thursday Laptop Rally

Please join us for a laptop rally tonight during First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square.

Bring your laptop or borrow one of ours to write your legislators in support of 4Culture and it's funding of arts and heritage in King County.

We'll show you how to find your legislator and give you tips on how to send them a quick email. Click here for details.

Art Walk and Advocacy - Tonight!





John Sutton at the Georgetown Laptop Rally

Monday, March 1, 2010

don't give up!

a little inspiration brought to you by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

Friday, February 26, 2010

laptop rallies - to save 4Culture

We're always asking you guys to write letters to your legislators to advocate 4 culture, and we know it can be kinda creepy and scary when you're just familiarizing yourself with the issues and folks involved. To make it easier and more fun to take action, in these last few REALLY IMPORTANT weeks of the session, we've planned two laptop rallies next week to help advocates become more strategic letter-writers. Also, frankly, we're tired and could use a drink.

We'll help you identify your legislative contacts, draft a note, make it personal, proof read, or just give you courage to do your civic duty. So, come for a couple minutes or a couple hours... we look forward to seeing you, dashing off some letters, and throwing a couple back.



Monday, March 1, 2010, 5 - 7pm

Stellar Pizza in Georgetown

5513 Airport Way S, Seattle

Note: We'll get a couple pizzas (first come first served) but please bring $$ to pay for your drinks (and we'll be on one check, so cash is really really appreciated to help make our check-settling easier.)


View Larger Map


Thursday, March 4, 2010, 6 - 8pm

Caffe Vita in the Tashiro Kaplan building in Pioneer Square

125 Prefontaine Pl S, Seattle

Note: This event is planned to coincide with First Thursday artwalk in Pioneer Square, so we hope you'll stop by, write a letter, and then hit the streets to see some art!


View Larger Map




One week left to pass a bill or 4Culture starts planning program cuts

There are only two weeks left in this session and we need legislation to move. If bills are not passed this year, we just heard confirmation that 4Culture is going to start planning dramatic staff, services and funding programs cuts that will begin as early as January, 2011. This is the first this reality has truly sunk in and we’re panicking.

Since the session started in January, we’ve seen at least 6 different bills proposed that would generate the support needed for 4Culture to continue to thrive. Unfortunately NONE of these bills has successfully moved through both the House and the Senate and time is running out.

What we need now is for every arts and heritage advocate in the state to write to their legislators with a general letter of support in the next few days. Even if you’ve already written a letter supporting specific bills, we need one last push to make sure that legislators understand that whatever name and number you put on the bill, we need ARTS and HERITAGE funding to be secured THIS YEAR.

Please ask friends and family to do the same. Senators and Reps from all over the state will get to vote on this issue, so we need non-king county legislators to understand that their constituents are excited about strong funding.

Here’s how to find your legislator

Below is a template for you to follow, or if you want a hand, some advice, a proof reader, or just to drink with us, stop by one of our laptop rallies next week and send your note from there.

-----------
Dear (Senator or Representative) XLAST NAMEX,

As a constituent living in your district, I am writing today to urge you to support legislation that continues funding for arts and heritage in King County through King County lodging taxes.

Add personal example of how your organization/self is served by 4Culture and what the loss of 4Culture would mean to you (see examples below or write your own)

The agency 4Culture has stewarded lodging taxes for cultural programs in King County for over 20 years. If a bill is not passed this year to secure their funding, they will begin planning to cut programs and services as early as January 2011. XXXX Personal note here bout how this would have a negative impact on you, your organization, your family, etcXX.

Sincerely,
Xyour nameX
Xyour addressX


Examples of impact:

