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Pro-Palestinian staffers ask Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to back a cease-fire



Pro-Palestinian staffers ask Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to back a cease-fire

Their letter says a cease-fire is of “utmost urgency” as the death toll in Gaza has exceeded 12,000 “with the majority being children.”

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary pause in fighting in exchange for the release of the Oct. 7 Israeli hostages captured by Hamas, but activists are calling for a permanent cease-fire.

The letter follows protest letters written by White House staffers calling on Biden to pursue a cease-fire and by Congressional staffers, including progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Pro-Palestinian activists have been targeting who they see as their closest allies. Johnson himself is a former organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, and was backed by some members of the pro-Palestinian group Democratic Socialists of America during his 2023 race.

Progressive staffers are feeling emboldened after seeing initiatives to fund homeless prevention and increase minimum wage for tipped workers pass through the council. They are both efforts supported by the mayor.

On the issue of the Middle East, however, Johnson has walked a careful line by attending vigils for both Jewish and Palestinian communities.

Chicago staffers’ also want the mayor to support a resolution being carried by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez that urges President Joe Biden to push for “a de-escalation” of military action in the region. The resolution was presented earlier this month but has been stuck in the Rules Committee.

The staffers have also started the Chicago Progressive Staffers (@312Staffers) handle on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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