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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023


Commentary/LK1st/dt2nd Los Angeles city voters deserve a big pat on the back and a giant thank you. By supporting Proposition DD, the city’s library-improvement measure, L.A. residents sent a strong signal that they know exactly which direction this city should take. This month’s election demonstrated that there is one issue that businesses, residents and voters care about education. The message was heard in Los Angeles, across the state and even throughout the nation. Here in L.A., by adding new city libraries and improving existing facilities, we will show the rest of the country that this city knows what a literate society means for economic growth and the future workforce. Proposition DD was a step in the right direction. We want a Los Angeles where businesses have real confidence in our local educational system, knowing it can provide them with the skilled and educated workforce they need. In the end, we want a Los Angeles where students get the education they need. Libraries also offer safe havens for after-school activities where children can go to learn to read, do homework, or to master computers and the Internet. More than that, however, libraries are places where young and old can join together, to educate one another. These new libraries will house community meeting rooms, allowing them to become real and thriving community centers where neighbors can meet and ideas can grow. Proposition DD will help to ensure a literate Los Angeles and will build the confidence of existing businesses that this city can, in fact, produce the future workforce our businesses want. With a reading and computer-literate public, the city of Los Angeles will be better situated to attract new employers to the area in an effort to continue to grow our local economy. A $178 million bond to improve 28 existing libraries and create four new ones breaks down to only about $7 a year for the average homeowner. Proposition DD will replace, renovate, expand or improve branch libraries currently lacking space for books, people and computers. Additionally, it will build four new libraries in communities without such facilities. More than one-third of the library projects will take place in the San Fernando Valley, and libraries all the way from San Pedro to Sylmar will be refurbished or replaced. Proposition DD is a bond that benefits all of Los Angeles with a well-thought-out vision and detailed plan for getting the job done right. Renovated libraries will feature state-of-the-art construction and will have a greatly expanded capacity for books, seating and computers. They will offer reading lounges, children’s story-telling areas, conference rooms, study rooms, outdoor reading areas and adequate parking. The Los Angeles City Library Department knows how to deliver on its promises. In 1989, voters passed a comprehensive library improvement program to renovate and expand 27 branch libraries. As a result of that bond, the improved libraries have seen an astonishing 50 percent to 300 percent increase in usage. The department knows how to get the job done, and has an impeccable track record. This bond measure will deliver added value to the city of Los Angeles – its businesses, its communities and its residents. By devoting resources and energy to our libraries, this city is demonstrating to its residents and its businesses that Los Angeles is dedicated to seeing this region succeed. Thank you Los Angeles for supporting a measure that means so much for the betterment of our business and residential communities Thank you for realizing how much an educated, reading and computer-literate public can offer to the local economy. Thank you for indicating how much you care about the future of our children. By undertaking efforts such as this one, the city of Los Angeles is well on its way to becoming the community-focused, economically thriving center we all know it can be. Laura Chick is a Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the West San Fernando Valley.

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