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Rev. Kathleen Comments on County Board of Supervisors Pay Raise Plans

After the Union Tribune’s editorial regarding the recent news about the San Diego County Supervisors’ raise, Kathleen submitted the following letter to the Editor.

“Supervisors’ Pay – I am shocked that the Supervisors, who could not find any money in the County’s budget for Families of San Diego earlier this year, despite a large ‘rainy day fund’, could find money for their own raises. That this has happened without discussion and without public comment is disgraceful and immoral. 2018 elections can’t come soon enough!! Rev. Kathleen Owens”

One of the most frustrating things about this news is that outgoing Supervisor Dave Roberts was the only one to vote ‘no’ for this raise. It’s easy to get tired of such blatant greed and self-serving actions but I would rather be energized by it and at least voice my objection. Some say it won’t make a difference, that they’re going to do whatever they want to do. That might be true, but speaking out against this greed does do something for me…doing what I can reinforces my values, reinforces the truth that I too have a part in this unfolding drama. It reminds me that I do have some power and that when I speak out, I am encouraged and feel stronger because of it. Will one voice speaking out change their actions – probably not, but what if it were more than one voice? What if many voices and bodies filled the chambers on January 10th to protest this act of greed and self-service? What if the County supervisors had to look people in the eyes and see the people opposing them before voting? I call this raise of theirs immoral because it is. When families are suffering, when food insecurity exists, when affordable housing is more and more a myth, to give themselves a raise that makes their annual salary over $173,000/year – this is immoral. All major religions call on us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and heal the wounded. Doing this throughout our country requires funds…we need a systemic, county-wide response to the people in San Diego who are food insecure (which means they are hungry and often can’t count on knowing where their next meal will come from), who are homeless, who are lacking in mental health and drug treatment facilities. The pay raises these Supervisors have set aside for themselves and their future pensions could do a lot of good healing in San Diego and truly serve its people. I hope you’ll join the ministerial and social justice teams at 8:45 a.m. on January 10th, at 1600 Pacific Hwy, Room 310 in our Standing on the Side of Love shirts, to remind the Supervisors that their greed and choice to not serve San Diego’s people will not go unnoticed.

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