Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Viva 4Culture!

What a night for advocates! We hope you were able to join us on Tuesday night at the Paramount Theatre for a terrific line-up of performances and accolades to and from political leaders we've come to know (and love)! If you want to live it all over or couldn't attend, check out some of great stories here and here about Party Like It's 5834.

Executive Dow Constantine, Senator White, Senator Murray, Representative Hunter, Representative Chopp, former Representative Louise Miller, and Councilmember Phillips were all there to soak up the love from the arts and heritage communities for helping pass our beloved ESSB 5834. 

The best part for us advocates was seeing and hearing nearly 1000 people CLAP, SHOUT and YELL thanks to YOU! Advocate4Culture was a force in this fight. Our voice was as loud as those West African drums that made our hearts pound. 

Individually may not have been on stage, but trust us advocates, you matter and you will be re-elected. Viva 4Culture!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Party Like It's 5834!

ESSB 5834, a bill that provides a future for 4Culture and the arts and heritage communities of King County was signed into law by Governor Gregoire on June 15, 2011.

It’s time to celebrate!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

7:00 – 9:30 P.M.
Paramount Theatre
911 Pine Street, Seattle WA 98101

4Culture, Seattle Theatre Group, and Advocate4Culture welcome you to a free celebration to thank the elected officials and citizens who worked to secure future funding for our region’s cultural programs. Enjoy light refreshments and the company of the many people who make our region strong and vibrant.

Featuring performances by: The Cabiri Performance Troupe; Correo Aereo; Paul Kikuchi; Quinton I. Morris; Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders; Slwan Logman  & Hamda Yusuf of Chief Sealth International Poetry Club; Seattle SeaChordsmen; Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
Contrasts Ensemble; Somewhere in Time, Unlimited; and Abdoulaye Sylla & Fotoba

RSVP: Please reserve your free ticket(s) by emailing here by June 22.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

Image: Maggie T
ESSB 5834, the legislation that will secure funding for 4Culture and fuel the arts and heritage communities of King County is scheduled to be signed into law next week!  A community celebration is in the works and you're invited!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 7:00 – 9:30 P.M.
Paramount Theater, 911 Pine Street, Seattle WA 98101

Join us in thanking the elected officials and citizens (aka YOU) who worked to secure a future for our region’s cultural programs and communities. Refreshments will be served.

Information about how to RSVP, the entertainment lineup, and more detail will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last night, at the 11th hour of the Special Session, ESSB 5834 passed the House. This bill maintains lodging tax revenues for 4Culture. Now the bill goes to Governor Gregoire for her signature.
THANK YOU. Coming soon will be details of a party to celebrate this win for our whole community. Look out for your invitation.
Please take a moment to thank all the senators and representatives (Democrats and Republicans) who voted "yea" at the critical moment. Copy and paste the following into your BCC field and send a quick note of thanks now. The more personal the better.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

Thank you again for all your work. We made this happen together.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You did it!

We did it! YOU did it. ESSB 5834 just passed on the House floor.  Now on to the Governor for her signature. 

Now relax, take a breath, pat yourself on the back and stay tuned for information on how we are going to celebrate! It's time to party and toast this HUGE accomplishment.  One that wouldn't have been possible without the incredible advocacy done by the Advocate4Culture Coalition!

Thank you to our legislators that voted YEA! We won't forget your support at voting time.

Great Work on the House. Now Make Direct Contact with YOUR Representative.

We are hearing two things from Olympia.  First, they are hearing you.  Second, they don't know who you are or if you're really in their district.  This is not your fault.  We asked you to email the whole House, and you've done that.  Today is the last day of the Special Session, and so action today is crucial. 

For our second wave today, we're asking you to look up your own Representatives, and contact them, by phone or email, specifically as a constituent. 

Here's where you can look them up:

Email reaches the Representatives on the House floor, and phone calls are powerful too.  Remember you have two Representatives in your district. 

This is a sample of what you can say or write to their offices:

Dear Representative NAME,

I am a constituent of your district, and I am a voter.  As a person who cares deeply about arts and heritage, I ask you to pass 5834 today to ensure funding for 4Culture through the lodging tax.  I understand that this might not be your preferred  vehicle for funding 4Culture and housing, but this bill will save 4Culture without extending the "stadium taxes," and saving 4Culture is my immediate priority.

Thank you for your support.

You can add your own message of meaning to your email if you like.  The important thing is to identify youself as a constituent.  

If you like, you can also contact the Representatives from your work address and talk to them as a worker in their district.

