Saturday, November 22, 2008


City Council to Vote December 1

Mayor Jerry Sanders is asking the San Diego City Council to close down seven public libraries in an attempt to balance the city budget. Estimates are this will save the city $1.7 million a year -- a fraction of the $43 million budget deficit the city is trying to close -- and it will severely impact many communities that rely on their branch libraries.

Though the mayor says the closures would be “temporary” for a year or two, his five-year budget plan assumes that the libraries would stay closed through the entire period. Indeed, his plan also calls for city departments to use the vacated library space for offices -- meaning the libraries would never reopen and the city’s invaluable library system would get smaller permanently.

In a period of dire economic crisis, and in a city that has given away millions to developers, sports-team owners and unaffordable worker pensions, San Diego needs not only to save money but to conserve the educational and cultural opportunities which libraries represent. The libraries targeted for closure are University Heights, Ocean Beach, University Community, Allied Gardens/Benjamin, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Clairemont and Mountain View/Beckworth.

The San Diego City Council will vote on the Mayor's budget plan on Monday, December 1 at 1 p.m. PLEASE e-mail or fax your City Councilmember to tell them not to allow the Mayor to balance the budget on the backs of libraries and the children and adults who need them! Submit comments online to, by mail to the officials listed below at 202 “C” Street, San Diego, CA 92101, or by phone, fax or e-mail to the addresses below:

Mayor: Jerry Sanders, (619) 236-6330,
City Councilmember, District 1: Scott Peters (Council president), (619) 236-6611,
City Councilmember, District 2: Kevin Faulconer, (619) 236-6622,
City Councilmember, District 3: Toni Atkins, (619) 236-6633,
City Councilmember, District 4: Tony Young, (619) 236-6644,
City Councilmember, District 5: Brian Maienschein, (619) 236-6655,
City Councilmember, District 6: Donna Frye, (619) 236-6616,
City Councilmember, District 7: Jim Madaffer (Council president pro tem), (619) 236-6677,
City Councilmember, District 8: Ben Hueso, (619) 236-6688,

The above photos were taken at a demonstration outside the University Heights library on Saturday, November 22, 2008 demanding that this and the other six targeted libraries be kept open.