Columbia faith group calls on city leaders for moral budget decisions

1 year 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, October 04 2018 Oct 4, 2018 Thursday, October 04, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT October 04, 2018 in News
By: Celine Pence, KOMU 8 Reporter and Rachel Zalucki, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Faith Voices of Columbia issued a call-to-action for city officials to be aware of the "moral implications" of the city's budget.

On Monday, Columbia's budget for this fiscal year went into effect. Faith Voices said the budget did not prioritize poverty, community policing and affordable housing within marginalized communities. However, it does applaud raises for city workers and the efforts toward saving parts of the transit budget.

"There have been some great efforts that this city has put forth," said reverend Sarah Klaassen of Rock Bridge Christian Church. "We're looking for an even deeper conversation as we go."

Faith Voices of Columbia is the local chapter of Missouri Faith Voices. It is an interfaith, multicultural organization of clergy and faith leaders whose faith, traditions and belief drive them to do justice work at the local level. According to its press release, Faith Voices of Columbia believes the budget should protect rather than burden vulnerable people.

"We are using this opportunity to voice our disappointment that a moral approach to the conversation was not a focus this year," said pastor Brad Bryan of Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church.

Faith Voices has been opening up community discussion to find areas that are in most need of budget funds. Bryan said many of these discussions take place in the wards near the Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church. The topic of discussion also focuses mainly on disparities among the African-American community, poverty and homelessness.

"We are not necessarily a data collecting organization," Bryan said. "We just talk to people face-to-face about their lives and we can hear that this idea that enough is being done is absolutely not true."

This afternoon, Faith Voices gathered outside city hall to clarify its demands and explain what strategies it will be pursuing to achieve them. Bryan was joined by Klaassen and Fourth Ward Council Member Ian Thomas in the press conference, as well as multiple other representatives of Columbia's religious communities.

"Sometimes we look at financial things as separate from ethics or social equity... that our government has prioritized," Klaassen said. "We want to bring those two together because that's where our heart is."

We reached out to Mayor Brian Treece, who was unavailable for comment. City Manager Mike Matthes did not get back to us by the time of publication. However, Thomas has joined the conversation and supports Faith Voices' message.

"I think everybody should behave in the most morally responsible way possible and that certainly applies to city government," he said. "I very much appreciate Missouri Faith Voices drawing the attention of government leaders to the importance of morality in our decision-making."

Although Thomas has received the group's requests well, he says he cannot speak for other council members or city staff.

Klaassen said Faith Voices hopes to see improvement in the city budget next year. But for now, Faith Voices will continue keeping politicians accountable.

"The overwhelming atmosphere and culture and response that we get from the city level is that enough is being done and that all in their power that can be getting done is getting done," Bryan said. "We disagree with that."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MU Theatre will not continue its relationship with True/False because of their partnership with The Crossing organization. ... More >>
12 minutes ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
33 minutes ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY - A damaged downtown Jefferson City building is scheduled for demolition, but the owners have filed an appeal... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer. Vincristine, a... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday. TJMS sent out... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman is dead after a car crash on Highway 63 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:57:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Leaders from several organizations from around Boone County gathered Friday to talk about various county-wide goals. The... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:10:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a triple homicide in a Kansas City neighborhood. Police spokesman... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:01:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man was arrested Thursday evening after police found dangerous drugs during a routine traffic stop. The arrest... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday. The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness,... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:23:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Sixteen Columbians will travel to Columbia's Japanese sister city, Hakusan City, to reaffirm the relationship between the two... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — After a controversial sermon at The Crossing on Sunday, the LGBTQ community is calling for those involved to... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Princeton Review named the University of Missouri to three of its "best" lists. MU made the... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 6:16:51 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Walt Disney once said, "All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." If your dream... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 5:25:44 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Simmons Bank, the Arkansas-based bank which bought Landmark Bank over the summer, confirmed some positions will be eliminated.... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 5:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Former Camden County sheriff's deputy Leonard Jerome Wilson pleaded guilty earlier today to receiving child pornography as... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 4:15:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - A grand jury indicted a man on October 11 for one count of child molestation. Robert Bosma,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
5pm 68°
6pm 65°
7pm 62°
8pm 60°