Monday, October 22, 2012

Why I Support EveryLibrary

In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation. 
- Great Law of the Iroquois

As an undergraduate taking environmental studies classes, the notion put forth by the Iroquois that all decisions should be made in consideration of how they will impact the community seven generations down the road was an idea that quickly influenced my ideology. I first came across it in terms of making sustainable choices, but I feel that it is an idea that can be applied to a lot of choices - especially political ones. I think that is where my frustration with Presidential Elections comes from. They always seem short sighted. National conversations appear to focus on why problems aren't fixed right away (it's going to take more than four years to bounce back from the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression) instead of the long term effects of political decisions made by our leaders (I often feel that a president's greatest power is in appointing Supreme Court Justices - who serve for life).

In the spirit of thinking of generations to come, this election season I am really throwing my support behind a brand new Political Action Committee called EveryLibrary.

Founded by John Chrastka, EveryLibrary is a national organization with the mission of building financial and tactical support to ensure that local library initiatives pass at the ballot box.

EveryLibrary will not fund any candidate for office at any level of government, nor will it work on Capitol Hill or at the State Capitols. It is focused exclusively on helping the local library secure the funding it needs when there is a tax or referendum on the local ballot. Here is a list of libraries that are currently on the ballot.

EveryLibrary will :
  • Assist libraries in both the pre-filing and campaign stages of an initiative.
  • Provide strategic consulting services, voter segmentation advice, and assistance in developing ballot language.
  • Conduct feasibility studies and assist in setting up a local committee or PAC.
  • Develop a fundraising strategy for a local committee or PAC.
  • Train volunteers in voter education and get-out-the-vote techniques.
During the run of a campaign, EveryLibrary can:
  • Continue technical and capacity-building consultancy.
  • Provide direct financial support to the local committee or PAC in seed-stage or sustaining levels of support.
  • Conduct direct voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts.
EveryLibrary is currently attempting to raise $50,000 by election day. This money will be used to: (A) Fundraise nationally to transfer "seed money" to local ballot committees and PACs; (B) Hire great campaign consultants to make sure we do voter outreach and education right; and (C) Fund full time staff to keep the PAC engine growing for future success.

In an attempt to meet this goal, John Chrastka has challenged each state to raise $1,000 by November 6th. 

I decided to volunteer to help Oregon raise money for EveryLibrary, because I believe that ensuring that libraries stay open and operation is a solid step towards creating a sustainable future for future generations. 

So now I am asking you to also step up, in consideration for future libraries users, and throw in $5 or $10 or however much you are willing to give towards this excellent cause by donating here:

Leading up to November 7th - I know that we are facing what seem like enormous decisions on local and national ballots. But I am putting my faith into EveryLibrary, and I hope that you will too. 

If you would like to read more about EveryLibrary or follow along with its progress, here is a list of links worth following: