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. One of the most visible accomplishments of the Forward Thrust levy was the eventual building of the Kingdome, ultimately the first home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners.
The initiatives were variously under the aegis of METRO (the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle), King County, and the city of Seattle. (METRO and King County merged in 1992.) The Forward Thrust Committee was founded by James R. Ellis and effectively disbanded shortly after the 1970 defeats. It disbanded formally in 1974. Seattle Mayor Dorm Braman was also a strong backer of the 1968 initiatives.
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.
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 Magnuson if local bonds passed went instead to fund Atlanta, Georgia's MARTA.
The elections took place February 13, 1968, and May 19, 1970. Each initiative required a 60% supermajority to pass. The results were as follows; bold typeface indicates successful propositions:
|Yes||% Yes||No||% No||Result|
|1968||METRO Proposition 1: Rapid Transit||$385M local +
|1968||METRO Proposition 2: Transit System Administration||N/A||Metro Council
|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)
|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
|1970||(Storm water control)||$80M||Failed|
|1970||(New community centers)||Failed|
|1970||(New county jails)||$40.2M||Failed|
- 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.
- 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.
- Preliminary Guide to the Forward Thrust Records 1966-1970, University of Washington Library. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
- Jones, Nard (1972), Seattle, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, p. 228, ISBN 0-385-01875-4
- 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.
- Preliminary Guide to the Forward Thrust Records 1966-1970, University of Washington Library