Our Pastors, the Candidates and Your Choices Jan 3, 2014 Editorial and Commentary By John E. Warren, Publisher Recently, a number of African American Pastors met with both candidates seeking to become the next elected Mayor of the City of San Diego. These men met with the candidates out of a concern for the city in which their members live. They are the first to tell you that they have no formal political power since their role and their churches are non political by law. But they too as individuals are members of the San Diego community and as citizens they have a personal vote to cast on February 11, 2014 in the Special Election to be held that day. These pastors, which come from all the denominations in the community, expressed their concerns to the candidates on moral and social issues as a group of citizens who happened to be clergy. They did not attempt to speak for the churches they lead as each pastor acknowledged the personal right and privilege of each of their members to vote for themselves. But these men and women are united in their concern over the moral and civic direction of our city. While they have not made an endorsement, they expressed concern over the difference in the attitudes of candidate Alvarez and candidate Faulconer toward their concerns. According to them, Alvarez appeared aloof and at times condescending while Faulconer conveyed a sincere interest in the matters discussed and expressed a desire to establish and continue regular meetings with the ministers as an important part of the community. There was no confusion over the track records of either candidate, and there is an appreciation for the fact that business interest supports Faulconer, and Organized Labor has put its support behind Alvarez as it did Bob Filner. But on close examination it appears that Labor because of its democratic interest has enjoyed the support of most African Americans, now appears to be flexing its muscles with an attitude which says “we no longer really need your support African Americans. You can come with us or have no place to go.” The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper, like the Pastors mentioned above believe that voters, like a community, can have no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but only permanent interest.”The bottom line is that neither candidate nor the money backing them can assume that the Black vote no longer counts or is important in the City of San Diego.” It is expected and predicted that the voter turnout on February 11, 2014 for the run off special election will be less than 35 percent of the registered voters in the city of San Diego. That is close enough for the Fourth District in particular and the African American voter in general to determine who wins, regardless of how much money each candidates spends. Its time to vote our collective interest because of what we see and not what we are being told by a few friends, neighbors and leaders who have made deals based on their own personal interest which does not necessarily include the interest of the community. Let’s follow the unspoken example of our pastors by listening, asking questions and then making decisions for ourselves. Is there a real difference between what we can expect from labor and what we can expect from the business interest?