The Chicago City Council closed out January by narrowly approving a resolution demanding a permanent ceasefire, not in Chicago, but in Gaza, the Associated Press reported.
With Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson casting the tie-breaking vote, the City Council approved the purely symbolic measure 24 to 23, making Chicago the largest US city to approve a non-binding ceasefire resolution in recent months.
Wednesday’s vote followed weeks of contentious public meetings that were frequently disrupted by protesters. Shortly before the vote, Mayor Adams was forced to temporarily clear the rowdy protesters from the council chambers.
Among the protesters who showed up in support of the resolution was Jesse Jackson.
In addition to calling for an end to all hostilities, the resolution also calls for the release of the remaining 136 hostages held in Gaza and more humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.
A week before the January 31 vote, Mayor Johnson came out in support of the resolution first introduced by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez.
At a January 24 press conference, the mayor said he had condemned Hamas after the October 7 terror attack. However, citing the unconfirmed death count from the Gaza Health Ministry, Johnson said that after over three months of fighting, “the killing has to stop.”
Ald. Daniel La Spata, one of the sponsors of the non-binding resolution, said before Wednesday’s vote that the words the council spoke and the votes they cast may not directly influence “international policy,” but the council should “vote to help people feel heard in a world of silence.”
Despite strenuous objections to the wording of the measure from the City Council’s only Jewish Member, Ald. Debra Silverstein, the resolution remained mostly unchanged since it was first introduced. Silverstein had sought to include more criticism of Hamas and more support for Israel.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Silverman said while there should be an “end to the bloodshed,” it was “vital to understand what caused the conflict.” She urged the council not to pass the resolution unless it made it “clear that Hamas cannot and should not attack again.”
City councils in Atlanta, Detroit, and San Francisco have also passed similar non-binding resolutions.