Confession Moment #9: The Audacity of Public Officials


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As I wrote last month, my creative juices were in a state of flux and frustration.  In retrospect, I needed time to simply sit under the Tree of Life and listen to the messages flowing from my heart.  There have been some new insights, some new valleys, some new mountains, some new hopes, some new dreams, and some new realities.  Some of it blows my mind.  Some of it warms my heart.  Most of it provides the needed strength to carry on in my quest to understand the will of God on and over my Earthly and temporal life.  Not since 2010, has God been so real to me as he is now.  Back then, I wrote my thoughts out privately only to learned publicly so many others shared the same thoughts.  The unspoken understanding of my connections with and to the Body of Christ continually astonishes me.  If I am honest, my understanding of the power of God exists on different planes of understanding and knowing.

For this reason, I am practicing my teachings and lessons learned.  I adhere now to one of the greatest lessons my spiritual teachers deposited into my spirit throughout my life-cycle. The Word of God, should never be rushed or purposefully revealed until complete.  Relationships die, otherwise.  Spiritual growth dies, otherwise.  Healing takes a backseat, otherwise.  There is much I have to say, but only when God lifts the flood gates.  All of it reflects, holds true, and manifests through my daily encounters with God’s children more and more each day.

In the meantime, expect more posts on my continued struggle, adjustment, and full acceptance of the call on my life as I grappled with my inheritance of a spiritual mind. I openly declare, “I am grateful for and humbled by the experience”.

For now, I am sharing a post I posted on my personal Facebook page earlier this week.

 

 

Today’s confession moment centers around my early voting experience this past Monday.

Today, I took part in the general election voting cycle for early voters. There is an interesting request of our city officials. They are requesting a raise in income. Specifically, for all current and future councilmembers they are seeking a bump in salary to $60,000 a year.

In addition, the proposition includes a request for future mayors of the City of Dallas to $80,000 a year, in the event, they are elected while holding another City of Dallas office.

Proposition No. 8. reads as follows:

Increasing Compensation for the Mayor and Councilmembers. Shall Chapter III, Section 4(a) of the Dallas City Charter be amended to increase compensation for councilmembers to $60,000, effective upon the swearing-in of city council members in June 2015, and for the mayor to $80,000, effective upon the swearing-in as mayor of a person who did not hold the office of mayor on November 4, 2014?

Initially, I felt a slight rage growing in my belly. For one, the proposition is 8 or 9. If you are bold enough to ask for a 60 percent increase in salary at least be bold enough to put it in plain sight and not at the end of the ballot. Especially, considering the average corporation will only offer you a 1% to 5% annual merit increase assuming they are unable to find a justifiable exclusionary excuse to honor their standing policies on the meager raise that is.

The minimum wage for the average citizen of Dallas County is $7.25 per hour or $15,080 per year. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins proposed an increase for contract employees employed by the City of Dallas back on March 24, 2014 of this year. The proposed pay rate was $10.25 per hour or $21,320 per year. I recognize the proposed increase, still misses the mark. Many would still fall beneath the true poverty lines set by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Here is a current poverty base line list as of January 24, 2013 available on DHHS’ website: 1 person = $11,670; 2 people = $15,730; 3 people = 19,790; 4 people = 23,850; 5 people = $27,910; 5 people $27,910; 6 people $31,970; 7 people = $36,030; 8 people = $40,090, and for each household-member over eight the DHHS recommends you add $4,060.

I didn’t see an increase for the average City of Dallas resident on the ballot.

Hmm…

Bear with me for a minute with the math. Let’s suppose for a minute the average family is 4 people. Each family member of the starving family of 4 has $5,962.50 to live on throughout the year or $496.86 a month. If they pool their money together for an average 2 bedroom apartment according to the allowed amount under Section 8’s Rental Certificate Model their rent will be $800 per month, but their model includes utilities in the rental calculation of $800 a month, which most apartments do not provide as part of their rental agreement. Let’s continue the same level of generosity as DHHS. We will assume the unnamed family of 4 can procure electricity, phone service, water/sewer service, and rental insurance for $400 a month.  Before they even consider food, a family car, or public transportation costs their monthly expenses for rent and utilities are at $1,200 a month. Now each family member has $196.88 dollars for the month. Which takes priority? Food, clothing, transportation, health insurance, or none of the above

Don’t judge the one’s looking for a numbing effect with alcohol or drugs. After all, it is about all they can afford to cope with their harsh realities, because not everyone believes in God anymore. His methods and teachings rarely surface anymore in governments or politics unless the sayer is attempted to constrain the rights of the people.

Currently, Dallas Councilmembers receive a salary of $37,500 per year. However, most councilmembers have other sources of income earning 3 or 4 times their meager City of Dallas salary. Let’s continue our mindset of generosity in our calculations for a moment as DHHS is with the mass populace. Suppose the average councilmember only manages to double their City of Dallas salary to $75,000 per year. The same councilmembers’ family of 4 receives $18,750 per year or $1,562.50 each month.

The basic difference: the average City of Dallas councilmember receives $12,787.50 more per year per family member than the average City of Dallas resident. By the way, research the last 4 or 5 years of corrupt politicians in the City of Dallas. $75,000 is a low ball figure.

My point in all of this is an insurmountable level of audacity of our public officials, in light of the current state of our economy for any self-respecting City of Dallas Councilmember to propose a wage hike without at least putting forth a similar proposition for the least of us. And, please do not be fooled by Proposition No. 4 my fellow same gender loving family, friends, and Face bookies. We are already a federally protected class after the Supreme Court decision of 2013. Stop waving carrots and calling them lobster.

I am utterly offended, because many unsuspected voters will vote for the proposition while they debate a $1.00 cheeseburger from McDonald’s or a 10 piece chicken nuggets from Burger King for $1.49. Some of us believe the reference to the blind refers to a spiritual blindness. Not true, sometimes we are civically blind. Voting for Proposition No. 8 while in financial poverty makes you civically blind and spiritually deficient for your fellow-man, woman, and child. Yes, I said it and I meant every word.

I am through.

Stay blessed and alert.

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