Below is an email from Carolyn McIntyre, a MoveOn member in Brooklyn, who created a petition on SignOn.org, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition.
Dear Manhattan MoveOn member,
We are in a period of steadily increasing use of libraries by all sectors of New York’s population. Attendance is up 40% and circulations are up 59%.1 However, Mayor Bloomberg refuses to adequately fund our public libraries unless they sell off assets—including crown jewels of the system.
Bloomberg’s plan would eliminate irreplaceable and historic parts of our libraries:
It would eliminate the research stacks underneath the main 42nd Street library.
And it would demolish Brooklyn Heights’ art deco-style building, replacing 62,000 feet of library space with only 15,000 square feet of space in a developer’s high-rise.
These are just two examples of a scheme to shrink New York’s public library system, eliminating resources that communities depend on.
New York’s libraries, the lifeblood of our democracy, have contributed to making our city economically vital and a cultural powerhouse. We must not sacrifice them to shortsighted planning and the interests of powerful developers. We must demand protection for public libraries, the city’s trusted place to learn, grow, be inspired, and connect with great minds.
That’s why I created a petition on SignOn.org to key New York City decision makers, which says:
We demand that Mayor Bloomberg stop defunding New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth, and increased city wealth. Shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for the wealthy at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity is not only unjust, it is a shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.
1. “As Use of Libraries Grows, Government Support Has Eroded,” The New York Times, January 8, 2013.
This petition was created on SignOn.org, the progressive, nonprofit petition site. SignOn.org is sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, which is not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. Carolyn McIntyre didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.