FAITH LEADERS HOLD SYMBOLIC CEREMONY OF WASHING FEET OF LOW-WAGE WORKERS
Leaders from a variety of denominations wash the feet of low-wage workers on the steps of City Hall on Thursday to send a message to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to raise the wage rate of city-funded home health care aides and non-profit workers, airport workers, and parents working in the CalWORKs program.
The ceremony is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the steps at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. on March 29.
Clergy taking part include Rev. Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church, Rev. Jeffrey Cheifetz of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Rev. Ellen Clark King of Grace Cathedral, and Bishop Jorge Garcia of the Anglican Church of Latin America.
The ceremony is taking place on Maundy Thursday, which has the same root as commandment in observance of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper and saying, “a new commandment that I give unto you: that you love one another, as I have loved you.”
It is sponsored by the San Francisco unit of Church Women United, a multi-denominational women’s organization, and the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, a worker advocacy organization.
The groups want to send a mandate to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to pass amendments to the Minimum Compensation Ordinance that would raise the hourly wage for people who work on city service contracts, at the airport, as In Home Supportive Services home health care aides and in CalWORKs, to $1.86 above San Francisco’s minimum wage, which rises to $15 per hour on July 1.
The amendments are scheduled for the Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee on April 12.
“This is the day that we remember Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and telling them to do it for others. And now we are honoring the caregivers who bath others all the time. Now we will wash their feet,” said Alice Lindstrom Davis, a member of the San Francisco unit of Church Women United.