Since its inception, The Seattle Public Library Foundation has advocated on behalf of the Library to ensure it has the public and private resources necessary to support our neighbors.
In 2021, those advocacy efforts increased substantially to educate the public and elected officials on the importance of libraries in President Biden’s Build Back Better Framework.
Guided by the Foundation’s Advocacy Committee and with support from donors and The Friends of The Seattle Public Library, the Foundation established a strategy to connect with policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
The results have been positive and include successful advocacy on the following
- Protecting the $5.8 million restorations in Mayor Durkan’s budget that fully restored all COVID-19-related funding and staffing cuts for SPL in 2021.
- Advocating for and securing an additional $434,000 from the General Fund to repair branches vandalized during pandemic branch closures. Councilmember Debora Juarez prompted research into the impacts of vandalism and Councilmember Tammy Morales supported the funding’s inclusion in the final budget.
- Supporting Councilmember Alex Pedersen’s amendment, which allocated an additional $99,000 to increase the number of WiFi Hotspots at SPL.
- Developing our first legislative framework to focus on three central bodies of policy work, including 1) Advocating for sustainable library funding, 2) Safeguarding and expanding access to opportunity and imagination, and 3) Creating a resilient library system. The Foundation shared this framework with municipal, state, and federal elected officials to build the case for library support.
The Foundation wishes to thank Mayor Durkan and members of the Seattle City Council, with additional gratitude to Councilmembers Juarez, Morales, and Pedersen, for their advocacy and support of library priorities this year.