Their letter states that a ceasefire is “of the utmost urgency” as the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 12,000 “the majority of whom are children”.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a temporary pause in fighting in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages captured Oct. 7 by Hamas, but activists are calling for a permanent ceasefire.
The letter follows protest letters written by White House staffers calling on Biden to pursue a cease-fire and by members of Congress, including progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Pro-Palestinian activists target those they consider their closest allies. Johnson himself is a former Chicago Teachers Union organizer and was endorsed by the pro-Palestinian group Democratic Socialists of America in his 2023 run.
Progressive staff feel emboldened after seeing initiatives pass through the council to fund homelessness prevention and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. These are two efforts supported by the mayor.
On the Middle East issue, however, Johnson took a cautious line by attending vigils for the Jewish and Palestinian communities.
Chicago staffers also want the mayor to support a resolution carried by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez urging President Joe Biden to push for “de-escalation” of military action in the region. The resolution was introduced earlier this month but stalled in the Rules Committee.
Staffers also launched the Chicago Progressive Staffers account (@312Staffers) on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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