Keep Jeff Bezos’s name off MLK Jr.’s building


Keep Jeff Bezos’s name off MLK Jr.’s building

This petition made change with 51,239 supporters!
Petition to
D.C. Public Library Board of Trustees and

Why this petition matters

Started by Emily Foulke

On January 26, 2022, the D.C. Public Library Board of Trustees voted to name the auditorium of Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library after Jeff Bezos. A library dedicated to civil rights activist, abolitionist, wealth equality and labor rights advocate Martin Luther King Jr. cannot also be home to a dedication to one of the wealthiest men in the world, accomplished through an exploitive company actively facing labor rights complaints

The decision to name the auditorium after Bezos was made to recognize his $2.7 million donation to the library in December 2021. For context, $2,700,000 is only one thousandth of a percentage (0.0015%) of Bezos's ~$169,900,000,000 wealth. For someone with an annual income of $35,000 (approximately the average income of someone making minimum wage at Amazon), this would be equivalent to a donation of 52 cents. 

Additionally, the D.C. Public Library is a public service and is partially funded by tax revenue. Bezos is famous for not paying federal income tax. He did not pay what he should've initially, instead donated some pocket change, and is now getting a building named after him?

Furthermore, cash donations are 100% tax deductible. This is just another way for the ultra rich to not pay taxes. The taxes that could fund projects like public libraries from the beginning, so they wouldn't need to effectively sell their naming rights to people who do not deserve to be put next to a name such as MLK Jr. 

Beyond the economics is the social justice illogic of putting a man who's primary accomplishment is being a rich white man next to that of a man who dedicated his life to socio-economic justice; a man who was killed for defending the exact rights Bezos violates in his warehouses. 

The last thing D.C. needs is another building named after a white man. 

Please sign and share this petition to stop the selling of D.C.

The library oversight committee will be meeting February 9th to discuss the issue and I will be submitting this petition, hopefully full of signatures, as a public comment. 

To read more, please check out the NPR article written on the announcement. To do more, please participate in the letter-writing campaign organized by the Athena Coalition


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