Thank you for all your work over the last months.  We always knew this was going to be a heavy lift, and we always knew you would be there to help push.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

success in the Senate - now target the House


Holy crap. You guys work fast, and because of your advocacy the last few days the Senate just passed a bill that can save 4Culture. Now it's time to put the heat on our Representatives in the House to pass this bill, or work out some other solution that will save 4Culture by the end of the session (one more day!)

This is it folks: the legislative session is scheduled to end Wednesday. If you've EVER written and advocated or if you NEVER have, we need you to send one email right away that tells our Representatives to save 4Culture.

Subject: Save 4Culture! 
Please personalize the following message with a few words about who you are and why 4Culture matters to you, or write your own!

"Dear Representative,


I am part of the advocate4culture coalition. We are a group, nearly 900 organizations and individuals strong, come together expressly to save the funding for 4Culture which benefits our communities immeasurably. There is one day left in the session. We are begging you for a resolution to this issue. The Senate just passed ESSB 5834 and urge you to work with them to save art and heritage in our state.

Watching and waiting.


Here's the whole House list. Please put this list in the BCC field and click send.
(Please note... some email services bounce if you send too many emails at once. You may consider splitting the list into three and sending separately.),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

ONE DAY LEFT - one more thing you can do



There is just one day left in the session and although we've heard as recently as this afternoon that there is still legislative interest in saving 4Culture, they need to move fast to make it happen. We've been told that one more advocacy push might help... and that it is possible they can make this happen if they know we haven't given up. We know you've all written and called and are feeling tired and near-defeated... but can you reach out one more time?

Dear Senate and House

I am part of the advocate4culture coalition. We are a new group, nearly 900 organizations and individuals strong, come together expressly to save the funding for 4Culture which benefits our communities immeasurably. There is one day left in the session. We are begging you to work together to come up with a solution to the arts and heritage crisis THIS SESSION.

Watching and waiting.


Here's the whole House and Senate list. Please put this list in the BCC field and click send.
(Please note... some email services bounce if you send too many emails at once. You may consider splitting the list into three and sending seperately.),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

NEW BILL TODAY! SB5961 needs your help ASAP!!!

There's a new bill for 4Culture, which actually sweetens the deal for arts and heritage. This is a direct outcome of your advocacy. We are being rewarded in this next attempt to pass a coalition bill.

The new bill, SB 5961 is dropping in the Senate today. We all need to send two emails immediately. The special session ends on Wednesday, so this is one of our last chance efforts. Lists and text suggestions below.

1. An email to people who voted yes for SB 5958.
Subject: Thank you and Yes on SB 5961

"Dear Senator,

Thank you for voting yes on SB 5958. I was saddened by its failure, but I noticed and am grateful for your support. Please now vote yes on SB 5961, which will fund 4Culture, saving jobs and growing our economy.

Thank you again."

Copy these email addresses into the BCC field for the above message. These are the nice people that voted yes on SB 5958.

2. Send this email to Senators who didn't vote yes on SB 5958:

Subject: Vote YES on SB 5961!

"Dear Senator,

As a strong supporter of arts and heritage, I was hurt by the failure of SB 5958. I noticed you were not among the yes voters. With SB 5961, you have another chance to create jobs, grow our economy and keep our region competitive in the new economy. Failure to pass SB 5961 will kill jobs and stunt our area's economic growth.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tell Olympia - it's not over till it's over, FUND 4CULTURE

Yesterday, you did your job by joining with hundreds of other cultural advocates to contact our State's senators. SB 5958 did fail by one vote and we are all hurt by this news. We are still working hard behind the scenes to save 4Culture. It is important that we all keep the faith and let legislators know we are still in the fight and watching them.

We must continue to put pressure on the whole legislature. We are asking you to send an email to the House and Senate asking them to fund Arts and Heritage through 4Culture by the end of the session.

Please send this email to the House and Senate:

Subject line: Fund 4Culture this session!


"Dear Legislator,

I am pleading with you to pass a bill that will save 4Culture (King County's arts and heritage program) this session. For over 20 years, 4Culture has successfully invested lodging taxes in over 500 organizations, museums, heritage and arts projects throughout King County each year. These investments drive tourism, create jobs, attract businesses and smart work forces to our region.

Without your support, 4Culture's investment capacity will be reduced by over 90%. This will harm the creative industries that employ tens of thousands in our state and bring countless visitors to spend their money here. This will kill jobs and stunt our economic growth.

Please take every opportunity to step up as a leader, work with your colleagues, and save 4Culture this year. I was hurt to hear about the failure of SB 5958, but I am confident you can get this done. The Advocate4Culture Coalition includes over 1,000 individuals and organizations, and we are all counting on you."

And here's the whole House and Senate list. Please put this list in the BCC field and click send.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Advocates -- thank you. We've asked you to do a lot. We are all working hard on this. We intend to cross the finish line with 4Culture alive and well, and we're not giving up.

