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Governor Schwarzenegger, SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

We have a crisis on our hands and we need your help. Due to budget cuts, all three libraries in the City of Salinas are due to close in the near future. The saddest irony of this situation is that Salinas was the home of the literary great and champion of the poor and downtrodden, John Steinbeck. In fact, one of the libraries scheduled for closure is named in his honor. Another one of the libraries is named after the great Cesar Chavez, and houses one of the state’s best Spanish-language collections.
While Salinas is a poor immigrant community, it is located within one of the wealthiest counties in California, and the libraries in those neighboring communities continue to serve the public. But good public libraries are MOST needed in the poorer communities—communities where people don’t have as much money to buy books, don’t have computers at home, and need safe places for their children to study. It would be a tremendous blight on our state if the Salinas libraries were to close their doors or dramatically cut their hours.

We also recognize that the crisis in Salinas is part of a larger crisis plaguing libraries throughout our state and nation, now that state and federal support for libraries has plummeted. According to the American Library Association, announced and projected library funding cuts have topped $111.2 million in the last 18 months, and libraries in almost every state in the nation are facing cuts of up to 50 percent.

Here in California, libraries from Humboldt County to Long Beach are dramatically cutting their hours; they’re spending on books and their staff. Meanwhile, California taxpayers have spent 26 billion dollars for the war in Iraq. Something is terribly wrong with our priorities where there is always money for war and prisons but not for our schools, libraries and other vital community services.

We ask you to take a leadership role in finding a long-term solution to keep the Salinas libraries open and to ensure a thriving public library system throughout the state.


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Re: Governor Schwarzenegger, SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!

The Salinas Action League

has this letter to Arnold posted on their website. It is good to see various organizations working together to save the salinas libraries.


La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
United Farm Workers of America
CodePink: Women for Peace
The Citizenship Project
Salinas Action League
Global Exchange

Endorsed by:

Monterey Bay Central Labor council
Save Salinas Libraries
MECHA, Hartnell College Chapter
American Muslim Voice
Proyecto Guerrero Azteca
Peninsula Democratic Club
Los Angeles Librarians Guild
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
Topanga Peace Alliance
Labor Committee for Peace and Justice
American Political Engagement and Empowerment Group
emocratic Women's Club of Monterey County
South Pasadena Neighbors for Peace & Justice
Not in Our Name

Re: Governor Schwarzenegger, SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!

Perhaps you should take a proposal to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors to fund libraries on a county-wide basis. Contra Costa County does this, so there are libraries in all areas of the county.

Re: Governor Schwarzenegger, SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!

Anyone who wants to save the Salinas libraries, should be donating their time and money to them.

Too busy with your own life to do so? Already taxed to death with nothing left to give?

So am I. So are a lot of people. So leave tax money out of this. The average American is already being taxed to death by 100,000 different tax-funded charities.

Charities like libraries in communities where most of us taxpayers don't even live.

We can't take it any more. I'm having a hard enough time just paying the IRS to support all your other charities that you won't donate your own time and money to.

Times are tough. There's a recession on, in case you hadn't heard.


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