Open Letter on the Need for Revenue from Religious Leaders
What kind of state do we want to live in?
We believe all caring citizens want to live in a state where lifes basic necessities are met.
As religious leaders of Washington State we call upon our legislators to face the daunting challenge of balancing the state budget, with its $9 billion revenue shortfall, with courage and compassion. This cannot be accomplished without increasing revenues.
The massive budget cuts proposed in the Governor, House and Senate budgets devastate life line services such as childcare, public health, health care for kids and adults, housing and care for seniors. It denies opportunities for a quality public education essential for our childrens future. Public services are more important than ever when families lose jobs, lose healthcare and are otherwise economically stressed. To live up to our moral responsibility for the common good, we must find ways to raise additional revenues.
In times like this, we need visionary leadership that is why we call upon the best minds available to identify additional revenue sources that will be in the best interest of our communities and the least onerous upon lower to middle income workers. In our difficult situation there are some who are better able to bear the economic burden than others. We understand the impact of Initiative 960 and the supermajority vote required by both the House and Senate to pass any tax or fee increase. Because of this we urge the legislature to refer a ballot measure to the people that would maintain core programs that assist our most vulnerable residents: from our children, to our unemployed, to those without health coverage and without shelter, to those living with a disability, and to at-risk seniors.
Yes, we are doing our share in helping people in our communities get through these hard times, but as important as charity is, our churches and congregations are not equipped to maintain the critical social safety net programs and the investments of state government. As economists have said, cutting or eliminating services is not the solution. Maintaining services and keeping our current investments is a critical way to improve our sluggish economy. We call upon you as we call upon the members of our faith communities to join us in an effort to raise revenues recognizing that we live in a state with wealth and resources.
We urge you to fulfill your role as responsible legislators and we will fulfill ours as partners in educating and creating the public will to solve the challenges we face in this economy.
Rev. David Alger
Executive Minister Associated Ministries of Tacoma & Pierce County
Rev. Paul Benz
Director Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington State
Ms. LeeAnne Beres
Executive Director Earth Ministry/Washington Power & Light
Bishop Wm. Chris Boerger
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Northwest Washington Synod
Rev. Randy Craker
District Superintendent Church of the Nazarene Northwest District
Rev. Michael Denton
Conference Minister Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ
Rev. Tom Ewell
Clerk - Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy
Rabbi David Fine
Director Union for Reform Judaism Pacific Northwest Council
Rev. Shermella Garrett
Presiding Elder African Methodist Episcopal Church
Bishop Grant Hagiya
United Methodist Church Pacific Northwest Conference
Rev. Rebecca Hale
Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Northwest Region
Rev. Sanford Hampton
Assistant Bishop Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
Sister Linda Haydock
Executive Director Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center
Ms. Janine Larsen
District Executive Pacific Northwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Rabbi James Mirel
Washington State Coalition of Rabbis
Rev. Sharon Moe
Tacoma District Superintendent Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church
Rev. Jack Olive
Assistant Dean - School of Theology & Ministry Seattle University
Rev. Dr. Marcia Patton
Executive Minister Evergreen Baptist Association
Mr. Michael Ramos
Executive Director Church Council of Greater Seattle
Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Bishop
Episcopal Church USA Olympia Diocese
Rev. Bavi Edna Rivera Bishop Suffragan
Episcopal Church USA Olympia Diocese
Rev. Pat Simpson
Seattle District Superintendent Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church
Very Reverend Abbot Tryphon
Russian Orthodox Church All Merciful Savior Monastery
Bishop James E. Waggoner, Jr.
Episcopal Church USA Diocese of Spokane
Bishop Martin Wells
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod
Ms. Alice Woldt
Executive Director Washington Association of Churches
Ms. Mary Ellen Wood
Executive Director - Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington
For further information please contact Rev. Paul Benz
All of the apostate church. Thanks for naming names.