As a XXARTIST, PATRON, MUSEUM EXECUTIVE, MUSICIANXX I have benefited from 4Culture in the following ways XXXXXXX. For example:
  • I’ve been gainfully employed in the arts/heritage industry since moving to King County seven years ago – having a strong cultural community is about job security for me and thousands other in King County. 4Culture’s support provides stabilizing support for over 200 organizations County-wide.
  • I attend dozens of cultural events a year, and I see 4Culture’s logo on attached to most of these projects, not to mention on hundreds of posters and emails for events I can’t possibly make it to. If 4Culture funding goes away, many of these events will go away from our community. I can't imagine living in a neighborhood that didn't have vibrant social events to connect me to my neighbors.
  • My museum received critical support from 4Culture in a difficult time when our rent was doubled and we were forced to move to a new facility. Were it not for 4Culture's facilities programs, we might not have made it through this difficult transition.
  • My summer theater program is an important part of the South King County community. We employ several South King County residents, and provide hundreds of youth opportunities to participate in the arts each summer. Living outside of Seattle, 4Culture is the only source we are able to turn for ongoing operations and facility support, if this funding we to go away, we'd have to cut our program significantly.
  • 4Culture's Site-Specific program has brought fun, family-friendly, free performances to our local park each summer the last several years -- my kids now look forward to our annual tradition and come home and enact the performances.
  • I received a grant from 4Culture that helped me create a performance in Seattle that was so successful we were invited to tour to four different cities in the US. The tour enabled me to pay my company members for their performances. Our jobs as artists are real jobs, and touring and performing is how we create a livelihood and take care of our families. Our work also provides community benefit by allowing an opportunity for people to come together, express their ideas, learn, communicate and to be challenged. On my tour I felt like I was able to be an ambassador for King County and was able to garner contacts and support on a broader level through some national presenters and funders. As a professional artist, I am proud to come from a community that values art and who has an agency that is able to provide seed money for creative projects.
  • As a board member of a small non-profit arts organization in King County I know the value of 4Culture's funding. Our organization is able to pay rent for a full year with funds received from 4Culture. The simple fact is that we would literally not be able to keep our doors open without 4Culture's support.
  • 4Culture's technical services enable our organization to reach beyond our local community, and make us competitive and respected on a national scale. Though our work, aided by 4Culture, we draw visitors from around the world to King County. As you know, these tourist dollars reach deeply into our community, supporting a range of businesses from local cafes to high-end hotels and restaurants.
  • 4Culture's support has helped me leverage funds not only from the very few offerings in King County, but from foundations and corporations around the country. The 4Culture "Seal of Approval" demonstrates to national funders that my organization is valued and encourages their investment in our programs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

hello hello advocates are you there?

I've kind of grown fond of Hearing Room C. That's where many advocates4culture have spent some quality time this legislative session.

After the hearing for ESSB6051 in House Finance yesterday, many of us felt pretty good. Great testimony from advocates and smiles from legislators. But what does this all mean? Will we succeed? These trips to Olympia, the calls and letters - are they for nothing? Will 4Culture start shutting down in a couple of years?

Advocates, tell us you still have a fight left in you. We need to know you're out there and this matters. If you've written to your legislators - thank you, if you haven't please do.

You can reach us at Advocate4Culture@gmail.com (pep talks welcome)

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Squire

Monday, February 22, 2010

public hearing and how you can help

Advocates are heading down to Olympia tomorrow (2/23) - leaving Seattle around noon. If you need a ride, please email advocate4culture@gmail.com ASAP so we can get you there.

If you can't attend, but want to help, please see this post. Every email, call, letter and body in a hearing room counts at this stage of the game!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

thanks for standing up for culture - more work ahead

Thanks to all of the advocates that made it out on this beautiful Saturday to attend town hall meetings with legislators. Frank Chopp, Jamie Pedersen and Ed Murray had a standing-room-only crowd from the 43rd district.

When asked specifically about legislation that will fund arts and heritage, each of them expressed strong support, but it was clear that a partnership with low income housing was desired. We like this marriage too!

Now, one of our tasks is to make sure legislators do the work necessary to add low income housing support into ESSB6051, which has a public hearing in the House Finance Committee on February 23rd (see following post). Stay tuned for more updates and ways you can help pass legislation for arts and heritage once and for all!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

holy cow! another hearing

Rock solid! The house finance committee has scheduled ESSB6051 for a hearing this Tuesday. If you can join us at the hearing and need a ride, please email advocate4culture@gmail.com ASAP (by 3pm on Mon 2/22.) If you can't make it, please take 5 minutes to send a few emails or make a few calls (see below for instructions.)

