Save Your NOLA Library Thanks Voters for Saving NOLA Libraries

New Orleans voters saved our public library system Saturday by overwhelmingly rejecting Proposition #2. In coming together to vote NO on Proposition #2, voters made clear that maintaining a healthy and well-funding public library system is a community priority.

The proposed millage readjustment would have cut 40% of the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) budget for the next 20 years, resulting in cuts in services, lost jobs, and branches closing. By voting prop #2 down, voters have ensured that our libraries will continue to offer the community a huge array of essential services, ranging from one-on-one computer help to health services, high school diploma programs to notary services. Voters preserved the NOPL’s ability to carry out its mission statement — “Transforming Lives, Enriching Neighborhoods, and Preserving History.”

The Save Your NOLA Library Coalition is proud to have led this fight. Our coalition composed of a diverse array of librarians, workers, parents, teachers, and concerned citizens, as well as groups including: AFSCME Council 17, Black to the Table, CompostNOW, Democratic Socialists of America New Orleans, Emergency Legal Responders, Erase the Board Coalition, Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, Greater New Orleans Archivists, Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, IATSE Local 478, Imagine Water Works, Jewish Voice for Peace NOLA, Louisiana AFL-CIO, New Orleans Mutual Aid Society, NO Waste NOLA, National Organization of Minority Architects Louisiana, New Orleans City Workers Organizing Committee (NOCWOC), NOLA to Angola, Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition, Rethink, Solidarity Tulane, Southern Solidarity, Sunrise NOLA, TAL NOLA, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1846, United Federation of College Teachers, United Teachers of New Orleans, UniteHERE Local 23, and VAYLA New Orleans. We won because our networks run NOLA deep.

Now that Proposition #2 has failed, the library’s existing funding remains in place through the end of 2021, giving us over a year to fight for a better millage for both our libraries and early childhood education. Here are the next steps:

  • Get a true library millage renewal on the ballot – one that fully funds the library.
  • Fight for robust dedicated funding for Early Childhood Education.
  • Resist austerity measures that impoverish our city, such as the ongoing furloughs of City Workers, the hiring freezes, and budget cuts across all City Departments.
  • Urge the City to collect corporate and industrial taxes that can equitably fund our city.
  • Amplify the campaign of City Workers to protect robust public services and public sector jobs.
  • Advocate for a People’s Budget that prioritizes what voters want and brings further transparency and voter input into the budgetary process.

Fund our libraries. Fund education. Thank you for voting NO on Proposition #2.

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