Library defender runs for City Council in Troy, MI

Neil sez,
You may remember 2 months back when the Troy, Michigan Public Library faced closure due to declining revenue. It was particularly sad given that this libary only recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary. It is home to some amazing letters from some of the most prominent authors and people of the day when it opened in 1971 thanks to a very intrepid children's librarian named Marguerite Hart.

Residents of Troy sprang into action to ensure that no effort be spared to prevent the library from closing. This included reaching out on line to rally library lovers throughout the world. Thanks to Cory, and our friends at Boing Boing, we raised almost 3 times our goal of $1200. This meant not only could we pay for our last mailing but we could afford a small TV buy for our existing web video. We won in no small part thanks to you!

Now our city faces a new challenge. Half of the City Council is up for election, and no sitting members are running. To make matters worse the forces who worked against our compromise solution to keep the library open and funded, have a slate of candidates who are determined to undermine our recent victory.

So I decided I couldn't stand by and watch these people undo our hard work. Now I am asking my fellow happy mutants / hacktivists to lend my campaign a hand. I face a unique challenge because unlike a library which people have an emotional connection, I am just a person, and not nearly as creative as Sean Teavis. Can you please donate $5 or $10 or whatever you can afford and help pay for my big absentee mailer that goes out next week. My goal for the day is $2,700. I already have the first 10%, can you give what you can give so that my indicator may advance?

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  1. Here’s an appalling thought. Can you imagine the resistance you’d get if you had the idea of starting public libraries today?

    1. Yes, I can only imagine.  Benjamin Franklin, what a socialist.  What does he know about America? 

      Next thing we know he will suggest that we pool resources together to fight fires as a community.  What a jerk!

    1. Thanks, Dale.  I hope I inspire you to get more involved.  The reality is we have the system we have because it is the one that is wanted by the people who work the hardest and spend the most money.

      It’s far the worst in the world except when you consider everything else in the world, to paraphrase Churchill.

    1. Thank you very much, eaddict.  If everyone did what you did, I am pretty sure my fund raising would be done.  Thanks again for your support.

  2. I made it out to the last vote to save the library. It can’t be understated how nice this library is, and hopefully it manages to pull through this battle. There are some groups that are highly motivated to see it disappear. Which is sad because Troy isn’t super rich in culture otherwise.

    1. Thanks for making it out the last time, Daniel.  I hope you vote again this November.

      Back in 1955 when Troy became a city, it was pretty controversial, many wanted to stay a township to keep the taxes lower.  I would say that history has shown the value incorporating, but I believe the people who were against the City in 1955 are more or less the same people who are motivated to see the city shrink and maybe even die today.  Or at least their ideological inheritors.

    1. That is awesome, wrescksdart.  I greatly appreciate your support.  You guys are a great antidote for the cynicism in the world.

  3. Dear Happy Mutants,

    Thank you all so much for your support!  Together so far we raised almost $600.  I cannot thank you enough for your donations, sharing, and comments.

    Running for office even at the local level is not easy, but it is incredibly rewarding when people support you like you have me.  The sacrifice you have made in my name shall be put to great use.  I am going to work my butt off to ensure I do everything I can to win.

    Tomorrow I will be knocking on doors for at least 4 hours, and at least that much on Sunday.  If I want to win I need to be knocking doors at least 10 hours a week in addition to all the other campaign work.  This is on top of raising 3 kids, my day job, and coaching my 8 year old son’s soccer team, and last but not least being a good husband.

    My point is that your support makes it that much easier for me to keep working late nights, easier to keep knocking on doors, and to easier to keep fighting the good fight, as I see it.  I encourage you all to think about your level of political involvement.  The system is only as good as the people who are running it.  You don’t need to run for office, although I think everyone should try to be a precinct delegate, it is the most powerful position in the U.S. that you have never heard of (most likely).

    Show up to a local party meeting, be it Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian etc.  I think you will be surprised when they get there.  At that level the leadership is almost always just volunteers, and the members don’t all think that their party cannot do wrong, in fact many are there because of what they think the party is doing wrong.  My eyes were certainly opened up in the process.

    The bad news is, to quote Walt Kelly, we have met the enemy and he is us.  The good news is that is  something we can control.  So if you don’t mind a touch of advice: do what you can when you can, and you will sleep well at night knowing you did what you could.  I do at least.  Once again, thank you so very much for all your support so far.  9 more hours to go, can you help me get over $1,000?

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