TO ATTEND:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 1:30pm
House Finance Committee
House Hearing Rm C
John L. O'Brien Building
Olympia, WA

TO WRITE/CALL:
There are 9 committee members in the House of Representatives “hearing” ESSB6051 on Tuesday. Many of these are most likely to be in favor of this bill... but with so many pressures and a lot of stress down there in Olympia, we want to make sure they don't change their minds! Can you draft a super short email and individually send it to some or all of a few key legislators we've identified below asking them to pass ESSB6051 out of their committee and telling them why King County's arts/heritage community rocks your world? By the end of the day Monday would be perfect.

Here is contact information for key legislators “hearing” these bills who might need a little convincing. Their last name is followed by their first.

SELECT HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Hasegawa.Bob@leg.wa.gov * (360) 786-7862
Conway.Steve@leg.wa.gov * (360) 786-7906
Ericks.Mark@leg.wa.gov * (360) 786-7900
Santos.Sharon@leg.wa.gov * (360) 786-7944
Springer.Larry@leg.wa.gov * (360) 786-7822
*Thank this legislator for recently voting for passage of HB2912 that had similar support for arts and heritage in King County!


TIPS FOR YOUR EMAIL:
When you write, be brief and be sure to reference specific bill numbers. Here are some things to include in your email:

· Begin your letter formally with “Dear Representative [last name]

· Say that you are a resident of King County and that the arts and heritage funding through 4Culture is important to you.

· Ask them to please support ESSB6051 that includes funding for the arts and heritage program in King County.

· Thank them for recently supporting ESHB2912 and ask for their continued support of any bills that come before them (like ESSB6051) that would secure future funding for 4Culture.

· Add a short personal statement about how the arts and/or heritage or specifically 4Culture’s programs are valuable for you personally, your business, your employees, your neighborhood, your children, your quality of life, or your organization.


Thanks for your help!

make your voices heard this Saturday 2/20

It is time to show powerful legislators that we are powerful too!

We've heard of at least three different Town Hall meetings this Saturday -- please attend one of them to tell key legislators to support arts and heritage and preserve funding for 4Culture. Especially with bills still being considered in both the House and the Senate, we need arts/heritage advocates to come out in force! All Town Halls are free and open to the public. Legislators will provide an update on the 2010 Legislative Session and hold a discussion about the major issues facing our district and state this year. Ask them your questions about arts, heritage, culture and how are they going to come to terms and pass the current bills in the House and Senate.

If you live in, or attend events in Districts 11, 37 or 43, these are the town halls for you:

Sat, Feb 20,10am - noon
37th Legislative District
Representative Eric Pettigrew, Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, and Senator Adam Kline
Where: Zion Prep Academy, 4730 32nd Ave. S, Seattle

Sat, Feb 20, 2010, 11am - noon
11th Legislative District
Representative Bob Hasegawa
Where: Georgetown campus, SSCC, 6737 Corson Avenue S. Seattle, WA 98108

Sat, Feb 20, 2010, 1:30 - 3pm
43rd Legislative District
Speaker Frank Chopp, Representative Jamie Pedersen and Senator Ed Murray
Where: Seattle First Baptist Church, 111 Harvard Ave, Seattle

good news, we think...

Earlier this week, two 4Culture-related bills made some great progress... House Bill 2912 and Senate Bill 6051 both passed their respective Houses! While it's very exciting to have support on both sides of the legislature for arts and heritage... these bills still have a ways to go and your help is going to be needed again soon.

Here's some more info about what happened, and what we think will happen next:

Tuesday was an important cut-off day for the legislature, so the passage of bills in the both the senate and house were a critical step that will keep the bills alive this session. ESSB6051 was passed through the Senate on Monday night. 2ESHB2912 was passed through the House on Tuesday. They both provide funding for arts/heritage programs in King County through the lodging tax. But 2ESHB2912 is more expansive and dictates some other uses of lodging tax beyond the percentage allocated for cultural programs. Primarily, 2ESHB2912 offers low income housing the same percentage of future lodging tax as arts/heritage. Since there are major differences between the bills (beyond the arts/heritage part), hypothetically each of these two bills will now need to go over to the other house to be vetted and voted on by the other chamber -- which may mean more hearings or letter writing soon. We'll let you know...

