VIDEO: The ballot measure seeking more green for greenspace

King County Elections will send your general-election ballot later this week. Though you’ve probably heard a lot about local and national Congressional races, as we noted here, your ballot will have a lot more to decide – including King County Proposition 1, which raises money for land conservation/acquisition by restoring an existing levy to the original rate that’s been reduced by various state actions. Five months after announcing it at White Center Heights Park, County Executive Dow Constantine returned there this morning with this area’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott (like Constantine, a West Seattleite) and other supporters from around the county to ask for a “yes” vote. Here’s our video:

In order, the speakers were:

-King County Councilmember Joe McDermott
Paul Winterstein from the Issaquah Alps Trails Club
-Executive Constantine, who stressed that the quest to preserve green space is “racing to keep up with population growth, racing to keep up with environmental changes”
-Sammamish Mayor & Former DNR wildland firefighter Kali Clark, whose observations about the relevance of land preservation to wildfire prevention were timely for obvious reasons
-King County Open Space Equity Cabinet member Sarneshea Evans, who observed that too many KC residents don’t live close to green space
-Zazueta Family Farm owner/farmer Guillermo Zazueta, who told the story of starting his organic permaculture farm earlier this year (Constantine had explained that the measure would preserve farmland as well as other types of green space)
-King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, who declared that Prop 1 is “incredibly affordable (and) incredibly meaningful”

As noted when the ballot measure was announced in May, it would add about $2 per month to the taxes of a median-priced King County home. Supporters say tens of thousands of acres of land have been identified for potential acquisition/preservation; we asked what percentage are in urban areas – here’s the written response from the campaign:

Of the 45,000 acres targeted for acquisition as part of the Land Conservation Initiative, 10% are for urban open space and regional trails.

Since 2016, 30% of LCI acquisition dollars (all sources) have been spent on urban greenspaces and regional trails.

Since 2020, 25% of Conservation Futures funding has been awarded to match waiver projects in opportunity areas (those projects meeting specific criteria for need)

Read a summary and/or the full text of Prop 1, as well as statements for/against, by going here. Once you get your ballot, you’ll have until November 8th to vote and turn it in.

4 Replies to "VIDEO: The ballot measure seeking more green for greenspace"

  • Frustrating October 18, 2022 (6:15 am)

    Am voting NoToo much money going to the wrong places

  • Canton October 19, 2022 (10:30 am)

    According to Water Land Resources Department, King County already controls/owns 61.2% of the land in King County!  That’s right, government already controls almost two-thirds of the land, yet they want more.  Not long ago, King County announced they didn’t have resources to empty trash in the parks, yet they want even more land they admit they do not have the resources to maintain.The county already has a conservation futures fund that collected $61,700,000 over the last 3 years.  Never satisfied, they now want you to pay even more.  Existing land use laws severely limit rural growth.  These properties are already largely open to provide environmental benefits to everyone.  Only private property owners have incentive to maintain/improve their own property.  If everybody owns the property, then no one person is incentivized to maintain it, increasing the likelihood of fire, pollution, and squatting. More open space means fewer acres will be taxed, resulting in higher property tax for existing property owners.  Less private property will also translate to less housing. There needs to be a balance of land uses.  Open space is important, but enough is enough.  At 61.2% and growing, King County passed the balanced percentage a long time ago. Submitted by: Michael Fisette, Chuck Best,

  • Hone October 20, 2022 (4:08 pm)

    If Dow is truly interested in “preserving green spaces” how can he (and Joe for that matter) justify voting for Sound Transit’s WSBL Extension when  Sound Transit writes in their Draft Environmental Impact Statement that, “Long term impacts on the ecosystem are most likely irreversible….”  And that “these long term impacts would include permanent loss of habitat that is replaced with light rail facilities.”. Also, “vegetation and wildlife habitat within and 15 feet beyond the footprint of the guideway would be permanently converted from forested”.   

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