Atheist Protests Against National Day of Prayer Park Rental In Mission Viejo

Ed Sachs: Thank You Jessica followed by Amy Stephens. Jessica Frausto: Good evening City Council last meeting my friend Al focused on now Mayor Wendy Bucknums apparent endorsement of the Christian based National Day of Prayer 2016 this meeting i would like to focus on the cost of the National Day of Prayer $25 the total amount that the city rented a park a school and a generator for an entire day the city-owned Norman P. Murry community center charges nonprofit organizations $25 an hour per for 2,500 square feet this is what 2,500 square feet looks like on the Potocki field the Potocki field is approximately 209,000 square feet the newhart school basketball courts and soccer field are 148,000 square feet combined that makes a total of 357,000 square feet next I’d like to draw your attention to the city-owned spotlight generator used for illuminating parking lots at night it too was rented to the church for no additional charge I want to point out to you that the city rented 357,000 square feet plus a spotlight generator to the national day of prayer event hosted by the Mission Viejo Christian church for $25 close to 2,000 people use both the park and the parking lots of the school for the four-hour event not including the additional ten and a half hours that the church that aside to set up for the event and to clean up afterwards the church has every right to rent this part from the city of Mission Viejo just like any other group has the right to rent the space for their own use the rate sheet however specifies that the price for 2,500 square feet is $25 per hour by my estimates the total price should have come to $3,570 per hour for a nonprofit organization that’s a total of fifty $51,765 in lost revenue for the city all of the city officials signed off on the event. City Councilwoman now mayor Wendy bucknam endorse christian-based event on “public property” separation of church and state should not allow for this event to be sponsored by the city especially in light of the explicit exclusion of other religions and spiritual beliefs as stated by pastor and event organizer Mike Maiolo according to the tax code churches are nonprofit organizations and therefore do not pay taxes into our city state or federal government as such it is unfair that they should be receiving special treatment and be allowed to rent out 357,000 square feet and a generator for only $25 total for the day. It is not the church’s fault they are playing by the rules but it looks like the city of Mission Viejo has changed the rules to benefit this church and this event exclusive to their own personal religious beliefs Wendy Bucknum: Thank You. Next Speaker. (APPLAUSE)

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