A Win for the Ferguson Library!
We are very happy to report that the voters in Ferguson, MO approved new, sustainable levy funding for the Ferguson Municipal Library yesterday (April 3) with a 66% Yes vote!
EveryLibrary is proud to have worked closely with director Scott Bonner, his staff team, and their board for over 2 years to help shape the library's Informational Campaign to Ferguson voters. We want to congratulate the Vote Yes for Ferguson Library Committee on their Get Out the Vote campaign, and are very happy we could support their strategy and tactics. Passing this levy is a ringing endorsement by the town of Ferguson in support of their library and their own future.
Following the unrest in 2014, the library received substantial charitable donations from people around the world that were used to immediately address shortfalls in library programs and services, and to do some very needed repairs. Scott and the board budgeted those one-time donations wisely, but they were going to run out by 2019. If this levy had failed, the library would have cut back on everything it was doing since the riots to rebuild, renew, and grow the community. Passing this new levy will bring stability to the library's budget and add real capacity to their work serving their entire community.
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When EveryLibrary got the call from Scott to be a part of their campaign, we were glad to help and we soon knew that it would be a tough road ahead. That's because the data that we got about the voters from the public opinion polling nearly two years ago showed that the library had almost no chance of succeeding at the ballot. In fact, only 42% of voters originally supported the library. The public opinion polling showed that even though Ferguson Library was nationally recognized as a beacon during the riots, this didn't translate to local voter support. They found that even though the library was able to raise nearly half a million dollars in donations from supporters across the country, local voters were not willing to increase their taxes to support the library.
In order to help guide the campaign to change the voter perception of the library, we traveled to Ferguson several times to help the board and staff plan and evaluate their 'path to the ballot'. We got to work personally with the Yes Committee to help shape their voter engagement approach. EveryLibrary spent nearly 500 dollars on social media and digital ads that gave voters a brighter vision of a library of the future in Ferguson. Then the hard working local ballot committee and amazing staff in the library engaged the community and local voters on the ground to educate and identify them and turn them out on election day. All this work paid off and the library passed with a large margin!
EveryLibrary can only do this kind of direct campaign work because of our donors and supporters. All of our work in Ferguson was done - as always - for free, thanks to our donors. If you believe like we do that communities like Ferguson, MO. deserve a great library with the right kind of funding, please help us help them by donating today.
A monthly donation of just $1, $3, or $5 ensures that we can continue our work.
That's less than a cup of coffee!
Scott and his team will open the doors to the Ferguson Municipal Library this morning knowing that they have the funding they need to serve their still healing community. We are proud to have been their partner and guide on this long journey to Election Day. Thank you for supporting us in Ferguson and in dozens of towns across the country this year.