Today a group of community leaders, educators and organizations from throughout King County gathered at El Centro de la Raza on Tuesday to launch the Access for All: YES on Proposition 1! Campaign, which will appear on the August primary ballot. Access for All would increase funding for arts, science and heritage education and access for King County kids and families.
Speakers included Renton Superintendent-elect Dr. Damien Pattenaude, El Centro de la Raza Executive Director Estela Ortega, Path with Art Executive Director Holly Jacobson, Seattle Aquarium President and CEO Bob Davidson, Just Humanitarian Project Co-Founder Philip Attipoe, and Yes on Prop. 1 Campaign Manager Jack Sorensen."In a district where more than half of our students rely on free and reduced lunch, Proposition 1 will be instrumental to leveling the playing field so all students have access to arts, science and heritage education," said Dr. Damien Pattenaude, Renton superintendent-elect. "But Prop. 1 is about more than a fun experience for kids. A hands-on learning experience at the Museum of Flight for a student in my district might inspire her to grow up and become a mechanical engineer. That kind of life-changing experience is invaluable, and it's the kind of opportunities Proposition 1 will help provide."
Prop. 1 will expand education and access at more than 350 large and small arts, science and heritage organizations throughout King County. Designed to lower barriers to education, it ensures that smaller, community-based organizations receive proportionally more funding in relation to their budgets. Additionally, organizations that primarily serve in historically underserved communities, primarily communities of color, will receive increased funding.
"King County Proposition 1 will provide more equitable access to arts, science and heritage education for kids and families in our communities," said Estela Ortega, executive director for El Centro de la Raza, which hosted today's event. "Access for All: Prop. 1 aligns with El Centro's mission. The funds Prop. 1 generates, the people and communities it serves, and the new programs that will come out of this package will have a positive impact on people's lives."
Access for All would use a sales tax raise of 0.1 percent — just one penny for every $10 spent or $30 a year for the average household — to fund new programs at more than 350 organizations. Additionally, it requires that larger, regional arts, science and heritage organizations spend half of their funding on public school programming, increasing equity outcomes and expanding partnerships and programs in every part of King County.
"Funding Proposition 1 raises our entire community," said Bob Davidson, president and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium. "It will allow families to provide their kids with the experience of hands-on science learning at the Aquarium through the expansion of free and reduced-price tickets and membership programs."
"Every tool is valuable to us in serving the most vulnerable in our community. Proposition 1 is one of those tools. It will help us continue and expand the services we provide," said Holly Jacobson, Path With Art Executive Director. "Prop 1 empowers community organizations that solve problems through arts, science, and heritage programs."
"With Prop 1, we will be able to bring the Cultural Heritage festival and other cultural activities to more communities and schools," said Philip Attipoe, co-founder of Justice Humanitarian Project. "It is our goal to use music and dance to promote cultural diversity in our schools and communities."