Posted by: montclairlibrary | May 10, 2011

Oakland budget crisis – what you can do

The options for Oakland’s budget don’t look good – including a worst-case scenario that closes all but four Oakland libraries, including Montclair. News like this can be disheartening, but here are some things you can do to help support the libraries and voice your opinion about the budget in general:
Save Oakland Libraries
1) Call in to KALW’s (91.7 FM) “Your Call” radio show Wednesday, May 11 at 10am when they’ll be discussing “The Value of Public Libraries.” The numbers are 415-841-4134 (Bay Area) or 866-798-TALK (Toll-Free). More info:

2) Read the OPL’s FAQ about the budget crisis and educate yourself about the issues:

3) Sign the petition supporting the Montclair branch we’ll have available at our book sale this Saturday, May 14th (11am-3pm) at the Montclair branch.

4) Attend a City Council budget hearing (5/12 and 5/26 at 5:30pm at City Hall) or the District 4 Town Hall Meeting (5/14 from 11am-1:30pm at Bret Harte Middle School, Auditorium/Cafeteria Area, 3700 Coolidge Avenue.) Mayor Jean Quan and Council member Libby Schaaf will be available at the Town Hall Meeting to hear from District 4 residents and community organizations about issues and concerns. There will also be a special session about the City of Oakland budget.

5) Tell your friends, neighbors, city officials and local news outlets how much your library means to you!

For more great tips and contacts, see the Save Oakland Libraries website,


  1. I don’t thnik you realize that this is not just another budget fight like so many in the past. This one is quantitatively and qualitatively so much more serious that merely yelling and screaming your support for libraries and trusting elected officials to count noses and save your favorite branches.

    This time, the last two decades of fund juggling, refing pension obligations, using dot com and real estate bubble inflated tax revenue to greatly increase city programming, wages, and benefits while deferring infrastructure work has come to the end of the road.

    Residents will have to tell their elected officials what their priorities are, fully understanding that other functions will get drastically cut. if you count on your officials to do the cutting, they will simply lay off employees evenly across all departments, without prioritizing, and without trying to get the 25% reductions in wages/benefits/program costs we need. Officials without public pressure, will naturally take the path of least short term pain by refing pension costs into the future, deferring sewer, road, and builing maintenance etc.

    This is the perfect muni fiscal storm with real estate revenues continuing to fall, state revenue sharing collapsing, county cutbacks, and the Federal govt grants falling. Combine that with the unfunded and underfund retirement obligations our elected officials have promised employees that are coming home to roost, plus the needs of OUSD for a bigger parcel tax, plus the fact that Oakland taxes will go up automatically just to cover old bond obligation repayments and you have a dire situation that you can’t expect Oakland politics as usual to handle well.

    -len raphael, temescal

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