community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
The Pittsburgh City Council listened to area residents as they called upon the council to pass a resolution opposing the war on Iraq.
The City Council chambers were standing room only Tuesday morning as councilors listened to area residents who are asking the council to pass a resolution opposing the war on Iraq. At about 9:30, before the meeting began, approximately 50 city residents rallied on the steps of the City-County Building on Grant and Fifth, braving the cold weather to listen to several speakers, including the bill's sponsor, Councilman Bill Peduto (8th district).
The advocates for the bill, among them the Thomas Merton Center's Anti-War Committee and the local Rosenberg Institute, argued best by pointing to the fiscal impact of a war on Iraq. This may have been a good time to make that argument, as the city is facing cuts in federal subsidies. Just days before the meeting, the Housing Authority had announced that some of those cuts (totaling an estimated $3-4 million) would force the authority to slash it's budget for staff and reconstruction efforts.
A fact sheet prepared by the Merton Center's Anti-War Committee announces a dramatic cost of war with Iraq. Yale economist William Nordhaus estimates that taking into account the costs of a protracted war, including a long term occupation of Iraq, humanitarian aid, rebuilding of infrastructure, and the effects on the global oil market, war with Iraq could cost as little as $120 billion or as much as $1.6 trillion.
That would lead to a cost of $74.5 million for city taxpayers, argues the committee. That figure is generated by taking the total cost estimated by Nordhaus and calculating the percentage of federal taxes paid by Pittsburgh residents.
"There is a debate going on about the war on Iraq," said Peduto. "Unfortunately, it is not going on in the halls of congress, but in talk shows, radio programs, and our everyday conversations."
Peduto plans to introduce the resolution at next week's City Council meeting, saying that he doesn't want to introduce a bill that won't win. The extra week will give more time for people to organize and support the bill, he said.
Councilors seemed impatient during the public comment section of the meeting. Council President Gene Ricciardi exercised his discretion to limit the public comment section to an initial 30 minutes, with any additional speakers being given a chance to speak after more business was conducted. And one councilor left the room in the middle of the first group of speakers.
Before the public comment section began, approximately an hour and a half of proclamations had been given, primarily by Councilwoman Carlisle. Among other proclamations, March 3rd was declared "Drop everything and read" day, and the week of March 2-8 was reserved for recognition of women in construction.
A Pittsburgh resident who gave his name only as JT gave the councilors a challenge. "How will history look on you if you do not support this resolution for peace?" he asked.
And indeed, Pittsburgh may soon be in the minority if it does not pass an anti-war resolution. Among the latest municipalities to pass an anti-war resolution is the Wilkinsburg Borough Council, which passed an anti-war resolution just this past Wednesday. Chicago was recently among the largest cities to pass such a resolution, joining 117 total cities, according to CitiesForPeace.org.
by Quinten Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003 at 12:27 AM
by James Everly Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003 at 6:33 PM
You people make me sick. It seems that you have a short memory. Just one and a half years ago the world trade center was destroyed. support our troops. I am sure glad this country did not act this way back in 1941.
by Evan N Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003 at 6:55 PM
sorry i seemed to have missed the connection between saddam hussein and 9-11? Osama bin Who? please enlighten me.
by JonUs Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003 at 7:13 PM
I think the connection he was trying to make was 9-11 and pearl harbor. NOT 9-11 and Saddam.
by Evan N Thursday, Mar. 06, 2003 at 5:35 PM
What are you talking about. He is basically saying how can you be against this war wehn we were attacked on 9-11, just like when we were attacked in pearl harbor. and 9-11 is nothing like pearl harbor in the fact that the enemy is now some shadowy entity that george bush can manifest into any human form be it saddam hussein or kim jong il or bozo the clown. also, the enemy we are now pursuing (saddam) has no credible connection to 9-11, so why bring it up if you arent trying to connect it to something?
How wonderful to know that your City Council is courageous enough to pass its anti-war resolution. We in Europe are so worried that the crazy ex-Texas governor now wants to steal the world in the same way that he and his gang stole America.
I've visited Pittsburgh on a number of occasions and love the city, the people and the sports teams.
Go Steelers, go Penguins, go Pirates, Go Peace!!!
If we make you sick, did you throw up when you took the time to visit the website?
If we make you so sick, did you throw up when you took the time to visit the website?