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On The Heels Of Opponent's Ads, Seattle-Backed Prop. 1B Launches Own TV Ads

Kyle Stokes
Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and current mayor Ed Murray attend a a press conference to promote the city-endorsed preschool pilot program in July. Rice is featured in a new campaign ad for the proposal.

The city-backed campaign to pass a preschool proposal on Seattle's November ballot has announced its first television advertising buy just a day after an opposing, union-backed campaign hit the airwaves with ads of its own.

Organizers for a campaign to pass Proposition 1B — a plan to hike property taxes to pay some low-income students preschool tuition — unveiled two TV spots Tuesday as part of a "six-figure," week-long ad buy. One of the ads features former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice.

Seattle voters will have to choose between the preschool measure and Proposition 1A, a proposal to create a training program for the city's childcare workers and immediately hike their minimum wage to $15 per hour. Voters can support one ballot measure or the other, but not both.

"Clearly, the challenge with this election is you've got two similarly-named measures with similar-sounding ballot language and voters have to choose between the two," said Sandeep Kaushik, a consultant to the pro-Prop. 1B campaign. "Our intent is to provide voters with the information they need to decide between two measures."

The union-backed Prop. 1A has enjoyed a lead in campaign fundraising, garnering nearly $1 million in contributions to date — nearly all of it from the American Federation of Teachers and Service Employees International labor unions. Prop. 1B has raised a little more than $265,000.

"It is likely that we will be outspent in this campaign," Kaushik said. "We have confidence that Seattle voters are smart and will do their homework."

Kyle Stokes covers the issues facing kids and the policies impacting Washington's schools for KPLU.