The Measure H campaign announced several endorsements on Monday.
Two long-standing congregational coalitions in the city have formally endorsed the campaign: the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Pasadena, representing over a dozen primarily African American congregations, and the Clergy Community Coalition with nearly 80 member congregations.
“Pasadena’s faith community has been indispensable to getting Measure H on the ballot,” said campaign leader Michelle White, who has a decades-long history of making affordable housing a reality. “We are honored to have important endorsements from congregations across Pasadena. They know the struggles that our neighbors are facing. They are our neighbors.”
LA Voice, a multi-faith community organization working to “transform our county into one that reflects the dignity of all people,” has also endorsed Measure H in Pasadena. Four Pasadena congregations are members of LA Voice.
Measure H has also been endorsed by specific congregations, the Campaign reported, including the Pasadena landmark, All Saints Episcopal Church, Throop Unitarian Universalist Church, and the Orange Grove Friends Meeting.
Associate Rector Mark Chase of All Saints Church agreed. “We’re squarely behind rent control and affordable housing. It’s what we call ethical stewardship.”
The Campaign said it has garnered widespread support from clergy in Pasadena.
“I’d be very surprised if you found a pastor not in favor of rent control,” according to Pastor Kerwin Manning of Pasadena Church in the northwest part of the city. “Our members don’t even live here anymore. At least 75% of congregants” were forced to move because of higher and higher rents.
“There’s too much month at the end of the money,” he added.
Other clergy echoed Manning’s concern. Clare Ferguson Bravo, pastor of Rose City Methodist Church, a small congregation near Caltech, lamented that “just over the summer three families couldn’t find affordable housing” and had to move out of Pasadena. Bravo said 30% to 40% of her congregation have now moved out of the city, including one family who now drives 30 miles from Upland to attend services.
“They are losing their community.” Members of the congregation, she continued, “are less likely to commit to building deep relationships because people are more transient. We are volunteering for the rent control campaign, which is our way of involving ourselves in Pasadena.”
One Sunday, instead of having a church service, Pastor Bravo said she hosted an activity involving fanning out over the city to drop literature on residents’ porches explaining Measure H.
“Our faith is not just coming to a service, but living out our faith by serving the community.”