For those who like more specifics:

HB 2912 was modified and became 2ESHB 2912 and that is what passed in the house and is now in the Senate Ways and Means for review. Here is a great summary: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/2912-S.E2%20HBR%20APH%2010.pdf

SB 6051 was modified and became ESSB 6051 - this passed in the Senate and moved to the House Finance Committee. Here is a great summary: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/6051-S.E%20SBR%20APS%2010.pdf

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Februrary 20th: Stand Up and Make a Difference


It is time to show powerful legislators that we are powerful too! Please attend a Town Hall meeting in Seattle to tell key legislators to support arts and heritage and preserve funding for 4Culture.

Saturday, February 20, 2010
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Seattle First Baptist Church
1111 Harvard Avenue, Seattle (at Seneca on Capitol Hill)

Speaker Frank Chopp, Representative Jamie Pedersen and Senator Ed Murray are coming together to offer this town hall meeting, which is free and open to the public. They will provide an update on the 2010 Legislative Session and hold a discussion about the major issues facing our district and state this year.

PLEASE ATTEND. This is a rare and important opportunity to show legislators we care about the preservation of arts and heritage funding! Prepare a question or two you’d like to ask them and plan to participate in the conversation.

Currently, active bills in Olympia that support arts and heritage funding include HB2912, which is now on the Floor of the House, and Senate Bill SB6051 on the Floor of the Senate. Both are waiting for a vote.

In addition to attending the Town Hall meeting on February 20th, please write:
Read the bottom of this post for some great tips for writing your legislators.

Image courtesy of Ervega

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

some progress! and a sticking point...

HB2912 was given a “do pass” recommendation in the House Finance Committee yesterday afternoon. All language allowing King County to fund publicly owned stadiums was struck from the bill. Since stadium funding was a sticking point with many of the legislators who met with Advocates on Arts Day last Tuesday, this improves the possibility that 2912 will receive a positive vote on the House floor if and when it gets there. The next step is to get 2912 from House Rules Committee to the floor. Given that 2912 also includes funding for low-income housing, it has an excellent chance to move from House Rules.

The companion bill - SB6661 - never made it out of the Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee. Sen. Ed Murray re-introduced 6051, a small bill from last year’s legislative session that specifically funds arts and heritage in King County, but not the other activities delineated in HB2912. It is actually on the Senate floor awaiting a floor vote. If 6051 passes in the Senate and 2912 passes in the House, they will head for reconciliation. All of this is positive, but there are still minefields ahead.

Advocates need to focus their attention on the Senate. Now would be a good time to contact your Senator and any other state senator you have a relationship to, to encourage support for 6051. Find their info by following the "find your legislator" link to the right --->

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update from Olympia

The Advocates showed up in force last Thursday for hearings in the Senate and House on the bills that would dedicate a portion of future lodging taxes to arts and heritage in King County. Almost 75 people attended the hearings and signed-in in support of the bills SB6661 and HB2912.

Many others sent emails to legisl
ators asking for support of these bills. We are waiting to hear whether these bills will be voted out of committee and passed along to the next stage in the approval process. We are hearing that HB2912 looks to be on track and may move ahead quickly. SB6661 is having more difficulty. It was passed out of the Senate Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee without a recommendation (bills can be given a “do-pass” recommendation; killed in committee; or moved without a recommendation).

February 2nd was Arts Day in Olympia and more than 175 people showed up to meet with legislators. Thanks to many friends of Advocate4Culture and the organizers, Washington State Arts Alliance for a productive day!

Reaction to the bills that support 4Culture and arts and heritage in King County, was generally positive. Many legislators expressed reluctance to support the bills as long as “publicly-owned stadiums” was included in the list of activities that King County would be allowed to fund when stadium bonds are retired. The list includes tourism promotion, youth sports fields or activities, community development authorities, performing arts centers, public health and human services, in addition to low income housing, which is specified in the two bills.

The 60-day legislative session is one-third over and there may be one more hearing in Olympia before the session ends. We may need to call on you one more time to make the trek! Until then, please write these legislators and ask them to support arts and heritage funding in King County
!

Photo by advocate, Scott Squire

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Keyboard is Mightier Than the Sword

If you can't join us at the hearings tomorrow morning, the next best thing you can do is to take 15 minutes today to write emails to legislators.

There are 9 committee members in the House of Representatives “hearing” HB2912 at 8am tomorrow morning, and 7 committee members hearing SB6661 in the Senate at 10am tomorrow. These 16 people will determine whether the bills get passed on to the next step toward making funding for 4Culture a law. Can you draft a super short email and individually send it to some or all of these legislators asking them to support their respective bills?

