The Forward Thrust ballot initiatives
were a series of bond
propositions put to the voters of King County
in 1968 and 1970, designed by a group called the Forward Thrust Committee. Seven of the twelve propositions in 1968 were successful; four of the remaining propositions were repackaged for a vote in 1970, when they were defeated in the darkening local economic climate of the
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King County voters on Forward Thrust bonds approve stadium and aquarium and nix transit on February 13, 1968
HistoryLink, January 1, 1999. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
Voters reject rail transit plan and three other Forward Thrust bond proposals on May 19, 1970
HistoryLink, September 19, 2002, corrected April 15, 2003. Accessed online 19 July 2008.
One of the most visible accomplishments of the Forward Thrust levy was the eventual building of the Kingdome, ultimately the first home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners.
The initiatives were variously under the aegis of METRO (the Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of King County, Washington, King County, Washington (state), Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the largest city in bo ...
), King County, and the city of Seattle.
(METRO and King County merged in 1992.) The Forward Thrust Committee was founded by James R. Ellis
and effectively disbanded shortly after the 1970 defeats.
It disbanded formally in 1974. Seattle Mayor Dorm Braman
was also a strong backer of the 1968 initiatives.
The US$118 million passed in 1968 in support of the Department of Parks and Recreation was, at the time, the largest parks and recreation bond issue ever passed in the United States.
The failure of the
Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail or metro, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. A rapid transit system that primarily or traditionally runs below the surface may be c ...
propositions meant that a nearly $900 million federal funding earmark
that had been secured by U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson
if local bonds passed went instead to fund
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The elections took place February 13, 1968,
and May 19, 1970.
Each initiative required a 60%
A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority. Supermajority ru ...
The results were as follows; bold typeface indicates successful propositions:
King County Metro
King County Metro, officially the King County Metro Transit Department and often shortened to Metro, is the public transit authority of King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle. It is the eighth-largest transit bus agency in t ...
Preliminary Guide to the Forward Thrust Records 1966-1970
University of Washington LibraryJuly 2019 archive.org snapshot
* https://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv52255/op%3Dfstyle.aspx?t=k&q=WAUForwardThrustSeattleWash1707.xml —
University of Washington
The University of Washington (UW, simply Washington, or informally U-Dub) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington.
Founded in 1861, Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in Seattle ...
archive (as of July 2022)
History of Seattle
Washington (state) elections
1968 Washington (state) ballot measures
1970 Washington (state) ballot measures