A Brief Review Of Candidates Regarding Removal Of
Pornography At FVRL
By Life PAC
Jack Burkman was a
Vancouver City Councilor from 1998 to 2001. During those
years, citizens brought concerns about the distribution
of pornography to and near minors in Vancouver libraries
to the Vancouver City Council, and
Burkman did not respond to the concerns.
Jeanne Stewart, elected in 2001, was the only
Vancouver City Councilor to publicly speak up during the
city council meetings for decent Internet service in
light of the kids and teens in the library. Library
records of complaints showed lewd behaviors and screens
associated with library Internet porn use, made
available to and near minors in the library. In addition
to Internet hardcore pornography made available to
children, the library also distributed pornographic
magazines to children, over the objections of parents.
Tim Leavitt and Larry Smith,
elected to Vancouver City Council in 2003 and 2004
respectively, did not respond publicly to citizen
concerns expressed repeatedly at city council meetings
over the years. The mayor and council have the authority
to recommend some FVRL library board members, and the
Vancouver Representatives were unresponsive to community
Doan attended library board meetings to advocate
decent library service, and wrote publicly in support of
filtering out pornography in public libraries.
The Children's Internet Protection Act was
passed into law in 2000, requiring libraries to filter
out pornographic an obscene material on library
computers with Internet access. The American
Library Association and the ACLU filed a lawsuit to
overturn CIPA, but the law was upheld by the
Supreme Court in June of 2003.
The FVRL library
board finally voted to filter out pornography, but only
for children 12 and under in August 2002, but didn't get
around to implementing the decision until a year later,
around July 2003 or so. In March of 2003,
Jack Burkman was appointed to the Ft. Vancouver
Library Board and served until 2008. He advocated
for the library policies of porn distribution to and
near minors for several years.
In October 2003, the board decided to filter for minors 16 and under only,
porn still available to those 17 and up. Meanwhile,
similar size library systems in WA state based in Tacoma
and Wenatchee took the approach to filter out obscene or
pornographic materials for all and did not offer
pornographic magazines to minors. Burkman had an excellent
opportunity to advocate decent Internet service for FVRL libraries, but didn't.
It took FVRL until April 2004 to actually implement the 16 and under policy,
after a failed library bond. Citizens did not support the second attempt for a
library bond, due in part to the continued distribution of hardcore pornography
to and near minors. Jack Burkman continued to defend the library
pro porn policy, and was
not responsive to the citizen concerns. It was not until Feb 2006, that
Burkman finally voted to filter porn for all ages.
In 2012, the WA State Supreme Court
upheld the right of libraries to filter out pornography
in a ruling involving the 28 branch North Central
Regional Library system based in Wenatchee.
For an in depth record and chronology of the library
porn issue at FVRL,