On Feb. 22nd, our elected officials began a civic process that will shape our city. The Seattle City Council announced their ambitious and action oriented 17 priorities for 2010 in the afternoon. Then, in the evening, Mayor McGinn commenced the first community engagement meeting on his Youth and Family Initiative. Citizen input from this and four other community engagement meetings will guide the development of Mayor McGinn’s important Youth and Family Initiative funding. The City Council will also be watching this input closely, so it will inform their actions as well!
The Youth and Families Initiative is a major initiative that will shape the Mayor’s agenda (and undoubtedly, funding) on issues affecting youth and families from a child’s birth to a successful career track. We need your help in letting the Mayor and the City Council know what an important role libraries play in helping youth and families.
We know that libraries offer foundational support for youth and families. Our young people depend on libraries for afterschool visits, study support, storytime, homework help, and afterschool computer access. The partnership between public libraries and schools is well documented, yet people might not think to mention what a critical role our libraries play in our community. For example, the online form for Youth and Family input doesn’t list full library access as a possible priority!
How can you help ensure that our libraries are recognized as priorities for the City and for the Youth and Family Initiative? Fill out the online form. In the answer to questions 1 and 2 please tell Mayor McGinn that free access (for all) to public educational support is critical and we need to restore library hours for children and families. Then, please bring your voice for our libraries to a Monday meeting in March. These meetings will not only determine how libraries are perceived, they’ll also influence how the City addresses challenges in the education system.
This is a city powered by community input. These meetings are stimulating and well attended. Speaking out for libraries, right now, will help the Seattle Public Library weather the likely mid-year budget adjustments and help its position in the 2011 budget. Supervised childcare is available at the meetings, and translators are available on-site. Please attend, and help us restore library hours for schools, families, and children.
These meetings start at 7 and end at 8:30 pm and are at:
For more on the Youth and Family Initiative, go to the Youth and Families homepage.
RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend or can help us rally support for libraries.