Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oregon Moms Make Some Headway

SLJ: 2008 October 1

Fund Our Future Oregon is making some headway. The founders of this campaign to save school libraries recently obtained word that Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) will sponsor a bill to fund media centers at the state level.

“It looks like we're on our way to getting a bill written, and we're launching a petition,” says Nancy Sullivan, a media specialist at James Madison High School in Portland, OR, and a founding member of Fund Our Future Oregon. “So we're about to make a big leap forward!”

Sullivan says she and cofounder Suzie Kabeiseman hope to meet with Buckley soon to help draft a bill. “We really want to be ready for the legislative session, which starts in January,” says Sullivan.

The news came as a pleasant surprise to Sullivan and Kabeiseman, a mother and elementary school teacher in Oregon, because until now, their efforts hadn't gleaned much success.

Launched on February 1, Fund Our Future Oregon—an offshoot of Fund Our Future Washington—got off to a rough start, and part of the reason is that both Sullivan and Kabeiseman happen to work for the school districts they're complaining about, Sullivan says.

The Spokane moms—Lisa Layera Brunkan, Denette Hill, and Susan McBurney—worked tirelessly for more than a year and secured a $4 million line item for school libraries in the 2008–2009 academic year. But they were three stay-at-home moms who could “go straight to the top” without any concern about repercussions relating to their jobs, says Sullivan.

Reps. Ben Cannon (D-Portland), and Larry Galizio (D-Tigard) have also expressed support for the proposed legislation.