Endorsements line up in support of levies

January 26, 2010

By Staff

Endorsements are a way of life for campaigns and the Volunteers for Issaquah School’s levy campaign is no exception.There are two main reasons Volunteers for Issaquah Schools asks for local endorsements, said Campaign Co-Chair Kelly Munn.

Voters who identify with groups, like the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce or the Seattle-King County Realtors Association, will see the endorsement and align with them.

“We think it is important to support what works in our community,” said the chamber’s CEO Matt Bott. “We think quality and high-performing schools are critical to business success.”

Good schools bring new families to the area that spend their money, new employees who are an asset to businesses and foster the ideas of students who will one day become employees, Bott said.

“We think it is a pretty loud endorsement,” he said.

The chamber represents about 450 businesses and thousands of their employees. Bott said he was unsure there was a time when the chamber did not endorse a school levy.

For the Realtors Association, it is a matter of watching out for taxpayers, said David Krowell, the association’s committee director for governmental and public affairs.

The association is “a watchdog for homeowners and this relates to property taxes,” Krowell said. “What it means to our community is that our committee has reviewed the district’s ballot proposal and these levies keep school taxes at a stable rate, yet provide funding that is critically needed.”

Having good schools in a community helps preserve the value of homes in the area, Krowell added. Good schools also unify a community and they provide quality education for students that are critical to the future, he said.

“In the case of Issaquah, I don’t think we’ve ever said no to an endorsement, but I don’t know if they have come to us with every school ballot,” he said.

Many endorsing groups don’t contribute to the campaign formally, but they do encourage residents to vote, publicize the measures and encourage their members to volunteer.

The second reason endorsements are necessary is that endorsement presentations educate voters about the measures who then spread the message to other voters, Munn said.

“If we get people to internalize their support, they are more likely to talk to other people about it,” she said.

So far, more than 500 individuals; 20 state, county and city politicians; and 28 different organizations have endorsed the measures. See a full list of endorsements at www.visvote.org.

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