Illinois: Villa Park Library Won and the Koch Brothers Killed the Library Initiative in Plainfield

I’m very happy to report a Win last night for the Villa Park Public Library in Illinois. Passing this library bond means they can update and reinvigorate their library building for the 21st century. Knowing that they don’t have to use ‘duct tape and chewing gum’ on an aging facility is a relief. Seeing that Villa Park will reinvest in new and improved outcomes for education, business development, and community livability through its library project is wonderful. I’m so impressed with the staff and am very happy to have worked with Sandy and her team on their Informational Communications Campaign. The plan that the library leadership team developed is solid. Now they are ready to break ground!

Congratulations to the Vote Yes Villa Park Library committee. They did a great job with door-to-door and social media Get Out the Vote work. Because of our donors, EveryLibrary could provide pro-bono advising and consulting to them. Because of our donors, we were also the first contributor to their GOTV work (the yard signs are really nice). They did the work; the labor was all theirs. But the chance to help these good folks with smart campaign advice got them going fast and avoided some common campaign mistakes. This is the heart of our work, and you make it possible.


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I’m sorry to report that Plainfield, Illinois, lost last night. The team there needed to go back to the ballot, and we were proud to stand alongside them on their campaign. We had hoped the Koch Brothers wouldn’t show up again with robocalls and mailings against the library.  They did – every day from Thursday to Election Day on Tuesday – and certainly pushed the 65% No vote. The leadership team is going to go back and assess the path forward for Plainfield and its library. We’re going to double down on our work against these ‘any tax is a bad tax’ groups across the country.

EveryLibrary is 100% donor supported. Individual donors average $48 per year. Monthly donors contribute about $7 each month to our work. With that support, we’ve provided free advising and consulting to 62 library campaigns. With the win in Villa Park last night, we’ve now helped 46 communities win over $220 million in stable tax money to run, renovate, or build their 21st century libraries. If you want to help us with the next campaigns, please donate today. Spokane WA is on the ballot April 25th. In Connecticut tonight we’re helping a Vote Yes committee kick-off their work for a ‘snap’ May 2nd library election. Thanks for helping us provide libraries everywhere with free the political and campaign consulting they need to succeed on Election Day.

John Chrastka
Executive Director

P.S. On a personal note, my hometown of Berwyn, IL passed our school referendum last night and my wife, Deanna, was reelected to the school board. The work for “my kids, your kids, and those kids” doesn’t end, folks….


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