Friday, April 17, 2009

Fwd: Friends and Sonics fans - last chance to help save Seattle Center and get a new team

Last chance, public pressure?

Where are the low-income housing advocates (that's you Frank Chopp) , arts advocates, and Chris Van Dyke (he supported with testimony SB6116), where is the political leadership from King County?

Have a great day,
Mr. Baker

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Adam Brown <>
Date: April 16, 2009 8:01:36 PM PDT
To: "" <>
Subject: Friends and Sonics fans - last chance to help save Seattle Center and get a new team

Friends and Sonics faithful:
I had to let you know about proposed legislation that would create jobs, fund the arts, save Seattle Center and give us a really good shot at getting a team back in the next couple years!  If the Wash. State Legislature passes Senate Bill 6116 or amends House Bill 2552 to include Seattle Center, Steve Ballmer will buy a new team (Sonics 2.0) and contribute 50% to a KeyArena remodel!  But as of right now, it doesn't look like this will pass before the April 26 deadline. 
SB6116 is a great bill for a lot of reasons besides just basketball.  Please take a couple minutes to read the following letter and, if you agree, call the Wash State Legislative Hotline at 800.562.6000 and tell them you are in favor of SB 6116.  They take your address and automatically send your message to the Governor and the legislators in your district.
Thanks!  You can doooo iiiiiiiiit!
- Adam Brown

***Sonics Faithful – One Last Shot at Getting a New Team and Saving Seattle Center!***



The fight for the Sonics in Seattle is not over yet!  We need your help to make one final push before the 2009 state legislative session ends on April 26!


The Washington State Legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 6116, which would allow King County to use existing restaurant and car rental taxes to create a dedicated funding source for the arts community, cultural centers, low income housing and regional public facilities including Seattle Center and KeyArena.


Call the State Legislative Hotline now at 800.562.6000 and tell them you support SB6116!


WE NEED YOU NOW SONICS FAITHFUL!  This is our last chance to get a new team in Seattle.  All our hard work has come down to this moment, and we must not allow our legislators to waste this opportunity.  Here are just a few of the many reasons to pass SB6116:


1.       Save Seattle Center ­­– The lower Queen Anne area has struggled in recent years, becoming an outdated shadow of the economic and cultural cornerstone it was for 40+ years.  The City of Seattle currently has no funding source in place for the unanimously approved Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan, a $570 million public infrastructure project that will bring the grounds into the modern era over the next 20 years.  SB6116 would provide that funding source for much needed campus improvements without creating any new taxes or tapping the general fund.

2.       Jobs and Economic Stimulus ­– A modern, vibrant Seattle Center with additional funding for arts and cultural centers all over King County will create thousands of jobs and increase tourism from out-of-towners, providing a sorely needed infrastructure investment during this recession economy.  The bill also provides funding for low-income housing and youth recreation facilities.  Two words: JOB CREATION.

3.       Attaining Private Investment in Public Facilities – As outlined in Mayor Nickels' settlement agreement that allowed the Sonics to break their lease and leave town, the city/state must pass some form of arena legislation in 2009 to get an additional $30 million from Clay Bennett if no team comes to Seattle by 2013.  A local investment group led by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised to contribute $150 million plus cost overruns in private money toward a $300 million remodel of KeyArena and buy a new NBA team for Seattle!  If the state approves SB6116, the entire region benefits by getting a massive public works project for only 25% of the full cost, with 50% from Ballmer and the final 25% coming from a ticket tax on KeyArena events.

4.       Small Investment, Big Payoff – According to the KeyArena Subcommittee Report, "KeyArena will need capital investments of at least $20 million to remain competitive even without the Sonics."  If you spend $50 in a bar, the current tax is only $0.25 on your bill; a quarter that you probably don't even notice!  These "tourism taxes" are already in place, and it will be a lot more difficult to pass a new tax later.  So when you factor in the $30 million from Bennett or the $150 million from Ballmer, the benefits of passing SB6116 and the relatively tiny cost make it a no-brainer!

5.       Bring Back the Sonics – It has been a cold, dreary winter without our team, but as many as 10 NBA teams are currently for sale.  If SB6116 passes, there is an extremely good chance that Steve Ballmer will bring Sonics 2.0 back to Seattle within a year or two! 

Call the Legislative Hotline now at 800.562.6000 and tell them to pass SB6116!



peter said...

are the votes really there in the senate? i want to believe what i heard on the radio show, but i am hearing nothing. for all of our sake, i hope king county senators are really gonna make a big push on this bill (6116).

Anonymous said...

i saw they moved a bunch of bills today. 6116 wasn't with them. i appreciate the optimism, mr. b, that this will clear room for 6116 to be taken up for discussion. but that can work the other way - everything else is already gone, and the focus of public discussion is on 6116. i hate to say it, but we don't fare very well in a public debate, at least if key gets mentioned. we can say "job creation" all day long, but it isn't getting the job done. help me get some more optimism, mr. b. my glass is suddenly three-fourths empty.

Mr Baker said...

Today at 5pm was the cutoff for considered in committee in the opposite house.

Right after that the scheduled a Senate Ways and Means committee meeting for tomorrow, 18 bills will have testimony, those and 14 more will be voted on (32 bills total).
They are hearing and moving more bills. Yes, they are more important than 6116, but bills are moving.

Peter said...

so if there already was the deadline to consider bills in opposite committee, isn't 6116 in te senate ways and means committee? if so, it can't be considered again. i hope i'm wrong.

Peter said...

correct me if i am wrong, but with the deadline today, 2252 can no longer be considered in the senate. so they cannot insert language from 6116 to 2252. the only possible way this passes is if language from 2252 is put into 6116, or 6116 just gets a vote. either way, the house could pick it apart.

Mr Baker said...

One of the bills hearing testimony, and then getting voted on is a house bill.

I do not really know, but it looks like once they accept a bill they can do whatever they want with it. I could be wrong, but the fact that they are dealing with a house bill tomorrow says something about what is possible.