By Dr. Ed Taylor, Board Chair, Seattle Foundation, and David Bley, Interim CEO, Seattle Foundation
Driven by the strong conviction that early investment in our region’s children is a powerful step we can take to build a strong and vibrant community, Seattle Foundation’s Board has proudly endorsed the Best Starts for Kids Levy. This marks the second time the Foundation has endorsed Best Starts for Kids.
This August, King County voters will decide the future of the Best Starts for Kids Levy (BSK), a continuation of a levy originally adopted in 2015. BSK invests in nonprofit organizations working to ensure healthy pregnancies, positive development for children and youth, assistance for at-risk youth, quality child care services, and school and community-based programs to support kids as they grow into adulthood. We believe every child deserves a strong start and we can all help by voting ‘Yes’ on King County Proposition 1, Best Starts for Kids. As our region reels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the systemic inequities disproportionately affecting communities of color, it is time to renew these proven investments in King County’s kids to ensure we rebuild to a just society.
Best Starts for Kids was designed to improve the health and well-being of King County residents by investing in prevention and early intervention strategies for children, youth, families, and communities more broadly. Specifically, the renewal of the Best Starts for Kids Levy will allow our region to maintain and expand effective programs that put our children and youth on a path toward lifelong success. Investments include:
- Family supports from prenatal through age 5
- Strategies to prevent youth and family homelessness
- Investments in community-driven partnerships through Communities of Opportunity that address emotional growth, early engagement with youth, and racial and social equity priorities
Best Starts for Kids includes continued support of Communities of Opportunity (COO), a neighborhood-focused partnership between community nonprofits, Seattle Foundation, and King County that supports community-identified goals to increase equity — health, social, racial, and economic — across the county.
Seattle Foundation is honored to join many diverse community partners in our endorsement of BSK including: School’s Out Washington, Moms Rising, Washington State Nurses Association, Southeast Youth & Family Services, Kindering Center, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Open Doors for Multicultural Families, United Way of King County, and Latino Community Fund among others. The Seattle Times and South Seattle Emerald have also endorsed BSK.
We are grateful to all of our community partners and philanthropists that have already joined us in expressing their support of BSK. If you would like to learn more about Seattle Foundation’s consideration and action on these issues, please contact Sally Gillis, Managing Director, Strategy & Partnerships. If you are a fundholder with Seattle Foundation, you can always reach out to your philanthropic advisor. We hope you will join us in voting YES on Best Starts for Kids, KC Proposition 1, ensuring every child in King County has a strong start in life.
Ed Taylor, PhD
Chair, Board of Trustees