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.

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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