Fight for the First - An on-going battle
Just when it seems like one problem gets handled another one rises in its place. Such is the current session of the Idaho Legislature. After a strong turn out on HB 139 on both sides, the bill was sent back to the Education Committee. This usually implies that the bill is, in essence, dead in the current form. After a contentious hearing at the Statehouse and a follow up bill, HB227 which was more reasonable and achievable, failing to advance due to a procedural move by Representative Price the issue of book banning is still brewing. While less than ideal, one could hope that this issue was at least sidelined for the time being. However, this is not the case. Representative Jaron Crane of Nampa has taken a harsher, more punitive HB139 to the State Affairs Committee in hopes of finding more purchase there. At the writing of this blog, the state of HB139 is currently unknown.
But to put that aside for the moment, there is another more pressing issue at hand--the proposed dissolution of the Meridian Library District. The petition was submitted by a small group of "concerned citizens" to the Ada County Commissioners. You can read the petition HERE. This triggered a hearing of the Ada County Commissioners on Monday, March 20, 6 p.m. at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise.
While only Meridian residents can testify at this hearing, letters and emails to both the Ada County Commissioners and the Meridian Library District will be helpful. If you are a Meridian resident and want to testify, you will need to sign up in advance or be at the courthouse by 5 - 5:15 p.m. on March 20 to sign up. If you are not a resident or are not able to attend in person, letters can be sent to the Ada County Commissioners office at 200 W. Front Street, Suite 3255, Boise, ID 83702 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
The Meridian Library District Board of Trustees will have their regular meeting on Wednesday, March 15, 7 - 8 p.m. at the Cherry Lane Branch of the Meridian Library if you are interested in attending. The Meridian Library Alliance also has a petition that you can sign HERE as well as other ways that you can support the Meridian Library District.
Access to books and to all stories is vital to the growth and maintenance of democracy. Only by hearing all the voices can we truly begin to live up to the potential that our state and nation possesses. Only by supporting the freedom to read can we become better than we are right now. Please support teachers, schools, and librarians by making your voices heard to keep the freedom to read alive. Take action now: make a phone call, write a letter, or send an email in support of the Meridian Library District and keeping the freedom to read alive.