The current County Executive has waged war on our County’s arts and cultural organizations and libraries.
In the U.S., cultural industries generate over $166 billion every year. The arts are one of the basic underlying principles of a strong economy. The entire industry stimulates growth in communities plagued by the downturn. Erie County should be the center of this industry; we should allow our cultural gems to flourish, we should not be squeezing the viability out of them.
It is estimated the arts support 5.7 million jobs nationwide and create $29.6 billion in government revenue. Every $1 in arts spending leverages an additional $7 in support through local, state and private donations.
Currently, we are experiencing difficult economic times. Recessions or any type of economic downturn drive people to libraries to use essential services, especially the resources made available for a job search. People not only use libraries to access resources for employment, but they also use libraries for continuing education and to look up essential services. A library acts as a lifeline. When people cannot afford books, CDs and DVDs, they turn to their libraries.
Libraries improve our quality of life and act as an essential educational resource. We should not reduce the number of economic and educational resources, forcing people to choose between dwindling numbers of essential services.
As YOUR County Executive, I will make it my job to expand our cultural organizations and preserve our educational and economic resources. Erie County should be a leader in community enrichment and provide an abundance of high quality, accessible education.