Over the last year I have been to nine meetings about wages and did not speak. I finally found my voice at the Temple Israel meeting because this is not an economic crisis, this is not a social crisis, this is a spiritual crisis.
If we rise above our chairs, we can see there are 3 types of speakers lining up before you; professionals, the poor and the not-poor.
The professionals give statistics, identify findings and educate. They tell us about other cities and the effects of $15 on a worker’s life and an owner’s business.
The poor ask for relief. Not for Cost-of-Living which would be much higher, just a promise of relief in small increments.
The not-poor ask to steady payroll so profits can remain, so business can grow, so customers won’t go to nearby cities where un-livable wages remain.
The one group that is never discussed is the half circle I see before me.
The half circle of you; the gate way. The elected voters.
You are the ones who receive the pleas and weigh the stories
You are the ones who measure the possible outcomes
You think it is political and social.
But I would like to rise and point out, it is spiritual.
It is your ethical thread, your risk, your compass – collective and individual.
As a serious seeker, a social ethicist, an initiated Buddhist monk, let me offer you an insight;
You earned votes and sit in a half circle,
You are a gateway of deciders
and the fact is -
you are called to this holy position, this sacred trust.
I believe you know what to do.
I trust you.