Faith Communities Across CA Back Prop 15, a Moral Call for Equity and Fairness

Faith Communities Across CA Back Prop 15, a Moral Call for Equity and Fairness

Contact: Ling Woo Liu, lliu[at]sff.org

Oct. 23, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — 2020 has been one of the most difficult years of our lives. So many of us have experienced suffering, isolation, and loss in ways that we never imagined possible. From the public health pandemic, to the toxic air caused by climate fires, and state-sanctioned violence against Black life, we are fighting on many fronts for the health and safety of our families and communities. The deep inequality between those who are profiting and those that are perishing is made even more visible in these difficult times.

As we enter the final months of this unprecedented year, there is still so much at stake. November’s election will determine the future of our local communities, of our country, and of our world. It is more critical than ever that we exercise our values through our vote.

Electing the country’s next leaders is of the utmost importance if we are to restore dignity, truth, and equality to our society. But here at home in California, we are being called toward much needed transformation as well. Our state ballot offers us an opportunity to right historical wrongs and reverse the racialized disinvestment that have harmed us.

For decades, our communities, especially Black and other communities of color, have suffered from disinvestment in our schools and critical local services — the very tools we all need to get ahead.

We’re seeing the effects of such disinvestment right now. Communities of color are significantly more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to other Californians. We are more likely to live in neighborhoods experiencing environmental racism and lack of critical services. We are more likely to become victims of police brutality and the prison industrial complex. These are direct results of disinvestment in schools and critical local services.

Prop 15 is our chance to restore funding to our communities by closing the unfair tax loopholes that benefit a fraction of wealthy corporations. By requiring corporations to pay their fair share of property taxes, we reclaim and reinvest $12 billion every year directly into our schools and local cities, counties and special districts. This means new resources for education, youth programs, workforce development, affordable housing and homelessness, public health clinics and wildfire protection, which are critical to the recovery of our communities.

In the past few weeks, we have heard a great deal of misinformation about Prop 15, so it is important to correct the record. Prop 15 protects all residential property, meaning it will not increase property taxes or rents for homeowners and renters. Agricultural property is fully protected and commercial property worth less than $3 million is also protected. 92 percent of the new Prop 15 revenue will come from the top 10 percent of California’s commercial properties like Chevron, Intel, and Blackstone. Additionally, small businesses will receive new tax relief with elimination of up to $500,000 in the tax they pay on equipment — a much needed benefit as they work toward re-opening and rebuilding.

The corporate-backed opposition has focused their attention on Black voters and other voters of color, aiming to confuse us with misinformation and lies. They are even paying prominent members of the Black community to speak for their profit-driven agenda. We should not be fooled or confused by these age-old tactics. Prop 15 is about ensuring corporations pay their fair share toward the education and local services we all need to thrive.

Our communities should not be forced to fight over crumbs. We should not have to worry whether our children’s schools will have the basic supplies to educate them. We should not have to worry about cuts to critical services like public health care, libraries, parks and infrastructure.

Prop 15 is a moral call for equity and fairness. We must follow our values and the teachings of our spiritual traditions which compel us to act in the best interest of our people. California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world and there is enough for all of us. Prop 15 asks us to put public good over private profit so we may build a future that serves each and every Californian.

May we vote as one — undeterred by confusion and misinformation — with a resounding YES to putting our young people and our communities first.

SIGNATORIES

To sign on, please email your name, title, and affiliation to Michelle Myles Chambers (mmc[at]sff.org )and Jahmese Myres (jahmesem[at]schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org).

Rabbi Adam M. Allenberg
Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion

Rabbi Melanie Aron
Congregation Shir Hadash
Los Gatos, CA

Barbara Baran
Policy Advocate
National Council of Jewish Women CA

Rev. Dr. Barbara Barkley
Pastor, Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church

Rabbi and Psychoanalyst Lewis M. Barth
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Los Angeles, CA

Rev. Molly Baskette
Senior Minister
First Church Berkeley UCC

Rabbi Sarah Bassin
Beverly Hills, CA

Zahra Billoo
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area

Anna-Marie Booth, J.D.
Board Member of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio
Member of Grace Cathedral

Pastor Benjamin F. Briggs Jr.
Director of Civic Engagement
“Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement(COPE)

Rev. Samuel J. Casey
Executive Director
Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement
San Bernardino, CA

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
Statewide Network

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
Rabbi in Residence
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Rabbi Jaclyn Cohen
Temple Isaiah
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi David J. Cooper
Emeritus of Kehilla Community Synagogue
Piedmont

Rev. Dr. Arthur Lawrence Cribbs, Jr.
Pastor
Los Angeles Filipino American United Church of Christ
Executive Director Emeritus
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Rev. George C.L. Cummings, Ph.D.
Pastor, Imani Community Church
Regional Executive Director, Faith in Action East Bay
Oakland, CA

