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To: Mayor Bill Gillespie, Prattville City Council, & Autauga County Commission

STOP Book Bans at Autauga-Prattville Public Library!

Dear Mayor Gillespie, Prattville City Council and Autauga County Commission,

The library board has successfully been hijacked by Clean Up Alabama, and they have implemented the very book bans Clean Up repeatedly denied seeking. The concerned citizens of Prattville and Autauga County tried to help our local leaders understand the consequences of empowering pious bigotry to write policy, but our desperate warnings were met with mixed reception. By the close of their February 8th meeting, the current library board had committed at least four violations of Alabama’s Open Meeting Act, incurred $2,000 in unnecessary expenses, and implemented a brazenly illegal policy to invite lawsuits. Worst of all, our county commissioners and the library board they appointed have forced the librarians and employees themselves to choose between breaking federal law or losing their jobs.

The censorship efforts of Clean Up Alabama have attracted a trickle of national news mentions since last summer. If things continue on this trajectory, Prattville will receive a deluge of bad press as the town’s name becomes associated with egregious constitutional violations. More concerning than potential embarrassment, however, is the fact that the library board has retained it’s own attorney rather than using the one provided to them through the city. This indicates they anticipate legal challenges to their actions, and foresee a possibility that they will find themselves opposed to the city.

As the Library Board eagerly prepares to take it’s ideological arguments to court, they neglect to prioritize the needs of the library itself. Already they have suggested that additional funds may be taken from other budget items to pay legal fees, something made unnecessary by the fact that the city attorney is available to them free of charge. As such, Clean Up Alabama may actually achieve it’s goal of defunding the library or seeing it shut down.

We, the citizens of Prattville and Autauga County, are abhorred by all of these things. We have been watching from our seats at city and county meetings, observing this woefully avoidable disaster as it unfolds. We are now imploring our city and county leaders to immediately change course. Rescind the appointments of Ray Boles, Logan Strock, Rachel Daniels, and Doug Darr. Repair the damage done, and commit to following the established precedent of choosing board members according to their skills rather than their ideologies.


Why is this important?

The board members have used ethically dubious means to implement Clean Up Alabama-approved library policies discriminate against minority groups, violate the Constitution, and are outright unAmerican.

Autauga County, AL, USA

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2024-02-21 16:29:34 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2024-02-21 14:31:31 -0500

500 signatures reached

2024-02-18 01:13:52 -0500

100 signatures reached

2024-02-17 08:39:47 -0500

50 signatures reached

2024-02-16 23:27:00 -0500

25 signatures reached

2024-02-16 21:33:37 -0500

10 signatures reached