Advocate4Culture Coalition

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vote will happen Thursday - we need you now

Things move fast. We need you to help again - right now.

Our efforts yesterday were successful. SB 5958 has passed out of committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a full vote tomorrow, Thursday May 19. We are now in the final phases, and every step counts and needs YOUR help to succeed.

This vote is absolutely crucial in our efforts to save 4Culture. We're asking you to do two things:

1. Call your Senator's office and urge them to vote YES on SB 5958. You can find your Senator here
2. Email the whole Senate and urge a YES vote.

You can copy this whole field into a BCC line:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Here's a sample subject line: Please vote YES on SB 5958.
Here's sample text:

"Dear Senator,

Please vote yes on SB 5958.

SB 5958 is sound economic policy. It taxes tourism-related businesses in King County, and provides investments for activities that drive tourism, including thousands of jobs in arts and culture and construction.

The cultural attraction investments continued by SB 5958 are already proven to increase tourism and hospitality jobs. That’s why the hotel and restaurant industries support this bill. That’s why this bill makes sense for our community.

Failure to pass SB 5958 will cost jobs in the short term and stunt our economic competitiveness and growth in the long term. We must take action to renew this profitable investment in our economy. This is why SB 5958."

Thank you for your time on this. When we win this vote, we will need to pass this bill through the House again, so stay alert for that push.

All best, from all of us to all of you. You are winning.

Advocate4Culture Coalition

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

awesome progress on SB 5958

Way to go team!

Thanks to your quick response to the advocacy call, SB 5958 just sailed over a major hurdle. We have risen from the dead and are on our way!

We have some big laps left but wanted to let you know what happened today and what's on the horizon.

At 1:30 p.m. this afternoon, over 50 supporters for 5958 piled into the hearing room in Olympia. We were joined by very few naysayers. Notably Enterprise, Alamo and Dollar Rental Car Companies. Also notorious blowhard Tim Eyman. (We know we've made them big time with him as our opponent!)

After 75 minutes of predominately positive testimony the Senate committee members unexpectedly went straight into Executive Session and Senator Prentice (Dist 11) moved that the bill be sent straight to Rules with a "do pass" recommendation. This is AWESOME. The Rules committee gets to decide what bills get a floor vote.

We are one huge step closer to getting this done. It's clear legislators are seeing the cultural community as a hard-core voting block. Keep the positive pressure up! You guys are making this happen!!!

What's Next for SB 5958
When the bill goes to the Senate Floor (as early as tomorrow) every Senator in the state will get to vote. If you haven't written your Senator in the last few days/week, PLEASE DO SO NOW.

If you HAVE already written your Senator, it would be great to take a second to thank the folks who helped us get this through today...,, They were the committee members who voted positively. Just drop them a line and say "thanks!"

Most Importantly.
Please stay tuned for the next advocacy push. If we get out of the Senate this week, then the House will have to hear the bill again (in the next week). We'll need more support again there. Thanks for hanging in with us these last key laps.

You are keeping this alive.

hearing today - urgent action needed before 1:30 p.m.

*Attention devoted advocates*

Today, in just 2 hours, brings the hearing of SB 5958, which would save 4Culture. We believe that a strategic and very polite outreach to specific members of the State Senate is important immediately.

Following are the names, numbers and emails for select members of the Senate Committee for Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections. Please call or email each with a polite message of encouragement for SB 5958 and thank them for their consideration.

You can email or call TODAY with this subject and message, or make up your own:

SUBJECT: I'm for SB 5958

"I know that this session has been long and difficult, and I thank you for your service to our State. I'm contacting you to encourage you to consider SB 5958 favorably in hearing today. SB 5958 will provde crucial support for arts and culture, which will create jobs and help drive our region's recovery. As a part of the Advocate4Culture Coalition, I ask you to please consider SB 5958 favorably today, and vote for its passage. Thank you for your work."

If you're emailing, you can just put all these email addresses into a single BCC line, and click send:,,,,

Below are the names and contact information. Please keep all your contact with these people polite and upbeat. They really are working hard.

Thank you so much, friends and advocates. You are saving 4Culture, and we will all need to work together to get this done.

Pridemore, Craig (D) Chair,, (360) 786-7696
Prentice, Margarita (D) Vice Chair,, (360) 786-7616
Chase, Maralyn (D),, (360) 786-7662
Nelson, Sharon (D),, (360) 786-7667
Roach, Pam (R),, (360) 786-7660

Friday, May 13, 2011

Contact your Senator!

Hey advocates we have a ton of crazy stuff going on in Olympia. We are very lucky to have two rockin' bills that will save 4Culture. 

