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May 15, 2008

Critical Vote Deferred on Resolution Opposing War with Iran

In Chicago City Council yesterday, the vote on the resolution against war with Iran was deferred one month until the next council meeting (full resolution text here).

Under a procedural regulation in the Chicago City Council, two aldermen can defer a vote until the next council meeting, but they may only defer it once. According to Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy senior policy analyst who has been tracking the proceedings, Alderman Stone was one of the aldermen responsible for its deferral today.

“We already knew he was opposed to it,” Naiman said, referencing Stone’s stated disapproval of the resolution at the Human Relations Committee hearing Tuesday. Alderman Stone joined with Alderman James Balcer to defer the vote at the behest of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who expressed his belief that the resolution might negatively affect Illinois presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s campaign.

If the resolution is amended in committee before the next City Council meeting, it may be considered a new resolution by the City Council, meaning it could be deferred again. Otherwise, it must come to a vote at the June 11 council meeting.

Call your alderman about this important vote and express your support for the current version of the resolution (click here for contact information).

The Chicago City Council previously passed a resolution opposing the ongoing war with Iraq, but the aldermen opposing the resolution against war with Iran, a minority in the City Council, have expressed that to preclude a potential war is a more sensitive subject.

Obviously, the Chicago City Council has no tangible ability to formulate foreign policy. Nonetheless, about ten US cities have already passed resolutions similar to the one that stalled in Chicago yesterday. This resolution is an opportunity for Chicago citizens to add their collective voice to the ever-increasing volume of the cry to avoid war and seek peace in US-Iran relations.

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