I had the privilege of being one of 31 speakers at Wednesday night's budget meeting...the first budget meeting County Supervisors have ever had in the evening. It was a meaningful experience and I was proud to stand in partnership with SDOP and others in the coalition of Invest in San Diego Families. The three minutes they gave me to speak went quickly so here are my full comments.
"Hello – I am Rev. Kathleen Owens, I live in District 4 and I am the Lead Minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego with two campuses…one in District 4 (San Diego) and the other in District 1 (Chula Vista) serving over 750 members and friends, and we are a member congregation of the San Diego Organizing project (SDOP). Thank you for this evening meeting on this important issue of the County budget. The church I serve is a partner with several of the groups that make up the Invest in San Diego Families coalition. As a lead minister with two campuses that includes multiple buildings and on-going maintenance needs and more, I very well understand the need to have reserve funds; I appreciate the strategic thinking of planning for unexpected needs; the need to have a rainy-day fund…our own church budget operates similarly. But I am also keenly aware of, as are members of my congregation, that we are not meant to be a savings bank while programs and services for people are kept at a minimum. What this coalition is saying is that the rainy day you are saving for…is happening right now."
One more time we publicly mourned gun violence in our country. As I prepared myself to participate in a vigil I wrote:
"Once again we stand on the side of Love with the victims of the shooting, with the families mourning their dead. We also stand on the side of Love with our Muslim kin and will not let one person's action define a whole group or religion. We stand on the side of Love because we refuse to give in to hate and fear...and we will not only stand but we will act in the name of Love for all who are oppressed, for all who live in fear. We will act in Love for justice and to end easy access to weapons of mass destruction. We will act so that all may be free from harm, from bigotry, from hate. We will act so that Love may prevail."
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