Members push back privatization of libraries in Kern County

Members in Kern County won an early victory against privatization of the county libraries. While the option is still on the table, Supervisors have backed off their hard stance towards privatization.

Kern County SEIU members are coming together for a contract that invests in quality public services. At the same time, we’re also trying to work with a Board of Supervisors that only a month ago seemed poised to begin the process of privatizing our libraries. Thanks to the incredible work of members and our community, the Supervisors just declared that the County is “in no rush to move forward.”

Add your name to the petition now to show your support for quality services!

In a unanimous vote, Supervisors asked the County Administrative Officer’s office to go back to the drawing board with his plan to begin gathering public comment next week. Supervisors added additional steps to the process as well, including getting workers involved in redesigning the survey and adding locations and times for public meetings.

Theresa BeckerAmong the speakers today was Theresa Becker, pictured on the left.

“Our libraries are a core community resource and their future should be molded with input from all stakeholders,” Becker said. “The very best solution may still be undiscovered and only a process that actively encourages participation can bring the best ideas to light.”

The fight isn’t over, but this is an important first step and we’re happy that we were able to preserve this vital public resource.

Read our letter to the board of supervisors. (PDF)

Read the news coverage in the Bakersfield Californian.

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