By Rosalie Tirella
How dare Sarai Rivera, while running for District 4 city councilor, call and demand DEMAND incumbent D-4 Barbara Haller long-time friend and Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien, call O’Brien and demand that he NOT endorse Barb Haller, his dear friend? How dare Sarai Rivera and her troops, on the day of election, call Congressman Jim McGovern and bawl him out for coming out for Barbara Haller, holding a Haller sign for his friend and a woman who helped him make the Kilby Gardner revitalization project a reality? How dare Sarai Rivera call Family Health Center and scare its executive director, Fran Athenes, into pulling her name from a mini-ICTimes story on Barbara Haller getting the local health center’s outreach center some thermometers for inner-city families during the last flu epidemic? And force Haller to press me to run a correction? When we wrote the truth?
Who the fuck does Sarai Rivera think she is?
This is dangerous … . This is something Worcesterites and any city leader who ends up working with Rivera needs to know:
As a Pentecostal Preacher with her own inner-city church, Sarai Rivera is this: 1. Someone who “speaks in tongues.” In the Pentecostal religion people are chosen by God – the preachers – when then spew out what many secular folks believe to be a bunch of gobblydegook. This, according to Rivera’s religion, is the Holy Spirit/God. The person who was chosen by God IS God – and parisohoners treat the pastor (in this case Rivera) as GOD!
2. As a Pentecostal preacher, Sarai Rivera is someone who gets her “parishoners” to tithe – a way to get each family/individual to give Sarai a huge portion of their money/income – sometimes 10% or more. Not like Catholics or the WASP denominations, where you can give a penny or milion dollars or nothing. Pentecostal churches aren’t supported by the Bishops Fund, etc. They are independent … businesses, really. Businesses where pastors can make a killing. Some would say they are businesses that give comfort to the most downtrodden of people, but also exploit them – especially Latino immigrants, the poorest of the poor. When they come to America, they do not join our local Catholic churches (even though many come from what used to be traditionally Catholic countries). They join their storefront Pentecostal churches right down the street from their homes – a two minute walk, in some cases.
These Latino immigrants worship, absolutely worship, their pastors – and will gladly give them their money – and their votes.
When Sarai Rivera, as a Pentecostal preacher, tells her church and spreads the word to the multitude of District 4 Penecostal churches (one on every corner/every other store front in D 4, it seems), to VOTE for her, to MOVE a mountain (check out her weird quote in the Dianne Williamson column) these church folks – downtrodden and seeing GOD himself in Sarai Rivera – will do exactly what God/Sarai Rivera tells them to do! Vote for her!
This is one of the biggest reasons Rivera got into office last week.
This is another reason why Rivera is acting like such a freaking princess! Like God! Because she is used to preaching and pushing and really ordering around, though some may call it leading.
But does a leader threaten a Helath Center? Does a leader threaten the Mayor of Worcester? Bitch to a congressman? Expect them to just roll out the red carpet for the savior of D-4?
Cool your heels, Sarai!
This is politics and city governemnt. You cannot call the shots – from on high! You cannot think everyone is to genuflect, kiss your ass, do as you says because some how you are part of some kind of cultish religion where you think God speaks LITERALLY through you and you are GOD.
Truth be told, incumbent Barbara Haller is as close to a savior as Distrcit 4 will ever get.
We hope we don’t tune into City Counil meetings in January and have to listen to sermons, fire and brimstone, blah, blah from Sarai Rivera. Hopefully, she’ll mostly shut up when it comes to the uplifting crap and talk to the issues and work her ass off for District 4.