Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Citizens for a Better Library


The Banner was hung across the stage at the Ocean Star Restaurant on December 9th as the Citizens for a Better Library hosted a dinner to raise funds for its campaign to pass an extension of Monterey Park’s library parcel tax to continue library services in the upcoming March 2017 election.


The Citizens for a Better Library: Bob Gin, Walter Beaumont, Theresa Amador, Henry Lo, Thomas Wong, Dave Barron, Jason Ohing, Yukio Kawaratani and Janet Yu were joined by Congressmember Judy Chu, Trustee Mike Eng, Councilmember Stephen Lam, Councilmember Peter Chan, Treasurer Joseph Leon, City Clerk Vince Chang, former Mayor David Lau, Librarian Norma Arvizu, City Manager Ron Bow, Department Heads: Mike Huntley, Annie Yaung and Tom Cody and local business owner Johnny Thompson. Nancy Ishino-Gilmore represented the Friends of the Library, Maria Elena Yepes represented the Board of Trustees and other members of the Foundation were on hand offering their support of extending the library parcel tax.

The Monterey Park City Council has unanimously approved placing a Ballot Measure before the voters in the March 2017 municipal election to extend the parcel tax that provides funding for the Monterey Park Library. Extension of the parcel tax is needed to avoid a loss of revenue when the parcel tax expires in 2018.  In a study commissioned by the Monterey Park Library Board of Trustees, it is estimated that failure to extend the parcel tax will lead to a loss of approximately $500,000 in generated annual revenue by the tax and result in devastating cuts to staff, operating hours, funding for technology, and existing efforts to improve the library’s collection and maintenance of facilities.

The current parcel tax was approved by the voters in April 1998 and levies an annual fee of $25.00 for each residential parcel, while commercial and industrial parcels contribute $75.00. These funds along with grants and public donations allowed the City to finance the remodel/expansion of the Library that was completed in 2006.


Henry Lo and Thomas Wong welcomed the guests to this special fundraising event. They introduced members of their committee, special guests and the sponsors to the audience. They thanked all of them for their service to our community.


Co-Chair Walter Beaumont said that his fellow Co-Chair Bob Gin was not able to attend this event. He welcomed everyone to this event. Los Angeles County, who will be running this March election, has not named this new measure. The city has requested it be named Measure LL for “Love the Library”.

He recalled Measure C was established to fix up the old library and fix the leaky roof. The county required two/thirds or 67% of the votes to win. It was approved by 19 votes. The funds from Measure C were used to expand the library along with a matching grant from the state.

The taxes will remain the same as the current property taxes. $25.00 for each residential parcel, while commercial and industrial parcels contribute $75.00. These taxes will bring $500,000 a year to support the library along with 5.3% of the General Funds.

The Market Place will provide additional tax dollars for our Police Department, Fire Department and our library.

He asked the residents to please vote YES and invest money in our community library.


Judy Chu said she remembers the old library. She was on the City Council at that time. The library was too small for all of the residents. There were no shelves for all of the books. The bathrooms were in poor condition and the roof leaked.

Measure C was formed by a grass roots committee to raise funds for the ballot measure. It won by just 19 votes by the count of the provisional ballots.

Measure C passed. The new library is so beautiful. It doubled the building in size. It offers Internet access, longer hours and educational programs.

It is a jewel and a model for the San Gabriel Valley. We could lose $500,000 in funding without passing the new tax measure. We need to make the library the best it can be.

The library is opened to everyone. It is the center of the city. We need to keep supporting the library. She is 1,000% in support to extend Measure C.


Mike Eng requested the residents support the library because it brings to life the ideas with books and reading is the access to education. We are ready to support education and we are ready to support the library. We need the library to be accessible for the young people.


Stephen Lam and his sister, Maggie, remembered the old library. They grew up in Monterey Park. Thirty years ago they lived close by and spent many hours borrowing and reading the books in English and Chinese. His sister learned Chinese reading Chinese storybooks.

