Scott Marks 4:26 p.m., May 21
Faith leaders rally in support of ballot measures
The Interfaith Community for Worker Justice, which describes itself as representing “clergy, synagogues, churches, mosques, faith and justice organizations . . . who feel called by their respective religious traditions to work for justice and stand up for the poor and marginalized,” held a multi-stop rally billed as “Faith out Front” in the Stockton neighborhood yesterday afternoon addressing several ballot measures.
Beginning at Christ the King Catholic Church at the corner of 32nd Street and Imperial avenue, speakers addressed the crowd of about 50 that had gathered to call for support of Proposition 30, the proposal for an income tax increase on those making over $250,000 and a quarter-cent sales tax for all consumers, and for Proposition Z, which would allow the San Diego Unified School District to issue another $2.8 billion in bonds for school improvements and to plug holes in the District’s budget.
“It stops the bleeding,” said San Diego City College professor and San Diego Unified parent Kelly Mayhew about her support of Prop 30, “so that we can recover, revive, and renew our resources, which are our kids.”
The group then proceeded several blocks to Bethel Memorial A.M.E. Church, where presenters spoke in support of Prop 34, a measure to end the death penalty in California.
“Why are we wasting our money on this broken system?” asked Catherine Thiemann, the local chair of the Yes on 34 campaign. She claimed that since 1978, $4 billion had been spent on prosecuting death penalty cases, resulting in only 13 executions while another 84 inmates on death row died of old age or other causes.
Marchers then proceeded to St. Paul United Methodist Church to hear a presentation against the passage of Prop 32, which has faced stiff opposition from unions, who would be denied the major source of their funding – voluntary payroll deductions – if passed.
The afternoon concluded back at Christ the King, where speakers promoted Prop 36, which would amend the state’s “three strikes” law.
While tax-exempt organizations such as religious groups can advocate for or against issues of public policy, they are forbidden from endorsing specific candidates for elected office.