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-- PELLA CITIZENS --

Please read the information and facts below to understand
what a YES vote means for Pella's Library Referendum!


We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 
Please email us at pmi.pella.ia@gmail.com. 

If you would like to support the innocence of children by displaying a
Library VOTE YES yard sign
 please reach out to us via email.


NOTE! This is NOT censorship. This is NOT an attempt to ban books. There is no threat arising that requires efforts to "Save Our Library".  We love our public library and appreciate its diversity. Voting YES is not going to change how the library serves the community!  
 Protect My Innocence is asking for citizens to Vote YES to create a safe place for minors to explore materials in their section of the library without running across pornographic and sexually explicit materials that have been proven to be harmful to their social and mental stability. 

What is going on at the Pella Public Library?

There seems to be some confusion regarding this November’s ballot issue regarding the library and Resolution 6442/Proposition A. 

Here are the facts:

Pella citizens will be voting in this coming November’s city election because of a disturbing truth that was brought to the attention of several citizens during the summer of 2022. Concerned Pella parents and grandparents were alerted to the fact that our local library is distributing books and other materials to our minors that contain sexually explicit content that’s obscene, pornographic, and vulgar. The Library Director and Board of Trustees are also allowing adult books that contain content involving minors engaging in sexually explicit activities.  

For example, the book Gender Queer, which is currently shelved in the Adult Graphic Novel Section, features cartoon pictures of a large bearded male—fully nude—sexually engaged with a much smaller, naked boy. The accompanying text presents pedophilia as a sexual fantasy. There are illustrations of children being engaged in sexually explicit activities. They are the subject within this book. These displays of pedophilia and other disturbing images are so sexually explicit and vulgar that they cannot be shared on Facebook or broadcast on network television.

The Federal Communications Commission, FCC, states that this specified material, which contains obscene, indecent and profane content, IS NOT protected by the 1st Amendment, and is prohibited on broadcast TV and radio media platforms.  It is allowed on cable TV, Netflix, etc. 

It was learned that there are over 100 books available within our library's, Teen and Children’s sections that contain pornographic and sexually explicit content. Anyone carrying a library card, ages 5 and older, can access all of these books.  

If an adult chooses to show these sexually explicit books to a child anywhere in public, they would risk criminal prosecution, yet kids as young as five can check out these X-rated books. Some are formatted as colorful, eye-catching graphic novels, which are a fairly new alternative to the classic comic book layout.

After much debate, dozens of concerned citizens approached the Pella Public Library Director and Board of Trustees and expressed shock and concern about this material being made available to minors. It was the first time in the library’s history that they had received even one formal concern about a book in the collection.

 

Citizens asked that the book be moved behind the counter to keep it out of the reach of children. Without even a period of deliberation, the UNELECTED Library Board members flatly denied the request. In disbelief, these concerned patrons next brought the matter to the attention of the City Council. The City Council said that their hands are tied as they have no oversight of the library—all power having been delegated to the Pella Library Board of Trustees and the Library Director back in the mid-1970s.

 

Undeterred, citizens decided that the next step would be to collect the necessary signatures from local residents within Pella, using the format of a referendum. This would be regarded as Resolution 6442/Proposition A, scheduled to be added to the ballot, which, upon passing, will return oversight power of the library to our ELECTED officials on the City Council. Although only a few hundred signatures were needed, approximately 700 signatures from like-minded citizens were collected in only a matter of days. Pella’s citizens have persevered in this because our children matter.

Giving direction to a public library by an elected Mayor and City Council is not unheard of as there are many community libraries in Iowa who have oversight by elected city officials. 

 

The library currently receives almost $700,000 of our tax dollars annually, and, UNLIKE any other city department, it has NO OVERSIGHT from our elected officials. The mayor appoints Library Board members, who can then operate the library without the public having any means to change the leadership or direction of this public institution. This is taxation without representation. I urge you to VOTE YES to properly align the library with every other Pella department and give the citizens of Pella a voice.

If you agree that vulgar, pedophilic and sexually explicit materials and books should not be accessible to children in our public library, VOTE YES.

Voting YES does NOT ban books; it gives parents a choice. Once passed, we will have the chance to restore the library to a family-friendly space where children can learn and explore without the danger of pornographic landmines. In Iowa, K-12 school libraries cannot provide children with books that contain visual or verbal descriptions of sex acts. We should expect our public library to show equal respect for parental rights and to value children’s innocence. Images can’t be unseen. Innocence cannot be given back. The local library was never meant to be a sanctuary for the distribution of sexually graphic material to minors. Let’s take ahold of common sense and fulfill our first obligation as adults—adults protect kids! 

VOTE YES on November 7th to restore common sense to the library, to give Pella citizens representation, and to protect children’s innocence. 

REMEMBER: VOTE YES TO CLEAN UP THE MESS!  (Written By: Concerned Citizens of Pella)

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