Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools will host two campaign kickoffs Monday, Jan. 7 in Pierce and Thurston county for community members to grab swag, rally up and get educated on February’s ballot.
The citizen support group will host the two kickoffs at the Yelm Community Center and Varsity Pizza in McKenna at 6 p.m. with hopes of passing a $98.9 million bond during a February special election. The bond would rebuild Yelm Middle School and Southworth Elementary, as well as provide district-wide security upgrades. The proposition would need a 60 percent supermajority in order to pass.
If passed, the state is set to contribute about $13 million to Yelm Middle School’s replacement and about $10 million toward Southworth’s replacement, according to district documents.
Last year, the citizen group held only one kickoff, which was at the Prairie Hotel. This year, they’re looking past county lines.
Andrew Kollar, campaign manager, said hosting an additional kickoff in McKenna is a way to get the community more involved and well informed.
“I don’t know where the disconnect lies, but I know there is one,” Kollar said, regarding who can vote on the proposition. “People don’t necessarily know what they can and can’t vote for, so they don’t even know if they can be expecting a ballot in the mail.”
Kollar said he hopes the additional event will dispel this confusion. Another goal is to make voters in Pierce County feel more involved.
“We’ll have every resource there,” Kollar said. “Really, anything people should need should be there — that’s our goal.”
Teri Pablo, communications director for Yelm Community Schools, and fellow school board members will be in attendance at Varsity Pizza. Sandra Manwiller, co-chair of the group, and Superintendent Brian Wharton will speak at the Yelm kickoff, Kollar said.
Free snacks, refreshments and swag, such as signs and buttons, will be available to attendees. Kollar said Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools has ordered hundreds of stickers and buttons, and have close to 350 yard signs to distribute.
The group will also premiere a new campaign video to get the community eager for the campaigning season. Kollar said, apart from face-to-face campaigning, media has been an important platform for the campaign.
Campaigners will hit doorsteps Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, and there will also be opportunities for the public to phonebank. People who miss the kickoff can sign up for doorbell and phone campaigning through the citizens support website, Kollar said, and also submit donations.