[Libs-Or] Fwd: [District Dispatch] URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Protect Library Funding in the Economic Stimulus Package

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 11:31:13 PST 2009

 URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Protect Library Funding in the Economic Stimulus
Package <http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1861> February 11th, 2009

Dear FLLAN members,

The next 36 to 48 hours is critical to get millions, maybe billions, of
dollars for libraries in the stimulus package.  We need every single library
supporter to start sending messages and calling congressional offices so
that we can keep important library provisions in the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  As you all know, libraries are a key source of
free Internet access to look for jobs and so much more.  Our libraries
provide essential services that stimulate our local economies, and the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 20009 provides crucial funding for
libraries to continue and build upon them.  *This week, the Senate and House
versions of the economic stimulus package will go to conference to reconcile
these pieces of legislation, and your calls and e-mails will help protect
this funding*.  There are pros and cons of each version of the stimulus, and
we need to protect the parts that benefit our communities.

In the coming days, you will receive a lot of e-mails from us, and your
advocacy will be the key to our success.   Last week, Senate Amendment 501
could have stripped broadband funding from their version of the bill but
your calls and e-mails to your elected officials defeated this amendment and
successfully protected this funding.  Now, more than ever, your activism is
needed. * Over 1,250 calls went to our elected officials, and now we need
even more.*

Please call your elected officials and tell them to communicate with the
conferees in support of the following parts in both the House and the Senate

   - Restore education construction funds eliminated from the Senate version
   of the ARRA. The House version of the ARRA would provide $14 billion for
   K-12 construction and $6 billion for higher education construction and
   specifically mention libraries as an allowable use of funds.  The K-12
   construction funds would create 300,000 jobs.
   - Restore the money cut from the State Stabilization Fund in the Senate
   bill to $79 billion to and restore the Governors ability to use a portion of
   the funds at his or her discretion.
   - Maintain $8 billion for 'Broadband Technology Opportunities Program'
   for robust broadband to all of America including "fiber to the libraries for
   the 21st century."
   - No less than $200 million that shall be available for competitive
   grants for expanding public computer center capacity, including community
   colleges and public libraries.
   - Open access of networks should be upheld and not include provisions
   allowing intrusive network management techniques.

If your elected officials are one of the following, it is even more critical
that you contact them, as they are conferees on this legislation and control
what stays in and what will be taken out.  Please contact the following and
use the same talking points:

Appropriations Chairman Obey (D-WI)
Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Commerce Chairman Waxman (D-CA)
Appropriations Ranking Member Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI)
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Appropriations Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Again, the only way our grassroots effort will be successful is with your
calls and e-mails.  Your efforts have resulted in a stay of implementation
on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and a defeat of the amendment
that would have cut broadband funding from the Senate version of the
economic stimulus act.  This is our most important ask yet; without your
calls, libraries will be left out of this legislation.

Kristin Murphy, Government Relations Specialist
Office of Government
kmurphy at alawash.org <%20kmurphy at alawash.org>

Diedre Conkling
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027, Newport, OR 97365
diedre08 at gmail.com
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