The money currently earmarked for Jefferson Park would barely cover the increased cost of expenses that were already approved in the Pro Parks Levy. In other words, in this $120 million levy, Jefferson Park gets nothing new. However, almost one-tenth of the entire levy would go to building (not green space) upgrades at the Asian Art Museum, including air conditioning. I mean, that's all well and good that the Seattle Art Museum's visitors and collection should be kept cooler, except why should the funding come out of a green space levy, when there's such little money for green space as it is?
Read more about the levy here.
Anyway, the Jefferson Park Alliance is asking that you read the letter below and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE TUESDAY, JUNE 24th.
You can contact the Jefferson Park Alliance at JPAlliance@hotmail.com with questions, or post them here.
I am an advocate for the green levy being put together under Council auspices through a 22-member volunteer committee. I am advocating that $3.6 million more be added for Jefferson Park on there (total of $7.6 million), and another $1.8 for other SE Seattle projects that aren't on the list yet. I got really excited about the levy by going to the Great City event at the downtown library earlier this year.
After sitting through the most recent meeting (Tuesday the 17th) I feel totally discouraged. The biggest project on the proposed levy list is to add air conditioning and seismic upgrades to the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. The building is owned by Parks and operated by SAM. This project is currently targeted for $11 million, 9% of the total levy of $120 mil. Meantime, literally dozens of smaller parks projects that acquire and develop green space are being bumped off.
I really think that green space advocates need to cry "foul". I am sure SAM needs to get this work done somehow but I totally disagree with using our tiny open space levy for building projects. Air conditioning may be important for art, but there is nothing green about it.
Anyway, I am looking around for other sources of money for museum at the State and Federal level so we can spend our open space and parks money on things that will grow green.
Please write to your colleagues who are concerned about greening Seattle and ask them to request that this project come off the green levy and receive funding from a more appropriate source so we can get the parks projects built. The community center levy proposed for 2010 would be the right spot.
Write today! The last meeting of the committee is next Tuesday so your voice is important right now. Here is the levy committee e-mail:
Jefferson Park Alliance