Here are the emails for the legislators “hearing” these bills tomorrow. Their last name is followed by their first.

HOUSE Finance Committee - HB2912
Hunter.Ross@leg.wa.gov (*sponsor of HB2912)
Hasegawa.Bob@leg.wa.gov
Orcutt.Ed@leg.wa.gov
Parker.Kevin@leg.wa.gov
Condotta.Cary@leg.wa.gov
Conway.Steve@leg.wa.gov
Ericks.Mark@leg.wa.gov (*sponsor of HB2912)
Santos.Sharon@leg.wa.gov
Springer.Larry@leg.wa.gov
*Thank this legislator for sponsoring bills that support arts and heritage in King County!

SENATE Economic Development, Trade & Innovation Committee - SB6661
Kastama.Jim@leg.wa.gov
Shin.Paul@leg.wa.gov
Zarelli.Joseph@leg.wa.gov
Delvin.Jerome@leg.wa.gov
Eide.Tracey@leg.wa.gov (*sponsor of SB6661)
Kilmer.Derek@leg.wa.gov
McCaslin.Bob@leg.wa.gov
*Thank this legislator for sponsoring bills that support arts and heritage in King County!


TIPS FOR YOUR EMAIL:

When you write, be brief and be sure to reference specific bill numbers. Here are some things to include in your email:

· Begin your letter formally with “Dear Senator [last name] or “Dear Representative [last name]

· Say that you are a resident of King County and that the arts and heritage funding through 4Culture is important to you.

· Ask the Senate committee members to please support SB 6661 that includes funding for the arts and heritage program in King County. Ask the House committee members to please support HB2912 that includes funding for the arts and heritage program in King County.

· Thank them for their work and if they have a star by their name below, be sure to thank them for being a sponsor for the bill (this means they have already said they support the bill)

· Add a short personal statement about how the arts and/or heritage or specifically 4Culture’s programs are valuable for you personally, your business, your employees, your neighborhood, your children, your quality of life, or your organization.



Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Road Trip to Olympia - The Low-down on Going Down

Thanks to the awesome 50+ folks who are coming to Olympia this Thursday for the 4Culture-related hearings. We would love to increase this number by another 25 folks, so if you can make it – please try to join us. Info about carpools/directions/etc below!


CARPOOL:

Rides will be leaving from 4Culture on: Thursday, January 28th at 6:30 AM. Please contact Advocate4Culture@gmail.com by 3:00 on Wednesday if you would like a ride to Olympia.


DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
Estimated travel time: 1.5 hours

From I-5 Southbound: Bear right on ramp at sign reading "Exit 105A to State Capitol" and go west for 0.8 miles. Continue on 14th Avenue SE and go west for 0.4 miles to the Visitor Information Center at Capitol Way S at 14th Avenue SW

From I-5 Northbound: Bear right on ramp at sign reading "Exit 105A to State Capitol" and go northeast for 0.3 miles. Bear right on 14th Avenue SE and go west for 0.6 miles to Capitol Way S at 14th Avenue SW.


PARKING & BUILDING LOCATIONS:

Building Map & Visitors Parking Info

8:00 am, O'Brien Bldg Hearing Room C -House Finance Committee hearing for HB2912
10:00 am, Cherberg Bldg Hearing Room 3- Senate Committee on Economic Development and Trade & Innovation hearing for SB6661


HOW IT WORKS - PUBLIC HEARINGS:

• Be punctual; Be present at the beginning of the hearing.
• Sign in on the sign-up sheet for HB2912 or SB6661 near the entrance of the hearing room and write your name, address, and indicate that you favor the bill.


QUESTIONS?:

Write to us at Advocate4Culture@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whoopie! We're getting some action!

and we need your help...

We continue into week two of the 2010 legislative session with two new House and Senate bills being introduced! If passed, these bills would become law that would ensure future public funding for arts, heritage and culture at current or higher levels than now. This would be awesome. The bills are being "heard" in committee next week. So at this stage we need your help to let your legislators know you support these bills and see if we can push them through this important step.

The most important thing you can do to show support at this point is to come to the bill hearings scheduled for next Thursday January 28, 2010!

