One Irvine City Council meeting removed from voting to add “In God We Trust,” about 20 religious leaders from across Orange County have chimed in with a letter asking the City Council to reinstate the city’s longstanding Living Wage ordinance that was repealed earlier this summer.
Two of the council members — Christina Shea and Lynn Schott – profess to be very Christian, and their vote to overturn this successful policy is anything but. Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway cites economist Milton Friedman, who in Lalloway’s word, “…has articulated better than I ever could, mandated wage ordinances actually hurt the poor rather than help them. My focus is helping to foster economic growth to help everyone improve their standard of living.”
Lalloway hasn’t offered a single plan, proposal or idea on any way to do this very thing.
From the Register’s story:
The Rev. Paul Tellström, senior pastor at Irvine United Congregational Church, describes the City Council’s new stance on wages as anti-poor in a letter to the city this week. Twenty-four faith leaders, representing various religions and from throughout Orange County, also signed the letter.
“Each of our religious traditions speaks to the need to look after the poor, the outcast and the marginalized,” Tellström wrote.
“A decision to reduce the wages of some of the lowest-paid workers during a time of strong economic growth is antithetical to what our unique faiths teach us about fairness and justice.”
Irvine’s move to repeal its living wage ordinance runs counter to national and local trends.
In recent months, cities around the country, including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have passed similar wage laws. Last week, the University of California system said it would boost its minimum wage to $15 by 2017, a move expected to affect hundreds of workers at UC Irvine.
Opponents of such regulations say businesses react by hiring fewer workers, thereby harming the people wage laws are designed to help.
Councilwoman Christina Shea, who voted against the ordinance in 2007 and led the repeal effort this year, said her position hasn’t changed.
“This is not a spiritual issue. This is not a religious issue. It has nothing to do with that,” Shea said.
“It has to do with what’s best for business. There’s no way I will review my position on the living wage.”
Shea added that she believes the decision will help struggling Irvine residents by reducing the cost of city contracts.
The reality is the repeal doesn’t lower Irvine taxpayers taxes by a single cent. But with all the IE money behind the Irvine Republican council majority from Emile Haddad’s development company, Irvine Republicans don’t need to raise money for re-election when IEs that publish outright lies will continue to help them get re-elected.
Clergy who signed on to the letter include:
• Rev. Paul Tellström, Irvine United Congregational Church
• Rev. A. Paige Eaves, University United Methodist Church, Irvine
• Rev. Mark Whitlock Jr., Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, Irvine
• Sheikh Atef Mahgoub, Islamic Center of Irvine
• Rev. Ken Wyant, United Church of Christ minister (retired), Irvine
• Rabbi Arnold Rachlis, University Synagogue, Irvine
• Sherri Sisson, Orange County Friends Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Irvine
• Rev. Bil Aulenbach, Episcopal priest (retired), Irvine
• Rev. George Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America minister (retired), Irvine
• Rev. D. Mark Davis, St. Mark Presbyterian Church pastor, Newport Beach
• Rev. Chineta Goodjoin, New Hope Presbyterian Church, Orange
• Pastor Gale Oliver Jr., Greater Light Missionary Baptist Church, Santa Ana
• Rev. Fernando Tamara, Primera Asamblea del Condado de Orange, Santa Ana
• Rev. Sarah Halverson, Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa
• Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, Islamic Educational Center of OC, Costa Mesa
• Mobed Maneck Bhujwala, Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, Huntington Beach
• Rev. Kent Doss, Tapestry Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Mission Viejo
• Rev. Michael Holland, Church of the Foothills, Santa Ana
• Rev. William Moses Summerville, Kingdom Come Community Church, Buena Park
• Rev. Peggy Price, Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living minister emeritus
• Rev. R. Winston Presnall, First Presbyterian Church of Orange
• Rev. Sian Wiltshire, Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, Costa Mesa
• Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein, Congregation B’nai Tzedek rabbi emeritus, Fountain Valley
• Rev. Karen Stoyanoff, Unitarian Universalist Church, Anaheim
• Orange County Interdenominational Alliance
• Council of Muslim Women
• Islamic Shura Council of Southern California