Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Pastor Michael Nabors of Second Baptist Church, and Pastor Daniel Ruen of Grace Lutheran Church will hold a news conference and rally on the Civic Center steps, 2100 Ridge, at 5:30 p.m., Monday, October 29, prior to the start of the City Council budget meeting that begins at 6 p.m.
This is their message:
Standing together as Evanstonians who care deeply about crucial mental health services, vital youth programs, addressing racial inequality, and maintaining an important fire department location, leaders of the Evanston Interfaith Clergy will hold a press conference and rally at the City Hall steps, just before a budget discussion of the Evanston City Council. We demand a full accounting of the city budget process that will safeguard: Health and Human Services Funding
• Prioritize staff positions that provide our residents with equal access to healthcare, food support, housing, and mental health services; prevent cuts that will threaten the city’s health department accreditation.
Mental Health Funding • Prioritize funding for the Mental Health Board, which meets the needs of residents living with mental health issues, substance abuse struggles, and citizens who deserve access to basic human services.
• Prioritize the holistic services of the Youth and Young Adult program staff by terminating the plans to reorganize the program; adult workforce development should be added to the current model. • Prevent the closing of the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, a community hub and one of the few recent investments in that part of Evanston. Fire Station #4, located in Southwest Evanston (1817 Washington)
• Prioritize the safety of people of Southwest Evanston by keeping Station #4 in its current location.
We are collectively concerned: the spiritual core of our community is not being prioritized. Budgets are moral documents. This proposed budget falls far short of expressing Evanston’s care for its most vulnerable and potentially successful citizens.
Furthermore, we are concerned the city of Evanston has not been forthcoming with regard to the effects of recent city lawsuits, bond financing, and capital improvement costs—all these affect citizens’ ability to live an affordable life. If given the time and space to deliberate and discuss, we will wholeheartedly work with the city to find new sources of revenue, identify immoral budgetary exceptions, and remove wasteful spending. Signed: Rabbi Andrea Coustan London, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue (847/869-4230) Pastor Michael Nabors, Second Baptist Evanston (847/869-6955) Pastor Daniel Ruen, Grace Lutheran Church (847/475-2211)