Chase Woodruff

(Colorado Newsline) City council members in Glenwood Springs unanimously approved a resolution last week calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, becoming the first Colorado municipal government to join a growing list of cities nationwide that have endorsed such a measure.

The brief resolution, approved Thursday night on a 7-0 vote, calls for “an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and occupied West Bank, immediate unhindered humanitarian aid into Gaza, and release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinian civilians in order to work towards a long-term, lasting peace.”

More than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s intense bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza since Oct. 7, when a Hamas-led attack killed more than 1,200 people in Israel. Nearly all of the 2 million inhabitants of Gaza — a densely packed coastal strip described for years by human-rights organizations as an “open-air prison” — have been displaced by Israel’s assault, and aid groups warned last week that Palestinians are facing the threat of “mass death” from starvation and disease.

“I think that asking for more peace is always better than a continued genocide, which is what we’re seeing,” Glenwood Springs City Council member Jonathan Godes said prior to Thursday’s vote.

Godes proposed the abbreviated resolution’s language, adapting it from a longer proposed resolution authored by activists from the Colorado Palestine Coalition. During a public comment period, organizers pressed council members to adopt their resolution, which includes extensive descriptions of the Palestinian death toll, humanitarian conditions in Gaza and what it characterizes as an “ethnic cleansing campaign” being carried out by Israel’s government.

Council member Sumner Schachter said that while he was “not comfortable” with all of the language contained in the draft document, he found its core message unobjectionable.

“I look at the resolution, and it is fairly neutral,” Schachter said. “It’s what the U.N. is saying. It’s what the humanitarian groups are saying. It’s even what some of our government at the executive level is giving lip service to, if not executing.”

Despite polling that shows that a majority of Americans support an end to the fighting in Gaza, only a small number of members of Congress have formally backed calls for a ceasefire, and no members of Colorado’s congressional delegation are among them. The governing bodies of dozens of U.S. cities, including Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco, have approved nonbinding ceasefire resolutions as Israel’s counteroffensive has continued.

The vote in Glenwood Springs came days after the Denver City Council rejected a ceasefire resolution of its own. That resolution’s much narrower language, crafted by progressive council members as a compromise after soliciting extensive feedback from interest groups, called for a “long-lasting humanitarian ceasefire” rather than a permanent one. It was defeated in an 8-4 vote.

Members of the Aspen City Council also rejected a similar resolution last week, but activists say they hope elected officials in Glenwood Springs set an example for others to follow.

“It is very inspiring to come together with other caring people and achieve this,” Tucker Knight, an organizer behind the Glenwood Springs resolution, said in a press release. “We are proud of the city council for their leadership. May it propel other cities to pass similar resolutions.”