Rev. Sophia DeWitt
Program Director
East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)

Pat Plude, DMin
Minister of Music, Arts, and Adult Faith Formation
First Mennonite Church of San Francisco

Rabbi Emeritus
Beth Shir Shalom
Santa Monica, CA

Rev. Larry W. Foy
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
Los Angeles

Rabbi Jerrold Goldstein
Leo Baeck Temple
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Board Chair
Interfaith Movement of Human Integrity

Rabbi Roberto Graetz
Rabbi Emeritus
Temple ISAIAH
Lafayette, CA

Rev. Ranwa Hammamy
Executive Director
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California

Rev Kamal Hassan
Senior Pastor
Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church
Richmond, CA

Reverend Sophia Hayes-Jackson
Minister at First Christian Church Disciples of Alameda
Moderator, Bay Association Northern California Nevada Conference UCC
Founder Phoenix Outreach Ministries

Sally Hindman
Executive Director
Youth Spirit Artworks

Rev. Sheri Hostetler
Pastor
First Mennonite Church of San Francisco

Rev. Hubert Ivery, Pastor
Geneva Avenue United Methodist Church
Chairperson, Advocacy and Justice Committee
California-Nevada Annual Conference, United Methodist Church

Ameena Jandali
Content Manager
Islamic Networks Group

Pastor Anthony Jenkins, Sr.
Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church
Oakland, CA

Rev. Sandhya Rani Jha
Disciples of Christ
Oakland Peace Center
Oakland, CA

Aliza Kazmi
Advocacy Manager
Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Janelle Keene
Community Faith and Justice Committee
East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)
Oakland, CA

Rabbi Susan Laemmle
Dean Emerita
University of Southern California Office of Religious Life
Los Angeles, CA

Mr. Robert Lane
Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME)

Rev. Deborah Lee
Executive Director
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Douglas Leich
Steering Committee Chair
Multi-Faith ACTION Coalition

Rabbi Jay Asher LeVine
Temple Isaiah
Lafayette, CA

Mary Lim-Lampe, J.D
Genesis

Claire Lipschultz
Policy Advocate
National Council of Jewish Women CA

Saabir Lockett
Director of Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME)
Ambassador of the Lighthouse Mosque

Rabbi Harry A Manhoff, PHD
Rabbi Emeritus
Temple Beth Sholom
San Leandro, CA

Rabbi Paula Marcus
Senior Rabbi
Temple Beth El
Aptos, CA

Rev. Ben McBride
The Way Christian Center
Berkeley, CA

Pastor Michael McBride
The Way Christian Center
Berkeley, CA

Rev. Will McGarvey
Executive Director
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

Jen McKillips
Director of Partnerships
Project Peace East Bay

Rev. Valerie Miles-Tribble, PhD  DMin
Associate Professor, Ministerial Leadership & Practical Theology
GTU-BST/ Berkeley School of Theology

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi
Or Shalom Jewish Community

Rev. Dawn Neal
Insight Meditation Center of Redwood City

Rabbi Dev Noily
Senior Rabbi
Kehilla Community Synagogue

Rev. Dr. Ray Pickett
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Genesis

Kathleen Piraino
Executive Director
Episcopal Impact Fund

Scott Quinn
Executive Director
Marin Interfaith Council

Rev. Rhina Ramos
Ministerio Latino/Plymouth United Church of Christ
Oakland, CA

Rev. Dr. Liza J. Rankow
Founder, OneLife Institute

Rev. Rod Richards
Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA

Rabbi Dorothy Richman
Makor Or
Berkeley,  CA

Rabbi Eric Rosenstein
Temple Judea
Tarzana, CA

Rabbi John Rosove
Senior Senior Rabbi Emeritus
Temple Israel of Hollywood
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Benjamin Ross
LeoBeack Temple
Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco Foundation FAITHS Program

Rabbi Ahud Sela
Temple Ramat Zion
Northridge, CA

Rev. Joanna Lawrence Shenk
Associate Pastor
First Mennonite Church of San Francisco

Rabbi Suzanne Singer
Temple Beth El
Riverside, CA

Rev. Theresa I. Soto
Lead Minister
First Unitarian Church of Oakland

Rev. Leslie Takahashi
Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church
Walnut Creek, CA

Rev. Dr. Allison J. Tanner
Pastor of Public Witness
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church
Oakland, CA

Bishop Rufus K. Turner
Senior Pastor
Victory in Praise
Central Valley region

Pastor Trena Turner
Victory in Praise
Executive Director of Faith in the Valley
Central Valley region

Bishop J.E. Watkins, Pastor
Jack London Square Chapel Ministries, C.O.G.I.C.

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
Congregation Beth Am
Los Altos Hills, CA

Rev. Vail Weller
Congregational Giving Director
Unitarian Universalist Association
San Mateo, CA

Rev. Gary Bernard Williams
Saint Mark United Methodist Church
Los Angeles, CA