We need to keep the library opened seven days a week. It is like air and water. We can’t live without it. It keeps the kids at the library so they are not running the streets.

He thanked all of the guests for showing up to benefit the Monterey Park residents and others. He thanked the city staff for their support. We need to work hard to support the library measure.


Peter Chan said he was the treasurer of the Measure C committee.  He and Yukio Kawaratani placed yard signs in the commercial areas. Measure C for the library is a good cause. It passed by 67%. Every vote counts since 19 votes passed the measure. We need to win by a landslide, if we can.

Twenty years ago the measure did not receive the same support. We need to do this together. The election is in three months. He asked people to support the measure.

Please vote for it on March 7th.


Vince Chang said that Joseph Leon and he had no challengers for their seats. Hans Liang and Peter Chan have four candidates running against them.

He said he taught students who wanted to become U S citizens at the library. He taught them to speak English and be part of our American society. He told them they should vote to participate in our government.

The library measure is very important to expand the library hours and services to the residents. It is a very important service in the city. The library opens up the universe. We need to pass the measure.


Joseph Leon thanked everyone for their support. He served as trustee. We need more funds to maintain the library services. It is a great benefit for our residents.


Henry Lo said he volunteered to teach ESL classes at the library. He tutored the residents on citizenship and civic education. He believes in socializing our students. We get to mentor the community together. Please support the new library measure. We need your wallets, your feet and year heart.


Johnny Thompson, a longtime resident and business owner, said we have to support the library. We need to educate the youth. He remembers the old library. He checked out books. He loves to read and it leads to education. Every student needs to their full education that included the arts too. AUSD supports the disadvantages students. The library and the school systems support them too.


David Lau called Monterey Park a great city with a good economic base for our firefighters, our police officers and our library. We support the library and we support our city. He asked people to vote on this measure that we need to pass. This measure will keep the library opened with extended hours. It will be an investment in education and the community. Please vote for our library measure. We are a united community. We have volunteers. We are a successful city because we care.


Norma Arvizu thanked the supporters for their memories of the old library. She said she met two young mothers with babies in their strollers at the library who were looking for the parenting classes.

She told them the story time has expanded into interactive playtime with a book. That is the future. It will be opened to virtual films. I-pads permit stories to come to life. E-books are the future. Young children are our future.

Our ESL classes are the best in California. Monterey Park needs more services. We need to extend the library hours. We need the measure for the future of our library.

She thanked the guests for their support.


Nancy Ishino-Gilmore said she has lived in the city for the last fifty two years. When she retired in 2005 she volunteered at the library teaching LAMP and ESL classes. She also served on the Board of Trustees. She is a proud member of the Friends of the Library.

Ten years ago the library may two wonderful changes they hired Norma Arvizu and her new staff. They create great programs for all ages in the community. She advised the audience that library has several monthly events. She is happy with our library. We need to make repairs in the building too.

Please support this measure for the library for our community.  She thanked them for their support.


Dave Barron has been on the Library Board for the last two years. He served as the city clerk for 25 years. He has established a new group “Latinos for Libraries” to advice all of the residents that the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library is a city library. He said that 30 to 40% of the population is Latino. He has his roots in the library. He thanked the guests and asked them to support this measure.

Thomas Wong said the library serves the city’s cultures. He asked people to talk to your family, friends and neighbors to please vote YES on this measure on March 7th. He thanked all of the committee members, donors and guests for their support.

The Citizens for a Better Library group is dedicated to organizing, financing and directing the campaign to educate the residents and voters about the need to extend the Library parcel tax that will ensure that the Library has the resources needed to remain open 7 days a week and have on hand, the books, materials and technology that our residents need.

Donation checks can be made payable to “Citizens for a Better Library” and mailed to P O Box 521 Monterey Park CA 91754.

Additional information is available on the campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MPKCitizensforaBetterLibrary/

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