Cities We Love

This post over at The Urbanophile really struck a chord – perhaps it’s my sadness at hearing about the massive cuts to the Oakland library system while I was gone (nearly all of the branches and services which made the system nationally renowned – its Spanish-language collection, its Chinese-language collection, its tool lending library, its e-book loans and its trendsetting youth room – have now been shuttered), but I do agree with the sentiment that de-prioritizing “unnecessary” programs only further damages a city, even in a time of budgetary crisis.  As Leslie Knope of “Parks & Recreation” pointed out when her department was deemed non-essential, nobody loves where they live because of its sewage.  We expect that stuff to work, sure, but things like parks, arts, and libraries are the reasons why people choose to put down roots in one community over another, and slashing such “non-essentials” for the sake of budgetary expedience is short-term thinking.

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