Just an update to keep everyone abreast of the issues. A group of us went down to City Hall today to speak to City Council members directly. For the most part we spoke to staff people who said they would pass on our messages to Council members. While no one council member outright agreed to sign on to the lawsuit being filed by Irv Ackelsberg tomorrow, there is some news to share.
First, the email and phone blasts everyone did to friends and family worked. In many of the offices, staff mentioned that phone calls were coming in all morning about the libraries. Kudos to all who spread the word!
Second, Councilman Green and his staff are working on finding an appropriate way to fit into either the lawsuit already mentioned or a parallel lawsuit that will be filed very soon.
Third, the press conference by the Black Clergy was canceled this afternoon at 1pm, but the rally at 56th and Girard still took place. Mayor Nutter, many members of the Black Clergy and several community members and representatives of library branches and the Friends of the Free Library were in attendance. Several members of the Black Clergy spoke up against the mayor in direct disagreement with his plan to close 11 of Philadelphia's public libraries. Amy Dougherty of the Friends of the Free Library also spoke on the common message of shared sacrifice that all seemed to have tonight. Councilman Bill Green blew us away with a well-researched talk summarizing the very strong arguments against closing the libraries.
But, we have more work to do. For this reason, there will be a planning meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday, December 23rd) at 6 pm at the Unitarian Church at 22nd and Chestnut Streets. The entrance is on the right side of the church when you are on Chestnut St. Please, call if you get lost, call me at 215-272-7091. On the agenda: Rally/ Indictment/ Further steps for Monday, December 29th; direct action on December 31st; further action plans for the future; updates on lawsuit/s; and other issues that may arise.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that we have ALL OF THE LIBRARIES REPRESENTED. We want to stand strong and united. Please, pass this information on to everyone you know. This meeting is OPEN TO EVERYONE.