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Seattle Voters' Guide  

Statement For Proposition 1


Seattle’s neighborhood and downtown libraries are a treasured resource for all of us. We must keep them, open, accessible and maintain our world class collection of materials—from archives to e-books, children’s collections to computers.

The recession, compounded by caps on revenue following Eyman tax cut initiatives, have resulted in real cuts to library hours and services. With more cuts on the horizon, we have the opportunity to step up and make an investment in our libraries with a YES vote on Seattle Proposition 1.


All of us should have access to what the Library can offer. The Seattle Public Library system is the one public institution that is open to all people regardless of age, economic status, or social class. We can’t allow branches to close or hours to be cut. Staffing levels, maintenance, collections or technology upgrades should not fall behind more than they already have.

Without this Levy, the ability of our libraries to serve every neighborhood is in jeopardy. Another year of budget cuts could mean cuts equal to closing five branch libraries—at a time when more and more people are using our libraries.

Our libraries are an increasingly important destination for kids. With statewide education cuts and tighter funding at Seattle Schools, our libraries are needed as a safe, nurturing place to study, do school related research, or receive extra tutoring after school. Without this levy, cuts in hours and technology threaten access and services Seattle kids deserve.


We must maintain the whole system. In 1998, voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that funded construction of the new Downtown Main Library, four new branches, and renovated all existing Library branches. These levy funds will protect and maintain one of the finest library systems in the country.

With your vote, these funds will be put to immediate, positive use. The current policy of shutting down the entire system for one week each summer will end; hours would be added to branch libraries; and, all 26 branches and the main Library downtown will be open on Sundays.

Neighborhood libraries are a critical part of our quality of life, providing study space, meeting facilities, materials for personal and professional growth, and educational programs that build great communities.

Please join leaders and organizations throughout Seattle in support of our Libraries!

Norm Rice, former Mayor;
Eric Liu, education leader and past Library Board President;
Virginia Anderson, former Seattle Center Director

Contact Information:
PO Box 21681, Seattle, WA 98111

Rebuttal to Statement
For Proposition 1

No to this tax increase. Yes to higher priority from regular funds.

To force another tax increase, the Mayor and City Council are cutting Library funding. We must reject the scare tactics and insist that the Library get more in the regular budget. The City collects almost $1 billion/year in regular revenue. It can afford to fully fund the Library, one of its smallest departments.

The Library needs full, regular funding, not this levy which moves it away from financial stability. The levy ordinance is temporary and lacks accountability. It doesn’t require increased hours, or even exclude reduced hours or closed branches. It frees the Mayor and Council to divert the Library’s regular funds to other uses.

Stop the game-playing. Let’s get started on a real solution to this manufactured crisis. Our Library is too important not to fund it fully from the regular budget.

Rick Barrett (campaigner for the Libraries for All bond issue; library cardholder since 1938)
Suzie Burke (business owner and resident; 10 library cards in the family)
Chris Leman (Treasurer, Seattle Community Council Federation)

Positions listed for identification purposes only.

Contact Information:

Not Submitted


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