A California poll measure that might pump $1 billion a yr into arts and music training seems poised to cross by a large margin, in accordance with a ballot launched Friday.
The initiative, Proposition 28, is main by a margin of 69% to 31%, in accordance to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute-USC Value California Points Ballot.
Quite a few artists and leisure firms have lent their assist to the initiative, which was spearheaded by Austin Beutner, the previous superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified Faculty District.
“We’re in an excellent place,” Beutner mentioned in an interview. “Folks see the deserves of offering arts and music training with out elevating taxes on anyone.”
Practically $600 million has been spent this cycle by varied gaming pursuits on Propositions 26 and 27, which might authorize sports activities betting in California. (Each of these measures seem headed to defeat, in accordance with the USC ballot.)
In the meantime, the marketing campaign to cross Prop. 28 has been comparatively modest, elevating solely $10.7 million.
Common Music Group has backed the measure with a $25,000 contribution and has additionally planted a “Sure on 28” flag atop the enduring Capitol Information Constructing in Hollywood. Dwell Nation Worldwide has additionally given $10,000, whereas scrolling digital advertisements for the initiative at music concert events.
Beutner has rallied an extended listing of superstar endorsers for the measure, together with Christina Aguilera (who hosted a fundraiser), Bonnie Raitt, Jason Momoa, Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Issa Rae. A lot of them have used their social media platforms to unfold the phrase.
Supporters of the measure argue that just one in 5 faculties within the state has a full-time arts or music program and that such packages must be unfold extra equitably. Beutner argues that the initiative will likely be significantly useful in enhancing the variety of the leisure business.
“This will likely be one of many largest drivers of change in leisure,” he mentioned. “That’s an enormous deal.”
There is no such thing as a organized opposition to the measure, however some critics — such because the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board — argue that the measure will tie the arms of lawmakers in any future funds disaster.
“If Californians need arts and music training to be a precedence, they’ll and may begin by electing faculty board members and lawmakers who will prioritize it,” the paper wrote, urging a “no” vote.
Beutner retired as co-CEO of Evercore Companions in 2008, following a bicycle accident, and has since devoted himself to a collection of civic endeavors. He labored as a high deputy to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ran a short marketing campaign for mayor, served as writer of the Los Angeles Instances and led the nation’s second-largest faculty district for 3 years.
Whereas superintendent, Beutner partnered with the Fender Musical Devices Corp. to supply free guitars and classes to center faculty college students. He additionally labored with Illumination, the animation studio, to offer animation instruction to excessive schoolers, and with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to launch a brand new highschool targeted on entrepreneurship.
Beutner stepped down from LAUSD in 2021, however these relationships have carried over to the poll measure marketing campaign. Beutner is the only largest contributor to the hassle, placing in $4.3 million. Fender has put in one other $1.2 million, whereas Chris Meledandri, the CEO of Illumination, has given $25,000. (Penske Media Company, the guardian firm of Selection, has additionally contributed $100,000.)
The California Academics Affiliation can also be a backer, placing in $2.6 million. Different main donors embody Barbra Streisand, Comcast and Steve Ballmer.
Many of the cash was spent on signature gatherers to qualify the measure for the poll. Since then, the marketing campaign has largely relied on its superstar endorsers to generate “earned” media. SAG-AFTRA will maintain a last-minute “just about rally” on Monday to assist get out the “sure” vote.
“That is actually a feel-good story,” Beutner mentioned. “Who may very well be towards arts and music? No one can, for those who’re not elevating taxes. We must always cross it by acclaim.”
Prop. 28 Seems Poised to Cross With Leisure Trade Backing