Prop. 28 Poised to Pass With Entertainment Industry Backing

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

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

Many artists and entertainment companies have supported the initiative, which was spearheaded by Austin Beutner, former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“We are in a very good position,” Beutner said in an interview. “People see the benefits of providing arts and music education without raising taxes for anyone.”

About $600 million has been spent this cycle by various gaming interests on Propositions 26 and 27, which would have legalized sports betting in California. (Both measures appear likely to fail, according to a USC poll.)

Meanwhile, the campaign to pass Prop. 28 was mediocre, earning only $10.7 million.

Universal Music Group has supported the move with a $25,000 donation and has also supported it planted the “Yes on 28” banner atop the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood. Live Nation Worldwide has also donated $10,000, while running digital ads for the program at music concerts.

Also Read :  Entertainment near Tech housing – Technique

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

Supporters of the measure argue that only 1 in 5 schools in the state has a full-time art or music program and that such programs should be spread more evenly. Beutner says that the initiative will help in particular in improving the diversity of 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 planned opposition to the measure, but some critics — such as the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune — say the measure will tie lawmakers’ hands in any future budget crisis.

Also Read :  Harvey Weinstein's 'deformed' privates scrutinized in LA rape trial

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

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

As a manager, Beutner collaborated with Fender Musical Instruments Corp. providing free guitar and lessons to high school students. He also worked with Illumination, an animation studio, providing animation instruction to high school students, and with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to launch a new high school focused on entrepreneurship.

Also Read :  A fan-favorite book and animated characters come to the screen this holiday season | Movies

Beutner resigned from LAUSD in 2021, but the relationship has continued into the ballot measure campaign. Beutner is the largest contributor to the effort, putting in $4.3 million. Fender has put up another $1.2 million, with Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination, giving $25,000. (Penske Media Corporation, parent company of Differenthas also contributed $100,000.)

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

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

“This is a fun story,” Beutner said. “Who can be against art and music? No one can, if you do not raise taxes. We should pass it with praise.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button