‘This is a wake-up call’: Councilmember Morales statement on Seattle Public Library closures

Rainier Beach Branch of Seattle Public Library

Seattle City Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2) released the following statement after Seattle Public Library announced it would be implementing library closures due to hiring freezes and looming budget shortfalls.

“It’s heartbreaking for so many of our city’s families. The library is an invaluable resource for our community. When I bring my family to our libraries, we see people from all walks of life accessing services, reading, studying, applying for jobs, and so much more — all in one building.

This is a wake-up call for our city. Without urgent action, things will get so much worse than this. The City of Seattle is facing a more than $240 million budget deficit. There’s no way to cut that much from the budget without decimating essential services like our libraries, work on homelessness, and public safety programs for years to come.

I am calling on my colleagues to work with me and explore ways we can ensure corporations and the wealthiest in our city are paying their fair share. It’s the only way we protect our libraries and the services all of us depend on,” said Councilmember Morales.

A month ago, library employees came to Seattle City Council on their own personal time to express their concern about the impact hiring freezes were having on Seattle’s library system. Listen to what they had to say.