Interfaith Coalition to Restore the Water Fee Exemption, prays for relief

Asks Council to do right thing by religious community

By Chinta Strausberg


CHICAGO, IL – Today is the full City Council’s meeting, and the Interfaith Coalition to Restore the Water Fee Exemption is hoping that it will approve an amendment or an ordinance to restore the water fee exemption, which will allow the religious institutions to continue serving humanity by providing essential services.

If it doesn’t pass, religious institutions would be forced to severely cut back their essential services. “We want the City Council to do the right thing and reestablish the water fee exemption,” said Elder Kevin Anthony Ford, assistant pastor of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ. “We are asking supporters of this initiative to call their aldermen before the 10 a.m. meeting today to let them know they support this initiative,” said Ford.

Yesterday, the coalition delivered a letter to all 50 aldermen asking for their support. The package included a report from the Partners for Sacred Places on “The Halo Effect of Historic Sacred Places.”

In 2012, Partners for Sacred Places and the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice conducted a pilot study on the economic impact of houses of worship. They found that 12 Philadelphia congregations contributed $52 million in annual economic value to the city of Philadelphia for an average of $4.3 million per congregations.

Religious leaders say they too provide millions of dollars in services that the city of Chicago would have to pick up if they are forced to pay water bills. Making it clear, religious leaders say they cannot continue to provide social and economic services if they have to pay huge water bills. “We are praying for relief,” said Elder Ford.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: