• people gathering in a large room

      Portion of the crowd at the Pasadena City Council meeting at the Convention Center on Monday, March 18, 2024 (Photo – W.K.)

      The Pasadena City Council meeting on March 18 was held at the nearby Pasadena Convention Center because of the correctly anticipated turnout of hundreds who want to weigh in on a resolution to call for a ceasefire in the Israel/Hamas war.

      By News Desk

      The Pasadena City Council had requested background information to assist in determining whether and how to address the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

      Public comments

      There were approximately 200 public comments and around 600 people (with opinions on both sides of the conflict) in attendance. The city council was seated in front of the audience. Emotions on the part of the people speaking was high.

      Monday’s agenda showed that the council was considering adopting one of four options.  At the meeting they announced that Council member Jess Rivas had put forth an alternative that asks for a ceasefire and the release of the 134 Israeli hostages that were taken by Hamas on October 7, 2023 and are still being held.

      After the last of the hundreds of public comments was heard, the council members started  their meeting.

      Council decision

      Mayor Gordo suggested a resolution based on Resolution 9831 enacted in 2021 which condemns hate, and added language that he said was “intended to unite all of us in this room.” This resolution would be sent to federal representatives and the President.

      The wording in the resolution did not include any language from the four original recommendations for a resolution.

      He said, “I think that this language makes clear that we in the City of Pasadena are pursuing peace and two we are asking our federal legislators and the President to work towards a peaceful resolution.”

      Felicia Williams moved the declaration.

      Chants of “ceasefire now” from the crowd were shouted down by the mayor. He asked for a second.

      The mayor made the second and called for the roll call vote.

      City Council member Steve Madison asked for more discussion and asked to work with Council member Rivas’s resolution, as he felt that the Mayor’s words in his resolution were “vague.”

      The chants continued.

      The mayor said he did not want to clear the room and the chants diminished.

      Felicia Williams said that the municipal affairs for the City Council is around parks, streets, and zoning. They couldn’t go to staff for assistance as the City of Pasadena does not have staff that works in foreign affairs.

      The mayor put forth two versions of his declaration and conversation ensued. Councilmember Hampton made a substitute motion to cancel the first motion and “Wordsmith version one.” He said he would ask for more time to deliberate.

      Councilmembers Jess Rivas and Jason Lyon added words to the Mayor’s version. Madison noted that the language to “release all hostages” was an addition and Steve Madison noted that Israel has no hostages which prompted an outburst from the audience.

      In the end, the Mayor’s resolution was edited and voted on.

      It was noted this is not a resolution. It is a declaration.

      It was voted on and approved 7-0.

      The Mayor announced (over the chants from the crowd), “The declaration that was adopted tonight by the council will be forwarded to our federal representatives immediately tomorrow morning.”

      The agenda :

      DISCUSSION RELATED TO THE ONGOING CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND CONSIDERATION OF A POSSIBLE CITY POSITION RELATED THERETO
            Recommendation: The City Council has requested background information to assist in determining whether and how to address the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
      
      people at a dais with audience listening

      Officials at the special council meeting held at the Pasadena Convention Center, Monday March 18, 2024

      t-shirt that say: Jews Say Ceasefire Now

      Many in attendance held “Ceasefire Now” signs or wore t-shirts with a political message (Photo- W.K.)

      a stand with political signs

      Outside the Pasadena Convention Center (Photo – W.K.)

      [This article has been edited for clarity. March 19, 12:05 pm]


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