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Councilmember Juarez’s Committee Advances Library Levy

Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle), Chair of the Select Committee on the Library Levy, passed the library levy out of committee yesterday with her Council colleagues in a 7-0 vote. The library levy will go before the Full Council on Monday, April 22 during its regularly-scheduled meeting.

“Since 1890, the Seattle Public Library has served as the people’s
university. Our Library provides access to professional development courses and
tutoring, hosts speakers, and supports immigrants, veterans and our disabled
neighbors. The transparent and public process that established the programs and
services contained in this levy supports our Library’s mission to bring about a
more knowledgeable, stronger, and more democratic society,” said Councilmember
Juarez. “In the context of threats to school librarians across Washington
State, I am proud to say this Council is sending a levy package to voters that
protects and expands Seattle’s Public Library.”

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her
“Libraries for All” plan
on March 13, 2019. Durkan’s proposal included renewing the 2012
library levy and expanding it to $213 million over seven years. Her proposed
expansion included increasing library hours, eliminating overdue library fines,
and making needed seismic retrofits to existing libraries. The proposal would
not eliminate fees for lost or missing materials.

Council Bill 119491 was amended by
Council to add investments in addition to the Mayor’s proposal. They include
the following:

●     Expansion of Play and Learn 0-5 years old education

●     Additional open hours at 26 libraries

●     Expanded Community Resource Specialist program for youths

The 2012 library levy expires in 2019. The proposed library levy
spending plan will go before voters on the August 6 ballot.

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