08. February 2024 · Comments Off on Steve Hobbs For Secretary of State, February 8, 2024 · Categories: Elections

Hello friends,

The Washington State Senate unanimously passed my request legislation that protects Washington’s public libraries.

ESB 5824 does three critical things: 1) increases the signature threshold for filing petitions to dissolve libraries from 100 taxpayers to 25% of eligible voters in the district; 2) increases the signature threshold for filing petitions to dissolve library districts from 10% of voters residing outside of incorporated cities or towns to 25% of eligible voters in the district; and 3) expands voter eligibility to allow all qualified electors of a library district to participate in a vote on propositions for library district dissolution.

Public libraries here and around the country are being subjected to coordinated efforts to ban books. When opponents fail to ban books, they use other reprehensible tactics. In Columbia County, Wash., book banners attacked their district’s librarian, publicly calling him a pedophile among other horrible falsehoods. When that still didn’t accomplish their goals, they sought to shutter the library entirely.

Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), my friend and the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate, eloquently said: “We’re just trying to give all the people a voice and not let minority rule. Closing libraries is a stupid idea.”

As your Secretary of State, it is equally important that I defend the rights of qualified voters’ access to their say in measures that impact their public services. The antiquated state law that currently prevents city residents the ability to vote on whether their library should be closed is plain undemocratic.

If passed by the House and signed by the Governor, our bill will protect dozens of rural county, intercounty and island library districts in Washington that are at risk of dissolution by a minority who would rather close a public library entirely than allow the presence of a title that offends them.

Democracies need public libraries.

Passage of this bill will be a tremendous step toward protecting public libraries in Washington and the freedom to access a wide variety of library materials.

Thank you for reading,

Steve Hobbs 

Links to share:

Yakima Herald-Republic | Editorial: Library bill is a vote for democracy, sanity

“It’s been enough to convince Secretary of State Steve Hobbs to ask the Legislature to step in, and we’re glad to see that level-headed legislators have responded.”

The Seattle Times | As book battles rage, WA Senate votes to make it harder to shut down a library

Postscript – This is scary stuff right here! This is a MAGA Republican candidate for Secretary of State in Missouri making a terrifying pledge to voters:

“This is what I will do to the grooming books when I become Secretary of State: 🔥. These books come from a Missouri public library. When I’m in office, they will burn 🔥🔥🔥.”

Friends of Steve Hobbs · 3309 114th Dr NE · Lake Stevens, WA 98258-8787 · USA