Yeah, but whose nation?
Isn’t this special? Cash-strapped Los Angeles, which struggles to keep its own libraries afloat, is planning to set aside nearly $2 million in federal grants from the NEA to build and operate a pavilion at a book fair…
When the City of Los Angeles was struggling to balance its budget on the backs of local libraries, most of whom do not have enough books for local children, a little known plan was hatched within the bowels of the City’s Cultural Affairs Department to spend up to $2 million in Federal grant money on the City’s participation in a book fair in Jalisco, Mexico, including the construction of a pavilion for the event.
You may remember back in May significant cuts for the library were proposed including a fee charged on children who borrowed books from other branches across the city through an inter-library exchange. Citizens banded together to save library funding while librarians were instructed to shake down Neighborhood Councils for book funding. Indeed, the Mid-Town North Hollywood Neighborhood Council voted to forgo an election mailer in order to fund the library (at a vote taken literally minutes before an announcement from Councilmember Wendy Greuel that funding had been restored). At the Neighborhood Council elections about a month later, turnout was about 100 voters in a community of 95,000.
The proposed cuts and fees never happened and $2 million was restored to the library budget as Council Member “Sleepy” Greig “Good Deal” Smith gleefully boasted to CityWatch.
Tuesday the Council will vote on a motion by Councilmembers LaBonge and Huizar to approve the $1.6 million in funding for the book fair.
The public funds will also be used for security required by the Mexican book fair operators and includes a requirement to “subcontract with a Mexican
construction firm to build and install the showcase pavilion in Guadalajara, as
recommended by the NEA.”
The proposal is here.
Maybe I should donate copies of Invasion to sell at the book fair.
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