Forward Thrust

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The Forward Thrust ballot initiatives were a series of bond propositions put to the voters of King County, Washington in 1968 and 1970, designed by a group called the Forward Thrust Committee. Seven of the twelve propositions in 1968 were successful; four of the remaining propositions were repackaged for a vote in 1970, when they were defeated in the darkening local economic climate of the Boeing Bust.[1][2]

The initiatives were variously under the aegis of METRO (the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle), King County, and the city of Seattle.[1] (METRO and King County merged in 1992; see King County Metro.) The Forward Thrust Committee was founded by James R. Ellis[1] and effectively disbanded shortly after the 1970 defeats.[2] It disbanded formally in 1974.[3] Seattle Mayor Dorm Braman was also a strong backer of the 1968 initiatives.[1]

The US$118 million passed in 1968 in support of the Department of Parks and Recreation was, at the time, the largest parks and recreation bond issue ever passed in the United States.[4]

The failure of the rapid transit propositions meant that a nearly $900 million federal funding earmark that had been secured by U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson if local bonds passed went instead to fund Atlanta, Georgia's MARTA.[2]

Results[edit]

The elections took place February 13, 1968[1] and May 19, 1970.[2] Each initiative required a 60% supermajority to pass.[1][2] The results were as follows; bold typeface indicates successful propositions:

Year Initiative US$ amount
(millions)
Yes % Yes No % No Result
1968 METRO Proposition 1: Rapid Transit $385M local +
$765M federal
97,339 50.8% 94,187 49.2% Failed
1968 METRO Proposition 2: Transit System Administration N/A Metro Council
75,808
46.8% New Commission
86,202
53.2% Voided by failure of Metro Prop. 1
1968 County Proposition 1: Youth Service Center $6.1M 174,749 72.4% 66,594 27.6% Passed
1968 County Proposition 2: Multipurpose Stadium $40M 151,489 62.3% 91,499 37.7% Passed, resulted in the Kingdome
1968 County Proposition 3: Community Centers $26.2M 136,804 58.7% 96,129 41.3% Failed
1968 County Proposition 4: Arterial Highways $81.6M 147,379 62.2% 89,489 37.8% Passed
1968 County Proposition 5: Storm Water Drainage $68M 139,254 59.3% 95,373 40.7% Failed
1968 County Proposition 6: Parks & Recreation
(including Seattle Aquarium)
$118M 157,323 64.7% 85,790 35.3% Passed
1968 Seattle Proposition 1: Neighborhood Improvements $12M 74,915 60.8% 48,259 39.2% Passed
1968 Seattle Proposition 2: Sewer Bonds $70M 74,852 62.6% 44,596 37.4% Passed
1968 Seattle Proposition 3: Low Income Housing $3M 69,089 57.9% 50,057 42.1% Failed
1968 Seattle Proposition 4: Fire Protection $6.2M 82,867 69.8% 35,758 30.2% Passed
1968 Seattle Proposition 5: Maintenance Shops $3M 66,061 57.6% 48,555 42.4% Failed
1970 (Rapid transit) $440M local
$881M federal[5]
  46%   54% Failed
1970 (Storm water control) $80M         Failed
1970 (New community centers)           Failed
1970 (New county jails) $40.2M         Failed

Sources:[1][2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Patrick McRoberts, King County voters on Forward Thrust bonds approve stadium and aquarium and nix transit on February 13, 1968, HistoryLink, January 1, 1999. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f HistoryLink Staff, Voters reject rail transit plan and three other Forward Thrust bond proposals on May 19, 1970, HistoryLink, September 19, 2002, corrected April 15, 2003. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
  3. ^ Preliminary Guide to the Forward Thrust Records 1966-1970, University of Washington Library. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
  4. ^ Jones, Nard (1972), Seattle, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, p. 228, ISBN 0-385-01875-4 
  5. ^ Estimated from somewhat confusing numbers in HistoryLink Staff, Voters reject rail transit plan and three other Forward Thrust bond proposals on May 19, 1970, HistoryLink, September 19, 2002, corrected April 15, 2003. Accessed online 19 July 2008.

External links[edit]