Friday, February 2, 2018

Update – New Developments

We have the momentum and we need to keep it going! 

Advocates for arts and culture are doing a great job! The effort to sneak through a takeover of 4Culture didn’t work as planned. This bad idea is now being exposed all over Facebook and Twitter. And we’ve been hearing about the many emails and phone calls being sent to councilmembers. 

4Culture is not legally allowed to do any grassroots lobbying to defend itself and fight, but we can! The arts and cultural community has and must continue to step up to do this advocacy work. 

WHAT'S HAPPENING

The ordinance has been referred to the council’s "committee of the whole". People contacting council members are being told the most likely date for a public hearing will be Wednesday, February 21st at 9:30 a.m.

Sponsors of King County Ordinance #2018-0086 are repeating the “oversight and accountability” mantra, but at a recent public meeting a council member actually said they flat out wanted to “control” 4Culture.

4Culture has posted an updated statement about the ordinance. It's full of information about how they currently function and how this proposal would shift power to the Council. 

CALL TO ACTION

1. Plan to join fellow advocates on Wednesday, February 21st at 9:30 a.m. at Council Chambers in the King County Courthouse [516 3rd Avenue, 10th Floor]. The ordinance is not on the agenda yet, so we don’t know the exact time, but we’ll post an update as soon as we know. As part of the normal hearing process, folks can show up at the hearing and speak directly to council members during the public comment period. You don’t have to comment – simply you being there is huge. The more advocates there - the better!

2. Contact King County Executive Dow Constantine and ask him to veto Ordinance #2018-0086 if it is passed through council. Dow is pro arts and heritage. We need his help. Here's why:
  • This ordinance cuts him out of the process for appointing 4Culture’s Board. Instead, Council will appoint a majority of 4Culture’s Board without any input from his office.
  • This ordinance is a complete takeover of arts and cultural funding by the council. Approving 4Culture’s budget in fact means council will have the power to amend the budget. The King County Council can simply demand any changes to grants they want and hold grant money hostage until 4Culture gives them a budget they want. 
  • This ordinance was written with zero consultation from the arts and heritage communities. 4Culture has said they were not notified that this kind of action was even being discussed.
3. Contact your council member – and activate your networks to do the same! Find your King County Councilmember and send them an email or call their office and tell them from your own experience and perspective how: 
  • 4Culture has served the community well for 15 years and has the public trust.
  • The proposed ordinance undermines 4Culture’s independence, threatens the competitive and fair application and selection process, opening the door to favoritism and inequitable funding. 
Close by asking them: Please do NOT support Ordinance #2018-0086. 

Thank you advocates! We know it’s hard to keep up the fight up, but together we are making a difference!

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