It’s been a long year – but do not let your fighting spirit escape you yet.
How did we get here?
It’s been nearly a year, and this photo still resonates –
When our Mayor said – and rather unwisely – “…The age of the library is ending,” and threatened to close nearly half of our library system and lay off over half of our library staff, it sparked a reaction that ultimately lead to this photo – an unprecedented event. A night that numerous elected officials and staffers had said it was the most impressive campaign put on by the people they had ever seen.
We had saved our libraries from devastation.
I didn’t think we could ever top that night.
Yet, by that summer, it seemed that the ball had just started rolling!
We had gained national attention for our efforts. Attention had come to Miami, putting pressure on our officials to solve the budget for next year. Over the next few months, there was a Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Future of MDPLS, and the founding of our political action committee, CALM.
Then, the founding of the Coalition to Save Our Libraries: an open, organized advocacy front led by the Friends of the Library.
The movement grew, and Resolutions were passed by HOAs, municipalities, communities and their organizations – from Homestead to Aventura -- supporting a budget that would maintain and enhance our Library service. Commissioner Suarez of District 7 became our champion, and the first to publicly declare that our Miami Dade County was worth a whole robust Library System.
Throughout that time, you, the people, petitioned in front of libraries and in community events, to spread awareness that our fight was not yet over. By July 15, nearly 5000 signed petitions were gathered to present to the Board of County Commissioners. And that day – hundreds – and I mean hundreds —of people gathered in County Hall to fight once more.
And I knew, last year’s September night, was truly bested -- bested by the overwhelming force that we, the people, had shown once again to our Board of County Commissioners.
While we did not gain a budget that would have restored the services from the drastic cuts from the past three years, we gained a millage cap that would sustain our services and maintain the status quo.
This fight is not yet over.
Commissioners finalize the 2014-2015 Budget on two final meetings, and next week, Thursdsay, September 4th, they will discuss our Libraries, with public input.
Do not let this effort fall to the wayside.
Come out once more and declare that our Library must remain whole! Each speaker has two minutes at the dais to address the commission, though you can approach and present as a group!
RSVP here and spread the word.
Thursday, September 4 @ 5:00PM
Commission Chambers, 2nd floor
Stephen P Clark Government Center
111 NW 1st St
Miami, FL 33130
Thank you for your continued effort.
Keep CALM and fight the good fight.
111 NW 1st St
Miami, FL 33130
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