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L.A. City Council Votes Against Iraq War

February 22, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution Friday opposing a unilateral war against Iraq and urging the Bush administration to exhaust all diplomatic options before committing military forces.

Mayor James Hahn signed the resolution, which passed the council on a 9-4 vote, making it the city’s official position on Iraq.

``I hope people understand we’re not a bunch of crazy politicians trying to dictate federal policy,″ said Councilman Ed Reyes, who voted for the resolution. ``We are echoing the sentiments of people who are hurting. Where do we begin to matter in the priority of our federal dollars?″

The resolution said the billions of dollars that would be spent on war would likely cause further cuts in federally funded programs that benefit the city. War would also draw away hundreds of police officers and other city employees who are military reservists, it said.

In opposing the resolution, Councilman Jack Weiss said the city should focus on urgent needs, such as increased funding for anti-terrorist security in Los Angeles. ``We don’t serve our constituents well by focusing on a divisive foreign policy matter that is completely beyond our control,″ he said.

At least 90 other local governments across the country have passed similar resolutions, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit.


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