Prop. 28 Poised to Pass With Entertainment Industry Backing

A California ballot measure that would pump $1 billion a year into arts and music education appears poised to pass by a wide margin, according to a poll released Friday.

According to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute-USC Price California Issues Poll, Proposition 28 leads by a 69% to 31% margin.

Led by former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Buettner, many artists and entertainment companies have lent their support to the initiative.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” Biettner said in an interview. “People see the virtue of providing arts and music education without raising taxes for anyone.”

Nearly $600 million was spent by various gaming interests on Propositions 26 and 27, which would have allowed sports betting in California. (Both measures appear to be defeated, according to the USC poll.)

Meanwhile, Prop. The campaign to pass 28 was relatively modest, raising only $10.7 million.

Universal Music Group has supported the move with a $25,000 contribution. planted “Yes 28” flag over the famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Live Nation Worldwide also gave $10,000 while scrolling digital ads to the music concert initiative.

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Beutner has amassed a long list of celebrity endorsers, including Christina Aguilera (who hosted a fundraiser), Bonnie Raitt, Jason Momoa, Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Issa Rae. Many of them have used their social media platforms to spread the word.

Supporters of the measure argue that only 1 in 5 schools in the state have a full-time art or music program and that such programs should be spread more equitably. Beutner argues that the initiative will be especially helpful in improving diversity in the entertainment industry.

“This is going to be one of the biggest drivers of change in entertainment,” he said. “That’s a big deal.”

There is no organized opposition to the measure, but some critics — like the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board — argue that the measure would tie lawmakers’ hands in any future budget crisis.

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“If Californians want arts and music education to be a priority, they can start by electing school board members and legislators who make it a priority,” the paper wrote, urging a “no” vote.

Buettner retired as co-CEO of Evercore Partners in 2008 after a bicycle accident and has since devoted himself to a range of civic endeavors. He served as a chief deputy to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ran a brief campaign for mayor, served as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and led the nation’s second-largest school district for three years.

Superintendent Buettner Fender Musical Instruments Corp. to offer free guitars and lessons to middle school students. partnered with. He also partnered with animation studio Illumination to provide animation instruction to high school students, and Dr. To launch a new high school focused on entrepreneurship. Also worked with Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

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Buettner left LAUSD in 2021, but those ties have carried over to the ballot measure campaign. Buettner is the largest single contributor to the effort, spending $4.3 million. Fender put in another $1.2 million, and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri gave $25,000. (Penske Media Corporation, parent company Diversity$100,000 has also been contributed.)

The California Teachers Association is also a $2.6 million supporter. Other major donors include Barbra Streisand, Comcast and Steve Ballmer.

More money was spent on signature gatherers to qualify the measure for the ballot. Since then, the campaign has relied heavily on its celebrity endorsers to generate “earned” media. SAG-AFTRA will hold a last-minute “real rally” on Monday to help secure a “yes” vote.

“This is a really feel-good story,” Buettner said. “Who can resist art and music? If you don’t raise taxes no one can. We have to accept it. “


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