8:00 am, O'Brien Bldg Hearing Room C
House Finance Committee hearing for HB2912

10:00 am, Cherberg Bldg Hearing Room 3
Senate Committee on Economic Development and Trade & Innovation hearing for SB6661


Please email Advocate4Culture@gmail.com ASAP to let us know if you can make it and if you need a ride.
We'll be leaving bright and early Thursday morning (at 6:30am) to make it down to Olympia in time for the first hearing, and should be back around lunchtime. We know it's hard to drag yourself out of bed and down to Olympia at such a crazy hour, but seriously this is the most important way for us to be heard and we will try to make it fun and easy for you (donuts and coffee anyone?)


MORE DETAILS ABOUT THESE BILLS

Both HB2912 and SB6661 provide KC arts and heritage programming with 37.5% of lodging taxes beginning in 2021. They also provide additional resources to arts and heritage and low income housing in the event the Kingdome debt is retired earlier than December 31, 2015. These provisions would be terrific if 4Culture is allowed to spend down their endowment between 2013 and 2020 in order to bridge the gap.

Other interesting stuff… both bills provide an equal investment in arts and culture and low income housing entirely from lodging taxes. They also let King County decide how to spend other taxes used to build Safeco and Qwest Field when debt on those stadiums is retired. Among the allowable uses defined by the legislation are Safeco maintenance, community development, community centers, community preservation and development authorities, regional centers, performing arts centers, public health and human services.

-----
FAQ - What happened to SB6116 and HB2252? As we posted a few days ago, these bills from last session may still be in play. However, the new bills HB2912 and SB6661 are very similar. The fact that they've been introduced at this point leads us to believe that the new S6661 and HB2912 essentially replace these bills. We will continue to keep an eye on our old friends 6116 and 2252 and let you know if they pop up again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

legislature already taking action on culture!

We're excited to announce that we've already seen some action in the state legislature on their first day in session! Two bills introduced last year have risen again. These two bills provide great funding for arts and heritage in King County.

SB6116 was reintroduced in the Senate Rules Committee, which is where it ended last session. The Rules Committee will decide whether to pass it back to the Ways and Means Committee or send it straight to the Senate for a floor vote. The best outcome for the bill would be to have it sent to the Senate floor.

ESHB2252 (Engrossed Substitute House Bill) was referred to the House Finance Committee, where it will be scheduled for a committee hearing. It wouldn’t have a hearing until next week at the earliest.

As soon as we hear if there is a public hearing scheduled, we'll let you know. In the meantime, consider writing your legislator.

  • Step #1: Decide if you will contact them via snail mail, email or phone.
  • Step #2 Find out who your legislator is and/or locate their contact information here
  • Step #3 Write or call with a heart-felt message about why arts and heritage is important to YOU. They value your point of view - they represent you and want to hear your opinions about pending legislation. See our sample letter for ideas.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DRINK4CULTURE signature drink "The Advocate"

We hope everyone can make our kick-off event at Grey Gallery and Lounge on Wednesday January 13th from 6-9 on Capitol Hill!!

Dry Fly Distilling will be donating their wonderful vodka for our signature drink "The Advocate". Proceeds from the drink will be used to support advocacy efforts in Olympia this year.

Friends of Advocate4Culture are now almost 1000 strong!! We know real grass root efforts have the potential to make real change in Olympia this year. Legislators will listen to our voice, let's learn how to effectively advocate for arts and heritage this year!!

See you at Grey!!

You may rsvp at our Facebook link to the right

Grey Gallery and Lounge
1512 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA. 98122
www.greygalleryandlounge.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

sample letter for a legislator

Dear ______________,

I’m writing to ask you to SUPPORT (SB XXXX or HB XXXX).

1 - 2 personal sentences about how 4Culture funding has impacted you or why the arts/heritage community is important to you.

Bill XXXX designates only a small portion of existing future local King County hotel/motel revenue sources to save the King County heritage and arts program.

The HERITAGE AND ARTS program run by 4Culture was started by the Legislature in the late 80's. The program is very effective and widely popular, supporting hundreds of organizations and involving thousands of people.

PLEASE VOTE FOR Bill XXXX.

Thank you.

Your Name

Your Home Address