Gone are the days of going door to door in support of your cause. Why go out in the cold winter rain when you can cover twice the ground in half the time sitting at your computer utilizing social media? This seems to be the logic of some Snoqualmie Valley parents.
This is the phenomenon sweeping Snoqualmie as the Feb 8th school bond vote looms near – and ballots arrive in mailboxes. The Facebook campaign touches on the law of averages. On average about 9,000 out of 22,000 registered valley voters actually vote on school bonds 60% super-majority passes this bond. That means if 5,400 people vote yes it passes. The goal of the “Pass It On” campaign is to get 6,000 yes voters to mail in their ballots.
The bulk of the $56 million bond would pay for a new middle school on Snoqualmie Ridge – on property the school district already owns. This parcel of land was part of the Quadrant mitigation agreement that developed Snoqualmie Ridge 13 years ago. A new middle school is absolutely necessary say district officials. The current Snoqualmie Middle School will become Mt. Si High School’s future freshman campus to meet increasing enrollment demands. After 3 failed bond attempts to build a second valley high school, the district is trying a different approach as enrollment swells at MSHS. They hope this much cheaper approach appeals to 60% of registered valley voters – the magic “super-majority” number needed to pass construction bonds in King County.
Regardless of the bond outcome, SMS will become a freshmen campus in 2013. If the bond fails, the overcrowding problem will not be solved. It will only be displaced to the middle school level – in the form of numerous portables at Chief Kanim and Twin Falls Middle Schools. The new school might be built on Snoqualmie Ridge – sometimes a sticking point for other valley voters – but the overcrowding issue impacts students valley-wide. As a bulk of Snoqualmie’s school-aged kids approach middle school many parents have jumped to support this year’s school bond – and are using Facebook to support their cause.
Historical voting data shows the bulk of the district’s biggest school bond supporters live on Snoqualmie Ridge. Ridge voters represents about 25 – 30% of registered Snoqualmie Valley voters. Historically this voting block overwhelming passes school bonds – with a voting record of 70-80% yes on previous bonds. Still, only about 50% of Ridge voters actually vote. The key to success may just be getting more Snoqualmie voters “up off the couch” and putting those ballots in the mail.
So with historical election data showing the 2005 school bond passing by 34 votes and the 2008 bond vote failing by 134 votes, there has been a call to action in the Snoqualmie community. The vehicle for that call to action? The power of Facebook. The message? Every Vote Counts. Get out and vote. Once you do vote, “Pass it On” Snoqualmie Valley.