The LPs of Oakland and Wayne counties have joined forces to help defeat Proposal K. Proposal K is a half-mill property tax increase for ten years to support the "arts." The proposal is on the ballot in Oakland and Wayne counties only.
The two organizations are cooperating in raising funds, funding an advertising campaign, and issuing press releases. Although still early in the process, we hope the joint effort will yield great results.
Armenian-Americans in Wayne and Oakland counties should oppose Proposal K in the general election on November 5. Proposal K is also known as the "arts tax." It will levy a half mill tax on all property in Wayne and Oakland counties. This is similar to a tax proposal that was narrowly defeated in Oakland county 2 years ago and passed in Wayne county.
Last year, Armenian-Americans raised about $400,000 to subsidize the production of the opera, Anoush. Not only did the Armenian-American community benefit from the performance of this opera, but the entire opera community enjoyed seeing this seldom performed opera (after all, even opera buffs can get bored seeing Carmen and the Marriage of Figaro year after year).
With an estimated 20,000 Armenian-American households in Wayne and Oakland counties, a half-mill tax will generate $1,000,000 per year from Armenian-American households alone. One might think that with this kind of money, there would be 2 Armenian operas performed every year with money leftover to subsidize at least one other significant Armenian cultural event.
The question then becomes, "Who decides?" Who decides which operas will be performed? Who decides which art exhibits will be displayed? Who decides which museums will be supported? Who decides which dance troupes will be invited? This question is not only important to Armenian-Americans, but to people of other cultural groups as well -- Jews, Arabs, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and so forth. Not to mention other constituencies such as Christians, gays, etc. The list goes on and on.
I suspect that if Armenian-Americans want to see another Armenian opera performed, they will still need to raise another $400,000 even though they are already being taxed to the tune of $1,000,000 per year. Armenian-Americans just don't have the political clout to get this "arts tax" directed towards Armenian cultural events. Likewise with the other groups that have special interests and needs.
The cultural institutions in this area have thrived without this "arts tax." Businesses and well-to-do citizens have always generously funded these programs. If one individual found a particular piece of art distasteful, there were many others who might consider funding the project. With government being the major financial backing of art, the bureaucrats will soon have a stranglehold on the definition of "art." I shudder to think what art will look like when we have a committee of bureaucrats deciding who gets money and who doesn't.
Art is supposed to be representative of our society, not our politicians. The saying is, "Art Imitates Life," not "Art Imitates Politicians." Anybody who truly has an interest in the "arts" should oppose Proposal K. Art must not be determined by politicians, but by people.
Please vote NO on Proposal K, November 5.
Last Sunday, the Libertarian Executive Committee named myself, Greg Stempfle as the new newsletter editor for the Michigan Libertarian. I will be replacing Greg Dirasian, who stepped down earlier in the year. I plan on continuing with the same professional format currently being used. In each issue, published bi-monthly, I would like to include the following…
· Calendar of Events- A listing of state and affiliate meetings as well as upcoming events of libertarian interest.
· Affiliate News- What is going on across the state; meeting places affiliate contact information, etc…
· Current issues- Articles about issues in Michigan with a libertarian perspective. We have to make the newsletter interesting to non-members as well as members.
· Legislative Watch- An attempt to follow bills in the state legislature and ballot proposals of interest to libertarians.
· Letters to the Editor- I will not be shy about printing constructive criticism and the opinions of others.
· State and National News- What’s going on at the National and State level Libertarian Parties.
Please send articles or inquires to either email@example.com or Stempfle@hotmail.com. My phone number is 313-359-3240. Any assistance or publishable material is welcome. The LPM Online newsletter will also serve as a feeder for news and events. Look for the next Michigan Libertarian in early December. I will begin working on the issue after the election results come in and after I have had time to work with the software. A tentative deadline for submission will be November 16th.
Chair-LP of Wayne County
15th Disrtrict US Congressional Candidate
former newsletter editor for Wayne County
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