Friday, September 28, 2012

Rothman donor allegedly launders contributions, can you find any others?

With the news in the paper about a campaign contributor to Mayor Elliott Rothman allegedly laundering contributions through multiple individuals, many of whom appeared to have no nexus to Pomona, it may be time to discover who else is funding our City Council candidates.

I received this information from a request to the City Clerk a few months ago and have been sitting on this for a while, but haven't gotten the chance look at the documents in detail. So I'm letting you, the readers, look at the files and determine what you find. On my scribd page, I've posted the campaign contribution logs for every incumbent council member over the last four years. (I'll be requesting the logs up to July soon.)

Tell me what you find in the comments. If I see anything I'll post it here as well. This is an open thread.

Monday, September 24, 2012

10 Reasons to Vote for the Pomona Public Library Even if You Don't Use It

On November 6, City of Pomona voters will decide the fate of the Pomona Public Library. Ballot Measure X proposes a $38/year parcel tax designed to keep the Pomona Public Library open. The funds are restricted to the library and can only be collected if the city keeps the library open at 38 hours a week.

Without the parcel tax, it is likely that Pomona's only library, founded in 1887, will be closed. City Council threatened to close the library this year to balance the budget after a $1 million dollar shortfall. But the citizens stepped in and fought back. With the parcel tax, $1.5 million would be generated annually for the library. This kind of funding would allow: full-time librarians to be rehired; hours and programming to be expanded from the reduced 20 hours; computer capabilities to be upgraded and expanded; special collections to be preserved; and book, news, and magazines to be kept up to date and expanded.
Here are 10 reasons to vote yes on Measure X.

1. Libraries Build Democracy:  To quote Walter Cronkite,  “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” Democracies thrive on accessible information. The City of Pomona will be a better place if we develop strong, informed, civic engagement on a municipal level.

2. Libraries Fight Crime: Books, programming, and study space can keep kids (and adults) out of trouble and help them to develop creative and productive imaginations. Also, books are better than drugs (and the library is the best place to get hooked on books!).

3. Libraries are Good for Business: Businesses and home owners are attracted to a city that has a strong library.

4. Libraries Transform Lives: Testimony after testimony tells of children and adults who educate themselves at libraries and follow their dreams.

5. Librarians Help with Research: Ever been overwhelmed by an online search? Ever wish someone could help you sort it out, or provide more reliable and trusted sources? Ask a librarian. It's such a relief to get the help you need.

6. Libraries are Good for Families: Families benefit from storytime, summer programming, after school programs, homework assistance, books on parenting, kids books, and so on.

7. Libraries Foster Employment: People use the library's computer equipment to search and apply for employment opportunities.

8. A National and State Treasure: The Pomona Public Library has renowned special collections that  preserve Californian and American history and literature. People from all over California and the U.S. use these collections. It is a tribute to the city that it is known for its library.

9. The Pomona Public Library Builds Bridges: Pomona is a wonderfully diverse city. The library is a free and accessible space where people from all different demographics can meet, interact, share knowledge, learn languages, study, read, and talk together, whether formally or informally. 

10. Funding the Library is a Way of Giving Back: Maybe you can buy all the books you need (although you still might want to browse them without buying them). But maybe you couldn't always afford books. Or maybe you live on a tight budget, but believe in sharing. If you want a way to give back to the community, voting yes on Measure X is one small and simple way to do so. Only $38/year will preserve what we already have and continue to make the city of Pomona a better place.