How to help!
Please write to the planning board of ZAB to show your support for the Thai Temple.
Dated: November 3, 2008
Updated: January 12, 2009
URGENT ACTION ALERT:
SAVE THE BERKELEY
THAI BUDDHIST TEMPLE
A beloved 27-year-old Berkeley tradition â€“ Sunday Food Offering at the Thai Temple â€“ is in danger of being shut down. The Sunday Food Offering is essential to the Buddhist religious practice of communal food-sharing because it gives Buddhists an opportunity to earn merits by providing their time, services, and donations to the monks and the Temple. The Temple has served as a community space for Bay Area residents, Thai immigrants, and Buddhist practitioners to, and the Food Offering sustains the Templeâ€™s activities through the generous donations of the participants.
At a public hearing on Thurs., Feb. 12, the Berkeley Zoning Board (ZAB) will vote to grant or deny the Thai Temple a permit to continue the Sunday food offering activities.
The Temple needs you to voice your support.
Call, fax, and email Berkeleyâ€™s elected officials immediately:
|Supervisor Keith CarsonRodney Brooks (Chief-of-Staff)
(510) 272-6695 | F (510) 271-5151
|Councilmember-Elect Jesse Arreguin (Dist 4)|
|Mayor Tom Bates
T (510) 981-7100 | F (510) 981-7199
|Councilmember Laurie Capitelli (Dist 5)
T (510) 981-7150 | F (510) 981-7155
|Councilmember Linda Maio (Dist 1)
(510) 981-7110 | F (510) 981-7111
|Councilmember-Elect Susan Wengraf (Dist 6)email@example.com|
|Councilmember Darryl Moore (Dist 2)
T (510) 981-7120 | F (510) 981-7122
|Councilmember Kriss Worthington (Dist 7)firstname.lastname@example.org
T (510) 981-7170 | F (510) 981-7177
|Councilmember Max Anderson (Dist 3)
T (510) 981-7130 | F (510) 981-7133
|Councilmember Gordon Wozniak (Dist 8)
T (510) 981-7180 | F (510) 981-7188
Sample Email and Fax to Elected Officials:
I am writing to express my concern at the possible discontinuation of the weekly Sunday Food Offering at the Thai Buddhist Temple in Berkeley. I strongly urge you to support this beloved 27-year-old Berkeley tradition because citizens like me have benefited from the Templeâ€™s longstanding presence in Berkeley.
1. The Sunday Food Offering activities are an important religious practice for Buddhists.
Food-sharing is an essential aspect of contributing to and receiving Buddhist merit. The practice of creating a space where monks, volunteers, neighbors, and patrons alike can engage in food-sharing is part of merit-earning. The Food Offering activities have become the center of the Templeâ€™s spiritual activities.
2. The Temple has been and continues to be a good Berkeley neighbor.
In the past 27 years, no complaints have been filed against the Temple until the recent months. In light of the recent complaints, the Temple has not only addressed the specific concerns of the complainants, but it also has undertaken efforts to continue to be a considerate community partner through surveys and land use impact studies.
3. The Temple is a critical community institution for the Thai community.
Shutting down the Sunday Food Offering activities would have devastating effects on the Thai community that relies on the Temple as a support network and the center of Thai culture. The Thai community urgently needs places like the Temple to allow the community to grow.
Berkeley is counting on you to save this important and dynamic part of the Berkeley community. Thank you for your time.
Sample Phone Transcript:
â€œHello, my name is [your name], and Iâ€™m concerned that the Berkeley Zoning Board may make the wrong decision by discontinuing the weekly Sunday Food Offering activities at the Thai Buddhist Temple. I urge you to support this Berkeley tradition because it is vital to our community.
The Temple should be allowed to continue its religious practice of food-sharing. This is an important religious expression of the Buddhist philosophy of merit-earning. I believe that religious practices like food-sharing should be protected by elected officials such as yourself.
In addition, the Temple has always been a good neighbor and considerate community constituent in Berkeley. The Temple has addressed the concerns of the 19 complainants and has even taken proactive steps to reduce other potential impacts on the neighborhood. We need more constituents in Berkeley that are like the Temple.
Finally, the Temple is an important place for the Thai community to gather and support one another. We must allow organizations that provide under-resourced communities with cultural, language, and community services to continue their good work.
Thank you for your time.â€