Rally to Save the Library on Thursday

Press release from Taking Notice, Acting Together

Libraries are for EVERYONE and this is why we are rallying for our library! The rally is  a kick-off event for the launch of our PETITION: Sign Now To Save the La Crosse Library. The petition launches TODAY (Tuesday, June 23) and can be found at this link.

A socially distanced Rally to Save the Library will be held outside the Main Library on Thursday, June 25 at 6 p.m. Please wear a fabric face covering (mask) if you are able. If you wish to donate bottled water, individually wrapped snacks, or hand sanitizer, please email takingnoticeactingtogether@gmail.com to coordinate or join the Taking Notice, Acting Together! group on Facebook. While some sidewalk chalk will be provided, feel free to bring your own. As we chalk our support for the library, please see the American Library Association’s “Libraries Transform” campaign for messing inspiration at this link.

What are we hoping to achieve?

The rally is being organized by many folks, including members of The Free (formerly the local Justice for George Floyd group) and members of Taking Notice, Acting Together. We have the following requests:

  1. The Police Department must adopt and implement all 8 tenets of 8Can’tWait and all 10 resolutions of Campaign Zero. This is our primary aim. 
  2. We are asking that Police Chief Shawn Kudron make an overt, immediate, monetary commitment to racial justice by reallocating $150,000 of the Police Department budget to the La Crosse Public Library budget. We are requesting this voluntary reallocation because we need more than overtures about the department’s commitment to working hand in hand with trusted social service programs. This voluntary reallocation would make the budget cuts more equitable.Initial cuts to the police department were $100,000 or 0.85%. Initial cuts to the La Crosse Public Library were $525,000 or 10%. Upon voluntary reallocation, cuts would stand at $375,000 or 7% to the La Crosse Public Library and $250,000 or 2% to the Police Department. 
  3. We are also requesting that the La Crosse Common Council adopt the two resolutions identified in our petition (2021 Payback Resolution and 5% Budget Cut Threshold Resolution).

Why is restoring funding to the La Crosse Public Library such an important community issue?

The La Crosse Public Library is a critical resource for preserving and improving the educational, economic, and civic health of our community, especially during this time of dramatic change. It stands as a beacon of service that welcomes and reaches out to all La Crosse citizens, no matter their circumstances.

Given adequate funding, our library is poised to partner with community, business, and government organizations to assist in more effectively dealing with the challenges that our entire community faces as a result of the pandemic. Our library will continue to help put citizens back to work through critical services for job seekers. Our library will continue to support students, especially with the increased educational challenges of many learning from home. Our library will continue to be our guide as we navigate information overload. We cannot count on robust library services if we are unwilling to fully fund them.

What is Taking Notice, Acting Together?

The Taking Notice, Acting Together is a community group that is for anyone who wishes to help establish and maintain an ample and accessible infrastructure for citizen input at City Hall and beyond. We’re coming together to demand that our elected officials welcome us to our rightful place at the community table and equip us for effective participation in governance. All are welcome! We are establishing Collective Action Teams including a What’s Up City Hall team, a Run La Crosse team, a Grants team, and a Fair Budget 2021 team. Find out more on our Facebook page.

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