Guest Post by Manny Cawaling, Executive Director of the Washington State Cultural Alliance

Dear Cultural Advocates, 

I’m writing to share both exciting and critical news. We hope to have King County Council place an improved Access for All initiative on the ballot in 2020 and we need your advocacy to succeed. In order to design the best program, we need to make some changes in the original law. Senate Bill 5782, if passed into law, gives King County that flexibility. 

CALL TO ACTION:  Please reach out to your State Representatives ASAP. Don’t know who they are?  Click here to find out. What to do: * Email your 2 Representatives and urge them to support Senate Bill 5792. 

  • Ask them to reach out to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and request that “Senate Bill 5792 be brought to the House floor for a vote.” 
  • Tell them how important cultural access funding would be for your organization and the impact it would make within their community.  
  • Don’t have time to write an email?  Feel free to use the following template. 

Why is this important? The program we built for the 2017 campaign was complicated by distribution requirements provided in the original law. Many felt the program was not fair and did not achieve the goals of promoting equity and diversity while also distributing funds geographically. We listened to the feedback of organizations large and small and are focused on being more representative and doing this vital work better. We also saw the success of our colleagues in Tacoma who had significantly more flexibility in designing their program. 

To provide more equity, clarity, and simplicity in this important law, we are back in Olympia working to amend the statute and give King County the same flexibility as other cities and counties. Specifically, we are asking the Legislature to remove the detailed funding allocations and other requirements that apply only to King County by passing SB (Senate Bill) 5792. 

What’s next? If our legislation passes, with 4culture’s partnership and leadership, we aim to create a fair education and funding framework that will serve the broad and diverse organizations within our cultural field. We aim to keep the cultural needs of our communities at the forefront. 

Creating a new law is difficult and challenging work but progress is happening! SB 5792 has been approved by the State Senate and is now being considered by the State House. We want to make certain that the bill is considered and passed by the full House. We want to ensure that the bill allows maximum flexibility for King County and 4Culture to design a program that maximizes diversity and equity. We are wholeheartedly committed to our goals and we need your help! SB 5792 must pass to ensure we can do this!  

Time is of the essence. SB 5792 must be voted out of the House of Representatives by 5 p.m. on April 17. If we don’t provide more flexibility for our King County program, our 10-year effort to provide your organization with transformative funding and to build a stronger connection to audiences may be lost forever. There is simply no time to lose. 

This is a lot of information to take in and, of course, you may have questions. We are happy to make ourselves completely available on a weekly basis to brief you on our work and objectives. From now until the end of April, I will be hosting a Brown Bag Briefing every Friday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m at our office in The Cloud Room on Capitol Hill. A call-in option will be provided for those who cannot participate in person. Calls will take place from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on March 29 and April 5, 12, 19 and 26. 

Thank you for your help and consideration. United, we are invincible!  

Most Sincerely, 

Manny Cawaling 

Executive Director, Washington State Cultural Alliance

Formerly Cultural Access Washington  

 

TEMPLATE EMAIL TO HOUSE REP IF YOUR REP ISN’T FRANK CHOPP:  

 Subject Line: Please pass Senate Bill 5792, cultural access legislation 

 Dear Representative NAME,  

I’m writing on behalf of a cultural organization within your district. BRIEFLY (2-3 sentences) DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION: WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, YOUR COMMUNITY AND HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU SERVE.  

As your constituent, I urge you to support Senate Bill 5792. We support the bill as it was reported from the House Housing, Community Development, and Veterans Committee.  We do not support any further amendments. Simplifying the Cultural Access law is critical to our organization and will allow us to increase and enrich cultural programming in your district. Currently, SB 5792 is in the House Rules Committee.  Please urge Speaker Frank Chopp to bring the legislation to the full House for a vote.

Approval of SB 5792 is a priority to our cultural community and, therefore, to all of our audiences and supporters across King County. A simplified law will empower our community to create a more successful and equitable cultural program that distributes funding to diverse communities throughout our broad region. Please support us in this effort.  

 Sincerely,   

YOUR NAME  

YOUR ORGANIZATION  

 

 TEMPLATE EMAIL TO HOUSE REPS IF YOUR REP IS FRANK CHOPP:  

Subject Line: Please advance Senate Bill 5792  

 Dear Speaker Frank Chopp,  

I’m writing on behalf of a cultural organization within your district. BRIEFLY (2-3 sentences) DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION: WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, YOUR COMMUNITY AND HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU SERVE.  

As your constituent, I urge you to support Senate Bill 5792, without further amendment.Simplifying the Cultural Access law is critical to our organization and will allow us to increase and enrich cultural programming in your district. Currently, SB 5792 is in the House Rules Committee. Please advance the legislation and support the approval of a clean bill.   

Approval of SB 5792 is a priority to our cultural community and, therefore, to all of our audiences and supporters across King County. A simplified law will empower our community to create a more successful and equitable cultural program that distributes funding to diverse communities throughout our broad region. Please support us in this effort.  

Sincerely,   

YOUR NAME  

YOUR ORGANIZATION