read-in continued at arnie's office
the papers have reported the read-in a 'victory' - because the save salinas libraries group (a coalition of business, organizations, and the mayor's office) who had a goal of raising $500,000 to keep the libraries open - saw their goal met & surpassed after the read-in!
we have advocated from the beginning, whereas contributions from the private sector is so touching & appreciated, this is NOT the way we want to fund our libraries. furthermore, it takes $3 million to keep the libraries running in salinas for a year - not $500,000. so what the papers are reporting to be a 'victory' is merely a silencing tactic - the libraries can remain open 7-8 hours per week for that measly amount of $$$$.
but today, we stood in front of the capitol building (at the north side really), and listened to community member after community member read at the open mike. most were children, reading from their favorite book. some spoke again passionately about needing the library - it was hear-wrenching.
we then went into the capitol to meet with various state legislators, ending with an attempt to meet w/the governor. barred from entry by security, we stood in the hallway in front of his office & held up the books we'd brought to read - books from libraries. security charged over, doubling their number in seconds - hostile to a bunch of young people holding books.
medea secured an appointment w/an aide to the governor at 3:00p.m. - the hour the bus was leaving for the 3+ hour trip back to salinas. the aide would only see 2 people at a time, so the bus riders went in first - those who drove or took the train went last.
the most inspiring result of this continuing part of the read-in is that for most of the salinas folks, this was the very first time they'd been to sacramento & certainly the first time they read on the steps of the capitol. everyone felt empowered & hopeful.
i only hope at the very least legislators have listened & will work to find the funds to keep our libraries open.