Spokane Mayor Mary Verner’s budget proposes the closure of the East Side branch library and layoff of library employees to save approximately $285,000. They can’t threaten a strike, which police and fire unions might do. (Have you seen the Police Guild’s ominous billboards?)
East Side is in the poorest area of Spokane, making it difficult for children to travel to other libraries, which are an intangible investment. The children of today will be tomorrow’s adults. It’s vital to have kids interested in reading, working with our excellent librarians to do research and learning about computers.
I challenge our local leaders to find a solution. These children should not suffer because of their parents’ economic plight. Chris Marr and Michael Baumgartner each raised over $500,000 for their state Senate race for a $44,000 job. Let’s ask them and other astute politicians to raise the necessary funds. I’ll donate $250.
If you’ve never been to our libraries, visit them. You’ll be surprised at the number of enthusiastic children using them. East Side is worth saving.