The Social Justice Vision at Stephen S. Wise Temple

Our congregation will see Social Justice as a calling that derives from our sense of God and the imperative of Jewish Tradition. The Stephen S. Wise Temple community will use our influence, power and compassion to be a force for positive, meaningful and effective change in the quality of life on behalf of all the citizens of Los Angeles and the world.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Progress on the Affordable Housing Ordinance

LA City Council Votes Unanimously (13 - 0) to Pass a Framework for a Mixed-Income Housing Ordinance.

Energy filled the Los Angeles City Council Chambers on Wednesday, May 27th as momentum built for a Mixed-Income Housing Ordinance. After hearing a report from city staff, the council listened attentively as Housing LA leaders eloquently told the story of why we need this ordinance. Following on testimony by County Federation of Labor leader Maria Elena Durazo, and preceding testimony by an ACORN community leader, Hollywood Adventist Church Pastor Ryan Bell, speaking on behalf of LA Voice, gave compelling testimony of congregants who are homeless or "couch surfing" with supportive friends. Housing LA coalition members cheered after each speech.

While council members asked specific questions about issues to be dealt with moving forward, the tone was one of seeking cooperation and shared leadership on this issue and a building consensus to make these ideas concrete. Garcetti, Hahn, Rosendahl, and Reyes all gave rousing remarks -- with Hahn speaking to the reality of a city where half of all workers earn less than $25,000 a year and Rosendahl bellowing for a 25% set-aside.

The consensus to move forward firmly encourages us all. Councilmembers Perry and Garcetti both spoke directly to the importance of the organizing work being done by LA Voice congregations and Housing LA. Don't hesitate to call your council member and tell him or her "thank you" for taking this step and asking them to lead the way on creating and implementing a bold Mixed- Income Housing Ordinance that will create thousands of units for hard working Angelinos and their children.

While the next report back is scheduled for September of this year, you can be sure that LA Voice clergy, leaders, and congregations will continue to pray and move our feet for the transformation of our city's housing crisis.

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