What if Every Political Party Stood Against Book Bans?
What if political parties added resolutions against book bans to their national platforms?
We have working to secure endorsements from all national political parties about the right to read in libraries during their fall 2023 party conventions.
We are happy to report that the Democratic National Committee passed a “Resolution Regarding the Support of First Amendment Rights and Public Libraries” at its October 7, 2023 annual meeting in St. Louis.
We are disappointed to report that the National Libertarian Party objected to consideration of its own “Censorship Resolution” at their October 1, 2023 virtual meeting.
We have also reached out to the Republican National Committee, the Green Party USA, the Pirate Party, the Party of Reason and Progress, and more to ask for similar support for the right to read as part of their national platforms.
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The DNC Resolution was submitted by Debra Kozikowski, Vice-Chair (MA), and was co-sponsored by forty members of the Committee, including the lead co-sponsor, James Roosevelt. In the wake of escalating attacks targeting the right to read in libraries, this Resolution is an important stand by the DNC to uphold the Constitution and America’s libraries. The DNC Resolution passed unanimously, underscoring the importance of libraries, librarians, and the First Amendment rights they uphold. The party further committed to sharing the Resolution with all of its state affiliates. As we consider important matters of public policy in state legislatures, county commissions, and city halls next year, this Resolution will help inform these important conversations.
"The foundation of our democracy lies in the free exchange of ideas, knowledge, and information. Libraries and librarians play a unique role in ensuring access," said John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary. "In the face of unprecedented book bans and censorship attempts, it is vital that all national parties reaffirm their commitment to these Constitutional principles. We applaud the DNC for taking this important public position in advance of the 2024 elections.”
At EveryLibrary, we believe that issues like censorship and institutions like libraries are non-partisan. Civil liberties matter in our public institutions. Americans of every political persuasion need the same rights and liberties in order to thrive.
While the Libertarian National Party declined to consider its resolution on procedural grounds, it is important to note that several state parties are taking up resolutions to oppose unconstitutional censorship at their local conventions this fall and winter. We call on the Libertarian Party to bring their Resolution to the floor for discussion at their next national convention. We hope that the RNC and Green Party likewise engage in these issues, which are core American values and principles. EveryLibrary stands ready to help craft workable resolutions there as well.