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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Resident petition urges city council to call for a ceasefire in Gaza

Feb 29, 2024 01:33PM ● By Cassie Goff

“Ceasefire—now!” call Salt Lake City residents on Feb. 20 as they urge their Salt Lake City Councilmembers to pass a proclamation in support of peace. (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City/Youtube)

“I am currently working on a petition in Cottonwood Heights to call for a ceasefire in Gaza,” said Cottonwood Heights resident Sara Anderson on Feb. 6. 

Seventy cities across the country have been passing resolutions or proclamation of support of a ceasefire. As Salt Lake City was deliberating on issuing a statement of support as well, Anderson saw an opportunity for Cottonwood Heights to use their voice.

“I would like to see Cottonwood Heights be a leader in this effort,” she said. 

During her 3-minute public comment, she briefly recapped the situation. 

“Over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7,” Anderson reported. “Ninety-two percent of the 40,000 people killed in Gaza in the last four months have been civilians.” 

The International Court of Justice had determined the likelihood of Israel committing genocide. This would be against Humanitarian Law. 

“We are witnessing an unparalleled catastrophe, a humanitarian disaster, unfold before us. I believe it’s the first time in history where we have been able to see this happen in real time,” Anderson continued. “I feel we are able to do something about it in real time.” 

Since starting her petition, she was overwhelmed by the voices of support within Cottonwood Heights. This lead her to research the support for a ceasefire among the voter base. She reminded the Cottonwood Heights City Council that 75-80% of Democrats, 50-55% of Republicans, and 59-66% of all voters are in support of a ceasefire. 

Anderson reported her progress on the petition to call for a ceasefire during the council meeting on Feb. 20. 

“I urge Mayor Weichers and our city councilmembers to apply pressure on our president and congressional representatives to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” Anderson said. 

She updated the council on what had been going on in the last two weeks since she spoke last. 

“The so-called safe area of Rafah is currently under bombardment with an impending ground invasion where 1.9 million displaced refugees are currently sheltering in tents…Millions are at imminent risk of death from starvation, dehydration, disease, and bombardment if a ceasefire is not achieved and humanitarian aid is not delivered without delay,” Anderson said.

“It’s hard to know what we can do here in Utah, thousands of miles away. But I do know that the U.S. federal government holds immense diplomatic power to save Palestinian and Israeli lives,” Anderson said.

Anderson again asked the Cottonwood Heights City Council to urge the current administration for a ceasefire. 

On Feb. 20, the Salt Lake City Council adopted a Joint Resolution for Peace. At the Salt Lake City Council Meeting that night, many residents expressed their frustration with the statements within the Resolution for Peace, as it did not explicitly call for a ceasefire. Stated within the resolution:

“Salt Lake City condemns Islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-Palestinian, anti-Israeli, or anti-Arab rhetoric and urges all our residents to build bridges of understanding between all our communities.”

Anderson mentioned that the Joint Resolution for Peace “was a major disappointment with no call for a ceasefire, no mention of Gaza, and no call for the allowance of much more humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza — all of which were the constituents intended purpose of drafting a resolution.”

Even with Salt Lake City passing the Resolution for Peace, and protests in Park City and Sandy to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Anderson is still collecting signatures in a petition for Cottonwood Heights to pass a resolution to call for a permanent ceasefire. 

Anderson hopes a ceasefire resolution will be passed as soon as possible. In the meantime, she asks residents who are in support of Cottonwood Heights passing a ceasefire resolution to place urgency on their councilmembers. She hopes to see many more residents voicing their comments at the Cottonwood Heights City Council Meetings (at City Hall 2277 Bengal Blvd.) on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. 

Her Petition to Urge Cottonwood Heights City Council to Adopt a Ceasefire Resolution can be found through a Google Form file accessible by email. 

To sign the petition, or learn more about Anderson’s call, residents can either email Sara Anderson at [email protected] or follow the hyperlink above. λ