First, we heard from Progress Now, NM that a group called Mass Resistance was planning on speaking to the Rio Rancho City Council regarding banning books at the Rio Rancho Library. Vice Chair Greg Bennett moved quickly and mobilized over fifty people to turn out for the April 13th Rio Rancho City Council meeting. The opposition had fewer than ten people show. Democrats turned out and spoke in favor of not banning books.
Two weeks later, April 27th, Vice Chair Bennett mobilized people again. The opposition spoke only about banning LGBTTQQIA+ literature and read passages from those books to the City Council. They had no problem with sexually explicit straight literature, only LGBTTQQIA+ literature. The head librarian gave background information about how adults and children are allowed to take books from the library, and the legal counsel for the City spoke about liability issues. At this meeting, approximately 50 people spoke in favor of not banning books, and three people spoke for banning books.
The third meeting, held on May 11th, and Vice Chair Bennett got to work — again. Just under forty people turned-out in favor of not banning books, while only two spoke in favor. (One of the leaders, Mr. Jankovich, was removed from the hearing and forfeited his right to speak for heckling the mayor.) The City Attorney and the Librarian repeated their presentations from the prior meeting, and the Rio Rancho City Council did the right thing. They passed an ordinance in support of the nationally accepted library standards.
You would think that it would be over now, wouldn’t you?
I sat next to Mr. Jankovich at the meeting on May 11th. He told me so many things, and I overheard a few, but the gist of it is that he and his First Amendment hating group are planning on submitting challenges for books that they don’t like, and on turning out at the Loma Colorado Library’s next Library Board meeting on June 12th. If you love books, our library, and appreciate our librarians; if you think, like I do, that The City of Rio Rancho’s libraries are some of the best parts of our city, then I am going to ask you to turn out to support our libraries again. Let’s show our support and make simple statements of appreciation to the Library Board.
The meeting begins at six, but we are planning on turning out at 5:15 to Celebrate our Pride for Banned Books. Please wear your Pride shirts, capes, and outfits. Bring a sign that thanks our Library Board for their work on behalf of all the people who have a passion for reading in our county.
And another thing . . . .
We need candidates. Please see Vice Chair Suazo, Vice Chair Bennett, or me if you would consider running for office!
Stay PROUD, Democrats, not just in June, but always!