Advocates for Arts, Science and Heritage Access and Education Applaud Council Introduction of Countywide “Access For All” Legislation

Advocates for Arts, Science and Heritage Access and Education Applaud Council Introduction of Countywide “Access For All” Legislation
Leaders of King County's arts, science and heritage organizations today praised introduction of the "Access For All" levy package by Executive Dow Constantine to the King County Council. If passed by Council and approved by voters, the levy will raise dedicated funding to expand educational opportunities and local investments in programs, performances and institutions countywide.

The legislation is the product of years of work by Cultural Access Washington (CAWA) and others who secured statewide legislation that permits local governments to place dedicated funding options before voters. King County is the first to consider a levy of this type.

"As funding for arts and hands-on science education in our schools is cut, and many families are simply unable to afford or attend performances or visit our region's outstanding museums, it's been our goal to make sure we truly provide access for all to our region's cultural resources — large and small," said Jim Kraft, executive director of CAWA. "Our hope is that voters will have the opportunity to consider this modest levy that will make a huge difference in every King County community."

If sent to voters and approved, the Access for All levy will primarily focus on four areas, including: new and enhanced education programs in all 19 King County school districts, including transportation funding; expanding equity and inclusion with funding to assure programs reach under-served communities and audiences and participants reflect the diversity of our region; low-cost or free tickets and access for families and seniors; and local investments for small, community based programs and institutions.

"This package reflects a genuine commitment to improving equity outcomes. With Access for All, people of all backgrounds will be better able to benefit from the cultural richness of our region, and organizations throughout the county, no matter how small, will receive needed funds to better serve their communities," said Kraft. "Working with regional and community based organizations, educators, social justice advocates, civic and elected leaders, we believe this program will truly open doors and expand horizons for all King County residents."

The broad coalition that helped shape and inform the legislation will now shift attention to County Council deliberations, with the goal of placing the measure on the August 2017 ballot.

"We're excited for the support we have built, and positive community response to this opportunity," said Kraft. "We look forward to next steps."
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