SEIU 721 Members Take On the “Privatization Beast” in Sacramento


AB 438 Press Conference_Sacramento_595x200.jpgMore than 60 SEIU 721 members, library workers and friends of public libraries traveled to Sacramento to join other librarians, supporters, legislators and the Privatization Beast at a press conference and rally for the passage of AB 438 on Aug. 22.  This legislation would put in place basic protections for taxpayers and the library patrons when library services are being considered for privatization.

Gina Quesenberry_LA County Library_90x90.jpg“As librarians, we have an undeserved reputation for saying ‘shhhhh!’ all the time, said Gina Quesenberry, LA County librarian at the El Monte branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library and SEIU 721 member.  “However, we’re fine with a little noise and that’s why we’re here today – to make some noise and let legislators know how important AB 438 is to California voters.” 

Joining SEIU 721 members Gina Quesenberry and Angel Nicolas at the podium were Assemblymember Das Williams, Assemblymember Steven Bradford, and Senator Loni Hancock.

Making sure that legislators and the Governor understand the overwhelming support we’ve received for AB 438, librarians from across the state delivered two thick booklets that Privatization Beast with Senators_250x200.jpgcontained the names of nearly 71,000 individuals who have signed online petitions in support of AB 438.  SEIU 721 members also delivered petitions from constituents to legislative offices to secure support. The bill is expected to go to the Senate floor prior to the Legislature’s end of session on Sept. 9.

The presence of the Privatization Beast created quite a buzz at the capital and many people including elected officials took pictures. Another highlight of the press conference, was the story time that was held with Marie Williams, Children’s Librarian from the Anaheim Library where children learned the story of the Privatization Beast and its hunger to eat up our public libraries.

Authored by Assemblymember Das Williams, AB 438 requires that a fair cost analysis be performed so taxpayers can be assured the move would provide real savings, requires transparent bookkeeping and accountability for our dollars, and gives communities the right to terminate a library operator’s contract if the company doesn’t keep its commitments to taxpayers. Senators Lois Wolk and Loni Hancock are co-signers of the legislation.

Take Action:
Please call and/or email all of these nine California Senators and let them know you want them to support public libraries by voting to Approve AB 438.

Senator Wright
Phone: (916) 651-4025

Senator Simitian
Phone: (916) 651-4011

Senator Lowenthal
Phone: (916) 651-4027

Senator Pavley
Phone: (916) 651-4023

Senator Rubio
Phone: (916) 651-4016

Senator Calderon
Phone: (916) 651-4030

Senator Corbett
Phone: (916) 651-4010

Senator Evans
Phone: (916) 651-4002

Senator Vargas
Phone: (916) 651-4040