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As expected, Mayor Sanders has proposed massive budget cuts in the face of the city's looming financial shortfall. While I undoubtedly agree with the Mayor that San Diegans must be willing to tighten our collective belts, I disagree with any budget cuts that take police off the streets, firefighters off the clock, and shutter numerous branches of a pillar of San Diego's cultural community, the library.

Being well versed in civic affairs, I am confident that both the Police and Fire unions will put up an aggressive fight regarding their individual budget cuts. Unfortunately, the libraries and rec centers that are facing closure don't have the power of a large union behind them - just the common folk who use them and the employees that operate them.

In the wake of this economic downturn, I have noted an increase in traffic at our OB branch of the San Diego City library. As working class people tighten their belts and close their wallets, the library has provided us with a universal media outlet for books, movies, and music - as well as internet access for those who do not subscribe to a monthly service.

On more than one occasion, I have waited on a long line of people for the doors to open. The closing of 7 branches of the library will severely limit the ability of average folk to access cultural materials for personal use - and in OB, I believe that even though we may not require a large facility, we are entitled to this service all the same. Most importantly, this will prevent parents who cannot afford to buy books important to the development of reading skills in their children from improving their childrens' comprehension. It is widely accepted that public libraries are essential as a supplement to public education in order for children to improve reading skills and comprehension - as well as instilling a respect and love for books that in today's technological society is severely lacking.

In response to this appalling development, I have secured a meeting space to discuss further actions and possible responses to this issue for Tuesday night of next week in Ocean Beach. If you are interested in joining me or would like to offer your support in this effort, please contact me using the Reader's message function and I will respond with my full contact information so we can coordinate activities.

UPDATE: A rally is being planned in front of the OB library for Saturday, November 15th @ NOON. Visit http://obrag.org/?p=1847 for more information!

In the meantime, assume the worst - with libraries and rec centers gone, what kind of message will we be sending children?

Comments
1

While you still have the chance, "harvest" those political signs still blighting your neighborhood, turn them inside out, and write your own message.

The Grantville Action Group is doing it:

For a city to thrive it needs culture and civic engagement more than the passing spectacle of professional sports.

Why does the city give tens of millions to the Chargers and Padres in times like these?

Keep up your fight for equity.

Best,

Fred Williams

Nov. 12, 2008

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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