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 Times, The News Tribune, The 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.
"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."