I’m an activist from Stockton, California with a passion for reopening our Fair Oaks Public Library.
The Fair Oaks Public Library located on the Eastside of Stockton, California has been the only library to serve this area of our town since 1983. According to 2010 Census Blocks Summary data, within a 1-mile radius of this library live approximately 15,000 residents with almost half living below the poverty level. A large majority are Latino families with school-aged children. Educational resources are essential for our community.
Our public library system suffered extreme loss of services after the recession and Stockton’s own bankruptcy. In 2010, it was decided to close the Fair Oaks Public Library in order to balance funding among the other three libraries in Stockton.
When the Fair Oaks Public Library closed, I thought surely someone would do something. I didn’t think it would remain closed. Unfortunately, since 2010, it has sat silent and boarded up. In the Summer of 2013, I read the building was up for sale. I was shocked! I couldn’t imagine it being anything else but a library for our community.
That’s when I had the “big idea” to reopen the Fair Oaks Public Library. I participated in projects working with many wonderful library and literacy supporters. Currently, I’m proud to be a member of the Strong Libraries = Strong Communities Steering Committee advocating for all of Stockton’s library and recreation services through the November 2016 ballot measure – Measure M “Yes On M”.
We want everyone to understand the importance of this measure and its impact on Stockton residents. Its proceeds will exclusively benefit our libraries and recreation services restoring critical services our community needs. This includes funding to reopen and sustain the Fair Oaks Public Library as well as our other libraries and recreation centers in Stockton. Measure M will support children’s storytimes that promote literacy, summer reading programs, and homework centers. It will provide science, technology, engineering and math programs critical to our children’s future success as well as recreation programs for youth and teens that we need to keep our kids safe and out of trouble.
Strong Libraries = Strong Communities is in need of your help. Your donation helps our grassroots organization reach voters and spread the word as to how this library and recreation measure will benefit all of us and the future of Stockton.
We’ve held successful fundraisers, Dinner In The Stacks I & II, as well as received several donations to help raise funds for the Measure M “Yes On M” campaign. However, we need your donation to help us push through to the November election. We still need to raise $64,000 (As of September 20, 2016, $36,000 is needed) as our busiest months are ahead! This September and October are crucial as we plan on phone banking and precinct walking to reach Stockton’s 300,000+ residents. Your donation will help us reach as many voters as possible urging them to vote “Yes On M” in order to restore our needed services.
I ask you send your donation today, conveniently online at http://www.stronglibrariesstrongcommunities.org/donate/