“…when you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is the great equalizer.”
- Keith Richards
Why vote YES on Measure L?-–even though it means the dreaded ballot box budgeting, as the LA Times editorial board pointedout in their endorsement against the ballot measure. And even though it doesn’t specify what will be cut in its stead?
Because of what Keith said. The last line, in particular.
Our K-12 school budgets have been slashed. Adult education has been lacerated. Unemployment in LA County is still in double digits. Twenty percent of Californians said that there were times in the past year when they didn’t have enough money to buy their family enough food to eat.
But here’s the one thing this city cannot afford NOT to give its residents, even in these wallet-challenged times, and that is access to knowledge—on the page, online, on CD or DVD—all of which one can get at the public library.
Since the Los Angeles City Council couldn’t manage to preserve an adequate library budget, we must step in and do so.
Instead of protecting our libraries as sacrosanct, the council cut more than a quarter of the LA public library system’s budget forcing all of the city’s branches to close two days a week, shrinking the book acquisitions budget to $1.70 per capita, versus a national average of $4.20, and forcing a layoff of 28 percent of the LAPL staff.
But most of you know all this already. So simply vote for it. If Measure L wins, it will be a very, very good thing for all of us.
(Hey, the writers are for it, and the writers are right.)
We can talk about other issues tomorrow. But for today, vote for Measure L.
NOTE: If you’re trying to figure out what to do about the Community College Board seats, this excellent LA Times article will be of help. There are no endorsements, and I’ve not been following the race closely enough to make any endorsements myself except to say that in my district, I will not be voting for the incumbent. With the huge amount of wasted $$ recently uncovered by the Times in relation to the community college building projects, and the money spent on the election by longtime board members Mona Field and Miguel Santiago and their slate—much of that money coming from contractors—for me, anyway, it’s time for new blood. I’ll be voting for Oswaldo Lopez or Derrick Mims, likely Mims.
Since, I’ve gotten a slew of emails about this race, I thought you’d like to know.