A California vote to inject $1 billion a year into art and music education is expected to pass in a broad majority, according to a poll released Friday.
The proposal, Proposition 28, leads by a margin of 69% to 31%, according to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute-USC Price California Issues Poll.
Many artists and entertainment groups have given their support to the plan, led by Austin Beutner, the former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“We are in a very good position,” Beutner said in an interview. “People see the need to provide arts and music education without raising taxes on anyone.”
Nearly $600 million was spent this round by various gaming interests on Propositions 26 and 27, which would allow sports betting in California. (These two jobs lead to victory, according to the USC poll.)
At this point, the effort to pass Prop. 28, earning just $10.7 million.
Universal Music Group supported the initiative with a $25,000 grant and also received buried a “Yes on 28” banner above the Capitol Records studio in Hollywood. Live Nation Worldwide also contributed $10,000, while rolling out digital ads for the act at the concerts.
Beutner has assembled a long list of celebrity supporters for the measure, including Christina Aguilera (who funded it), Bonnie Raitt, Jason Momoa, Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Issa Rae. Many of them used their social media to spread the word.
Proponents of the measure argue that only 1 in 5 schools in the state have a full-time arts or music program and that those programs should be promoted more equitably. Beutner argues that the act will go a long way toward improving diversity in the entertainment industry.
“This is one of the biggest drivers of change in entertainment,” he said. “That’s important.”
There was no opposition to the measure, but some critics — like the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune — argued that the measure would tie the hands of lawmakers in any future financial crisis.
“If Californians want art and music education to be a priority, they can start by electing school board members and lawmakers to make it a priority,” he wrote. paper, requiring a “no” option.
Beutner retired as co-CEO of Evercore Partners in 2008, following a car accident, and has since devoted himself to a variety of civic activities. He worked as a top deputy for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ran a brief campaign for mayor, served as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and led the second largest school district in nation for three years.
As CEO, Beutner joined forces with Fender Musical Instruments Corp. to provide free guitars and scholarships to middle school students. He has worked with Illumination, the animation studio, to provide animation training in high schools, and Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine start a new high school based business.
Beutner resigned from LAUSD in 2021, but those ties carried over into the election campaign. Beutner was the biggest contributor to the effort, putting in $4.3 million. Fender invested $ 1.2 million, while Chris Meledandri, the CEO of Illumination, contributed $ 25,000. (Penske Media Corporation, the parent company of differentalso contributed $100,000.)
The California Association of Teachers is also a supporter, investing $2.6 million. Other major donors include Barbra Streisand, Comcast and Steve Ballmer.
Most of the money is used to collect signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Since then, the campaign has relied heavily on its celebrity supporters to create “earned” media. SAG-AFTRA will hold a last-minute strike on Monday to help get the “yes” vote out.
“This is a great story,” Beutner said. “Who can resist art and music? No one can, unless you raise taxes. We should give thanks. “