GSBA Endorses Best Starts For Kids Levy Renewal

by Matt Landers, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
| Jul 12, 2021
The GBSA Board of Directors has endorsed King County Proposition 1 (Best Starts for Kids), and encourages GSBA members to vote YES on the upcoming August ballot.

Learn more about the levy and its programs.

This is a renewal of an expiring levy passed in 2015, also endorsed by GSBA. This measure maintains and expands programs that support kids as they grow with high quality childcare, homelessness prevention, and social and emotional youth development programs. Prevention and early engagement is the most effective, and least expensive way, to ensure positive outcomes for our kids and community. We also must support children and youth of color to overcome racial injustice and have the best opportunity to thrive.

The renewal of this levy will allow King County to maintain and expand effective programs that put children and youth on a path toward lifelong success. Investments include Prenatal-5 family support, preventing youth and family homelessness, and community-driven partnerships through Communities of Opportunity that address emotional growth, early engagement with youth, and racial and social equity priorities.

The levy invests in out-of-school time programs for ages 5-12, transitions to adulthood for teens 14-24, and builds up to four school-based health centers across the county. It also creates a new child care subsidy to make child care more affordable for more than 3,000 low-income families and ensures that child care workers, through a Wage Project, earn a living wage for their essential work.

The levy imposes a property tax of 19-cents per $1,000 assessed value (up from 14-cents in the expiring levy). 

GSBA strongly supports this ballot measure because of the proven success of the previous effort, and the strong and transparent tracking provided by King County. The strong emphasis on equity in education match core values of GSBA. Additionally, GSBA has been the recipient of funding from the Communities of Opportunity program (as part of the Transgender Economic Empowerment Coalition) and we understand the significance and importance of these social equity programs.

Other supporters of the levy renewal include a unanimous vote by the King County Council, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, King County Labor Council, El Centro de la Raza, API Chaya, Seattle Children's Hospital, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, CISC, Washington Association for Infant Mental Health, West Side Baby, Treehouse, Moms Rising, and more.