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The right thing to do for the community

Ready to vote? General election ballots will start arriving in a few weeks. Be sure to complete your whole ballot and vote YES on Proposition 1, Opportunity for Olympia, by November 8.

Higher education has become increasingly out of reach for too many of Olympia’s college-bound kids as public college tuition has doubled, and in some cases even tripled, since 1990. That’s likely why a quarter of Olympia’s high school graduates don’t continue on to community or technical college.

Starting in March 2016, campaign volunteers worked tirelessly to collect over 8.000 signatures in support of this ballot measure. “I spoke with many citizens who were in favor of this important initiative. Some were college graduates saddled with huge student loan debt; others were parents struggling to help pay their child’s tuition. In most cases, voters saw what a benefit this college fund grant program would be to Olympia,” said Ray Guerra, volunteer coordinator for Opportunity for Olympia.

Prop 1 will ensure that every future public high school graduate in Olympia has access to at least 1 year of free community college or job training courses at a technical college. Teachers, parents and students strongly support Yes on Prop 1, including the Olympia Education Association, Washington Education Association, United Faculty of Evergreen and many more.

We believe a college education provides opportunity. It doesn’t just prepare young people for careers – it also creates a better-educated workforce that can attract businesses and better-paying jobs.

That’s why more than a dozen small businesses in Olympia support Yes on Prop 1 –  because it will grow our economy. Trade unions, like the Teamsters and Machinists, also support Yes on Prop 1, because it will provide skills and job training critical to attracting good paying jobs to Olympia.

Prop 1 raises millions of dollars for Olympia’s college grant fund from a small (1.5%) tax that only applies to the wealthiest 3% of households in Olympia.

Right now, the bottom 97% of households pay more than 11% of their income in taxes. Those at the top pay less than 3.5%. Prop 1 will ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share to support our community’s success. This initiative gives ordinary voters the chance to show that we can grow the economy and create a legacy of opportunity for our kids when the wealthiest 3% start paying their fair share – just like the rest of us.

Proposition 1 also has safeguards – only 5% can go for administrative costs, and the city auditor is required to conduct annual audits to make sure the fund is being used properly.

Proposition 1 is strongly supported by progressive elected leaders, education organizations, and small businesses including: State Representative Sam Hunt, social justice attorney Leslie Owen, Reeves Middle School PTA, Traditions, Olympia Education Association, United Faculty of Evergreen, Deschutes River Cyclery, South Puget Sound Community College Student Council, Washington Federation of State Employees Council 28, Washington Education Association, and many more.

This campaign is opposed by the Koch Brothers’ funded Freedom Foundation and is being watched closely by Tim Eyman.

Opportunity for Olympia is currently seeking volunteers to help win this election for the citizens of Olympia. For more information, visit www.opportunityforolympia.com.

 

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