Mayor McGinn on the levy party bus
  • R.B.
  • Mayor McGinn on the levy party bus
Last night, Mayor Mike McGinn*, Council Members Tim Burgess and Jean Godden, and about 40 kids and their parents crammed into a party bus to go and persuade people to vote yes on the Families and Education Levy at National Night Out block parties all over Seattle.

The Families and Education Levy is on the ballot for November. If approved by Seattle voters, the levy will raise $232 million for programs helping low-income students in Seattle public schools over the next seven years. The new levy would double the earlier $116 million levy, costing the average Seattle household $124 annually compared with the $64 under the previous levy.

McGinn said that although the expansion of the levy funds had met with some criticism, he stressed that the last levy had helped more students graduate. He acknowledged that although the mayor does not have control over the school district, a city "can work to improve its schools." "We will not stand for any of our kids not having an opportunity," he said.

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The party bus stopped at the Central District, Rainier Beach, South Park, and Ballard neighborhood block parties, joining in the celebration of a successful drug abatement program at 8433 55th Ave. S., which overlooks Pritchard Beach.

Council Members Tim Burgess and Jean Godden and City Attorney Pete Homes outside the former drug house overlooking Pritchard Beach (check out Burgess's beads).
  • R.B.
  • Council Members Tim Burgess and Jean Godden and City Attorney Pete Homes outside the former drug house overlooking Pritchard Beach (check out Burgess's beads).

"We are feeling very good about the campaign," said levy campaign manager Steven Jones. "We thought this would be a good opportunity to reach out to the community and tell them that this levy is for every kid in every Seattle school getting a shot at success."

Seattle schools parent Kerri Cooley-Stroum is an organizer for the levy campaign
  • R.B.
  • Seattle schools parent Kerri Cooley-Stroum is an organizer for the levy campaign

The Seattle school district has no control over the levy money, which is directly invested by the city's Office of Education into preschools, health clinics, tutoring, summer school, and wraparound services for poor and minority students and their families. Over half the funds go to early learning programs and elementary schools.

The mayor hands out levy campaign literature to Central District neighbors last night
  • R.B.
  • The mayor hands out levy campaign literature to Central District neighbors last night
*Mayor McGinn is a lot of fun on a party bus! I'll leave it at that.

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