Two causes close to my heart are at severe risk – books and animals

Due to budget issues in New York City, the Queens Library system and the Wildlife Conservation Society are at risk of taking tremendous cuts in funding, and as a result would have to close or significantly reduce their operations.

Cause #1: Save Queens Library!

Queens Library Kew Gardens Hills Branch

Queens Library Kew Gardens Hills Branch - My childhood branch

As a life-long resident of Queens, the nearby libraries played a central part in my upbringing, and I spent a great deal of time there. To this day the smell of books is one of my favorites. There is a website that was created to save the library system from getting severely damaged by the cuts. The website is called Save Queens Library and can be found by clicking here.

From the site:

Queens Library is facing a potential funding cut of $16.9 million this year, or a cumulative 30% reduction of our budget. If we don’t avert this staggering loss, libraries in every part of the borough could be closed outright and many others would be closed four and five days per week, one third of programs could be slashed, and hundreds of library employees could lose their jobs. We cannot let this happen! At a time when record numbers of people are using the libraries to access vital services like job searching tools, free internet, English classes and after-school programs, this would deal a deep and damaging blow to Queens neighborhoods.

Help us fight for the funding that will keep the doors open for the 50,000 people a day who come to the library.

There is a petition on the right side of the page to express your support. Towards the bottom of the page there are links where you can contact your legislators to express your dismay.

Closing libraries is a terrible idea. Lord knows people need as much access to education and knowledge as possible.

Cause #2: The Wildlife Conservation Society

Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo

Their Mission Statement reads as follows:

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

More about the WCS:

The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. Our story began in the early 1900’s when we successfully helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains. Today, we protect many of the world’s iconic creatures here and abroad, including gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and ocean giants in our world’s amazing seascapes.During our 114 years, we have forged the power of our global conservation work and the management of our five parks in New York City to create the world’s most comprehensive conservation organization. We currently manage about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of visitors at our five living institutions in New York City on important issues affecting our planet. Our parks include: the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park ZooProspect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.

City Hall has just proposed a city budget that slashes funding for the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium – a cut of 42% over last year’s budget. These institutions alone are visited by nearly 3 million people each year and pump more than $289 million into our economy, supporting businesses and creating jobs in New York. But the value of the zoo and aquarium goes beyond the numbers. They are part of the cultural bedrock of New York City – places for families, friends, and students to come together and learn about some of the world’s most magnificent species.

Read more about the proposed cuts by clicking here and sign the petition to protect the WCS here.

A quote that applies equally to both causes: “We understand there are financial issues in the city and we all have to tighten our belts, but at some point you have to use a scalpel, not a bludgeon,” said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president for public affairs.

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One comment on “Two causes close to my heart are at severe risk – books and animals

  1. […] going through the zoo, I came to the sad realization mentioned in the title. As I posted here, the WCS is facing some giant budget cuts. It might be a good idea to close shop. Brooklynites will […]

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