I would like to know what your office is doing to stop the closure of FOURTEEN of Oakland's 18 libraries. If the state of California has reached the point where we can't even have libraries, what is sacred? Surely they cost much less than schools, and are an equally necessary resource to our youth. Can you deny this?
Is there nothing sacred? Honestly, I would rather give up mandatory schooling than libraries. They are the sort of thing that is expected in a functioning democracy. Do we no longer have a functioning democracy? If I were in your position, and the governor put forth such a ludicrous idea, I would demand that the budget be posted publicly so that we could see for ourselves why this is truly necessary. I understand that we are facing hard times (due to the tremendous money hole in Iraq, let's not pretend spending sixty percent of the budget on defense is not an issue here!) but if we can't even afford to have LIBRARIES what is the point? What have we come to? Are we on the absolute precipice of disaster? It would seem so to me if we cannot afford to keep a few librarians and a security guard around so that thousands of people can have access to books.
Moreover, what nonsense is this, that among the 14/18 libraries slated for closure, among them is the Tool Lending library?! When I am speaking of the greatness of California and telling my friends why they should move here, the Tool Library is just such an example that I share with them. If we destroy everything that makes us great, why will people want to move here? Imagine how many projects every single year will be thwarted by the loss of this amazing community resource. Think of all the homes that won't be renovated, decreasing the value of Oakland's properties. All the school parks that won't get new benches built. All the amazing large-scale art projects–something Oakland is known for!–that will live only in the artists minds.
I urge you to do everything within your power to fight the closure of these libraries. I am not a politician, and I do not feel powerful, but I will do everything in my power to stop this.
By the way, I will be posting this email on my blogs. I hope your response will quell not only my own wrath, but that of my readers.Sincerely,