Friday, February 18, 2011

Advocates: Now is the time to act!

The moment we've all been waiting for is here! King County's Economic Development bill just dropped in the House today. According to 4Culture's blog post on the subject, HB 1997 would secure a solid future for 4Culture’s arts, heritage, and preservation funding programs.

Advocates in Olympia
"HB 1997, was drafted by King County leadership in conversation with key support from key legislative champions in the House and Senate. The lead sponsor is Representative Orwall. The bill proposes to secure existing visitor taxes and direct them toward economic development activities: arts & heritage, tourism-related facilities, such as the convention center, community development activities, low-income housing developments, and revitalization of the historic Pioneer Square district and culturally rich International District."

There are more than 700 people and organizations listed on this site who are part of the Advocate4Culture Coalition, and all of our House Reps across King County and the state need to know that we support this bill, and we need their leadership to pass it!


1. Find the contact information for your Representatives. You've got two. They both need to hear from you in the next 4 days (by Tuesday). Call or email them and tell them you support HB 1997 and that bill needs to get passed this year, or the arts/heritage programs you value in King County will be cut by 90%. This is urgent and has no impact on the current year budget.

2. HB 1997 is scheduled for a hearing this Tuesday, February 22nd at 1:30 p.m.  We need a flood of advocates at the hearing. We know it's a burden for some to get off work, but if it's at all possible, YOUR attendance will make a huge difference. We can arrange transportation. Email us by Monday at 4pm if you want a ride. Otherwise, check back on the blog soon and we'll post more info about the room. Here are driving directions and a campus map

3. Tell everyone you know about steps 1 & 2.

P.S. We also want to note that the Senate dropped a bill SB 5834 that addresses some of the funding for 4Culture, but not the rest of the economic development/tourism package that King County leadership is pushing for. The best message you can give legislators now is: "Please support HB1997, King County's Economic Development bill that includes 4Culture. Arts & Culture are an important part of King County's plan to create jobs and improve our economy by bringing more visitors and tourism spending to King County communities."

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