Talking Proposition 28 with Austin Beutner

Prop. 28 author - and bassist - Austin Beutner in high school

CAPITOL WEEKLY PODCAST: Today we look at Proposition 28, an Initiative on the November 8 Ballot that would guarantee substantial annual funding (+/- $1 billion per year) for Arts and Music programs in California schools, without raising taxes. If that sounds like it should be a popular idea, it is: Proponents say that the measure is polling above 70%. Perhaps most telling is the official opposition: There is none.

Proponents include the California Teachers Association, Fender Musical Instruments, actor Sylvester Stallone, and performers Dr. Dre and Katy Perry.

The Measure was authored by former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner who cites his own childhood experience in a school music program as a life-changing opportunity. Beutner learned cello in 5th grade, moved to string bass, then electric bass, ultimately playing in jazz and rock groups before going on to work in journalism, politics and finance, where he made more money than most rock stars ever will. Beutner is active in philanthropic circles, and has spent about $4 million in support of 28.

Beutner joined us for a wide-ranging conversation about the mechanics of Prop. 28, why he believes California needs this measure, playing cello in the upper MidWest, the Los Angeles mayor’s race, and Lizzo and the crystal flute. And, as usual, we tell you who had the Worst Week in CA Politics.

36: Why is Prop 28 needed?

2:54 Why is CA so lax on supporting the arts?

7:59 “Are you Ballot Box budgeting?”

10:54 Where do all the Art and Music teachers come from?

15:56 The support for the measure

18:22 Even Fender guitars supports Prop 28

19:11 Who is Austin Beutner’s favorite rock band?

21:50 Lizzo and the crystal flute

23:39 “Music is math”

27:33 Thoughts on the LA Mayor’s race?

30:50 Closing argument

37:27 #WWCA

41:06 LA Mayor’s race: endorsement watch

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