Friday, January 26, 2018

It's Not an Exaggeration, It's Real!

The threat to 4Culture’s independence and effectiveness in the community is real and immediate!  Thanks to all the advocates for culture that have been contacting their councilmembers and asking them to oppose Ordinance #2018-0086. 

Councilmember Dave Upthegrove is spending a lot of time on Facebook today soft-selling the proposed takeover of 4Culture.

Here are the facts
  • While the ordinance prevents council from amending the budget, in fact they can withhold funds, stopping the vital flow of grant funding to artists, heritage, preservation, and arts organizations throughout the county 
  • Budget approval by the council empowers individual members to hold community grant funds hostage until they see specific line items in the budget they like – something council cannot do today 
  • Council is not required to consult with anyone in order to appoint a majority of 4Culture’s board 
  • Council can hire and fire the Executive Director at will, which is unprecedented… not for any other division in the county government does the council have the power to dismiss a director 
  • If councilmembers truly want to work with 4Culture and "ensure the big picture direction of the agency," did they contact 4Culture board, leadership and community members to seek input in the drafting of the ordinance?
How oversight works now
  • According to the 4Culture website, three councilmembers sit on the 4Culture board currently, allowing for opportunities for information sharing and council oversight 
  • 4Culture posts annual audits – showing their stellar record for appropriately stewarding public funds 
  • 4Culture is respected for their fair and transparent grant approval process that utilizes citizen review panels, expert advisory committees and board oversight

What 4Culture does today
  • 4Culture’s citizen review panels always prioritize a broad geographic distribution of funding
  • 4Culture works diligently to ensure its funding is equitable.  
  • 4Culture staff are highly respected nationally and  have received numerous awards for their leadership in the cultural fields
  • 4Culture’s grant programs are designed, implemented, and run to be competitive, fair, and above politics
Call to Action:
Contact your King County Councilmember and ask them to oppose Ordinance #2018-0086. This Ordinance was referred to the Committee of the Whole. 

 Advocate4Culture is an independent group. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of 4Culture or its employees.