It’s Not “Our” Convention Center, it’s “Our” Convention Center

The battles over the expansion of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center have begun, with opening salvos here and here. I don’t want to split hairs or sound like a spin doctor, but it’s noteworthy that both articles refer to it as “Seattle’s convention center.” It’s the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, which isn’t just a clever name; it means that it both for the use of the entire state and subject to the oversight of the state government. It’s an important distinction for our state’s political debate, which often gets into a “I don’t want to spend my tax dollars to benefit you” discussion, even when we’re all obviously interrelated and a rising tide lifts all boats.

By the way, the Seattle Times article lists uses the fact that the convention center has shown an operating profit as one of the reasons not to support this proposal!

“But the convention center’s track record — and the struggles of convention centers elsewhere — raises questions about the wisdom of expansion[….]The latest expansion plan was hatched after the state Legislature, in a little-noticed move last year, snatched up a $65 million surplus that had accumulated in the convention center’s accounts.”

Since when is responsible budgeting and saving a reason not to invest in something!?!?

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