WASHINGTON – Officials from more than 90 local governments urged President Bush Thursday to find a peaceful end to the standoff with Iraq, saying any war would take money from schools, the homeless and police.
"The war would be funded by deficit spending and drastic cuts in domestic spending," said Chicago alderman Joe Moore, a member of a city council that voted 46-1 for a resolution opposing military confrontation.
"It is the obligation of the elected officials closest to the people ... to weigh in on this foreign policy issue," he added.
The group, under the banner of Cities for Peace, represents officials from more than 90 local governments which in recent weeks have passed resolutions opposing war with Iraq.
They planned a march to the White House and are backing a lawsuit filed in Boston Thursday seeking to stop Bush from declaring war on constitutional grounds.
Only a handful of the localities represented, such as Salisbury, Conn., carry Republican majorities.
"We believe that we need to (put) our resources not into putting people into war in Iraq, but into developing our cities," said Detroit city councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey.
"We protest the use of precious resources for war, when our people need shelter," added Don Cooney, a councilman from Kalamazoo, Mich.
Moral issues, too, compelled many local leaders to weigh into such a weighty foreign policy matter.
"Maybe once every 10 or 20 years, we have to do something more than fix potholes and sewers," said Galen L. Gockel, a village trustee of Oak Park, Ill.