A couple things to know about Nick Hanauer:
- According to Celebritynetworth.com, he’s worth $1 billion.
- According to Wikipedia, he lives in Shoreline, a city just north of Seattle.
From Seattle Times: In his State of the City address, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced last week he would ask voters to approve a $275 million property-tax levy to combat homelessness. Murray cast the plan as his own, saying the city must double its homeless spending. Superwealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, Murray explained, would help draw up the details.
Why Hanauer? The venture capitalist says his Seattle-based think tank brought the idea to Murray and has been working on it for the last year. “We just decided we were going to do something, and no one can stop that. And once that bus leaves the station, people can get on or get run over,” Hanauer said in an interview.
In recent years, Hanauer has backed winning campaigns to increase the state’s minimum wage and expand background-check requirements for gun buyers.
Now he has set his sights on helping the thousands of people who are struggling to survive on the streets of Seattle. “We came to the mayor and said, ‘We are throwing down on homelessness,’ ” he said. “We said, ‘We are going to take something big to the ballot.’ ”
The mayor was receptive, said Hanauer, who called the project a collaboration between his organization and City Hall. “Mayor Murray is a friend of mine, and it’s all connected,” Hanauer said. “This is not a secret plot. It’s a group of citizen activists and leaders thinking about what to do.”
The plan is to qualify the levy for the August ballot as a citizens’ initiative rather than as a city proposition by the mayor and council. The campaign would need to collect at least 20,638 valid voter signatures to do that. The measure would raise $275 million in property taxes over five years.
Hanauer says he’ll bankroll the levy campaign. “The thing that makes our contribution great is I can throw down and say I’m going to run an initiative. I can go all out,” he said.
“I’m going to donate enough money to that campaign to make sure that we would win. It’s so far below the amount of money that I care about that,” Hanauer added. “It’s not a statewide campaign, so it’s not going to cost $10 million.”
Read the rest of the story here.