What can you do to be part of saving 4Culture? 
1.  ATTEND a public hearing this Tuesday, May 17th at 1:30 pm in support of the hot new SB 5958, sponsored by Senator Scott White. This hearing will be held in the Cherburg Building. If you need a ride, contact us.

2.  CONTACT your Senator! Our old friend SSB 5834, is back in play and it's on the Senate floor. They've adjourned until 10 am Monday, May 16th, which gives you the whole weekend to let your Senator know "VOTE YES ON SSB 5834 and SB 5958!"

3.  SPREAD the word to other arts and heritage advocates. Make sure they've contacted their senator too.

We're sooooo close to saving 4Culture, an amazing resource for the cultural community and citizens of King County. Please help! You can find your Senator HERE

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New bill in the special session

Yesterday there was a bit of a flurry of news that a NEW bill was introduced to support 4Culture. According to the legislative hotline, that proposed legislation was not officially introduced so it is not yet considered a bill.

Some have been asking "Hey, why isn't Advocate4Culture talking about this?" Well, It is important for us that we don't get our advocates running down the wrong path, so we're a little slower than some might like. We check information, research and check it again - and then post.

Have no fear, when we need advocates to get back to work to save arts and heritage in King County, we'll be all over it. We will be updated this blog this week with more news.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back from the dead: SHB 1997 lives again!

Legislation that can save 4Culture and its support of arts and heritage in King County is still being considered in Olympia, during the 2011 Special Session.

On April 26th SHB 1997, "by resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status" in the House of Representatives.

There will not be any public hearings, but as we've mentioned before, we may well need advocates to speak up once again to their legislators and fellow advocates to let them know that this is it - our last chance to save our most valuable funding resource for culture in King County. Get ready - it's comin'!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like special session

We know many advocates have been wondering What is happening to the legislation that supports funding for 4Culture? Don't lose hope, there is still an opportunity for 4Culture to be saved. 

The 2011 legislative session is set to end this Sunday, April 24th, but most folks, including Governor Gregoire, think they won't finish by that date and will have to go into special session

It seems likely that legislators will opt to wrap up a bit of business this Friday and take a break this weekend. Hopefully, they will come back refreshed and ready to revisit SHB 1997 and SSB 5834. This will be their last chance to save funding for arts and heritage in King County. 

For those interested in how the special session works, check out one of our favorite blogs, Many Words for Rain

Stay tuned, stay positive and be ready to advocate in the next 30 days!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fight back!

Legislators in Olympia are working hard to keep working on bills that would save 4Culture. We will keep you posted as we know more, but it looks like one or both of our bills are being revived through the current budget! Yay! But meanwhile, uninformed folks are flooding the media streams and comment threads with anti-art, anti-job, anti-King County messages that could threaten to turn political will against us.

Please take action in the next day or so to turn the comment threads around. Here are four articles [The Seattle TimesThe News TribuneThe Seattle PI and Crosscut], please craft a super short, cogent, pro-art, pro-legislation, pro-job creation, pro-economic stimulus message and post it. Some suggestions are below... but make them personal and to the point. you don't have to say everything. Just say something true and from the heart.

Some examples:

"saying these are "stadium taxes" is misleading,these taxes are primarily on visitors, and were formerly used to pay for stadiums, but the new use would be job creation and tourism promotion, not stadiums. A worthy investment in these tough times."

"This article is inaccurate... not all the taxes outlined in 1997 are set to expire. For example, lodging taxes don't expire - they're ongoing, it's just their current project (the stadiums) are about to be paid off and the legislature gets to decide what to do with them next.  I think this is a smart plan -- allow them to continue to fund art, heritage, tourism activities and the like."

"These are tourist taxes collected in King County and should be used for things that bring in more tourism and grow this industry in the County and the State. Arts, heritage, and tourism promotion and a convention center expansion have a strong nexus."

"This legislation deserves to be heard. These taxes, collected in King County, will be invested in programs that will impact a wide and diverse array of people throughout King County. We need the jobs in this state that would come from this legislation..."

"I think the activities supported in HB 1997 are a great idea. Smart thinking! We need these tax investments to get our economy growing again."

"Blah blah blah - "locals pay for restaurants too"... yeah... I'm sure that extra nickle on your $10 lunch really hurts."

"I am proud to be part of the cultural community that would create jobs and tourism/arts activities because of the programs outlined in HB 1997. Arguments that you don't use these services don't hold up.  I don't have kids but I pay for your kid's schools. This is how a civilized society works. We help each other out. We do things that support the greater good. We're raising the quality of life here for all. We're drawing tourists to spend their money here, that will fill the tax coffers for the whole state."