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Key West Joins 65 Other Cities With a Resolution for Peace


2/6/03 - Key West – On the eve of a presentation of evidence by Secretary Colin Powell to the United Nations on Iraq’s weapons build-up, the Key West City Commission approved a resolution calling for continued peace negotiations in the Middle East and denouncing first-strike military action by the United States against Iraq. 

In her introduction of the resolution, Commissioner Carmen Turner said that the idea came from an e-mail list she is on managed by “Peace in the Park,” a Key West organization that has been meeting at Higgs Beach each Saturday since right after the tragic events of 9/11. 

In one particular e-mail message, a website, citiesforpeace.org, was mentioned.  As Commissioner Turner perused the list of cities that had passed peace resolutions, she thought, “Key West should be here.”

“Key West, with our desire to view our fellow man as “One Human Family” and our desire to embrace non-violent conflict resolution, I thought this was a list we should be on.” 

Commissioner Turner recognized the need to tailor a model resolution to meet the needs of Key West.  “I did not want to be anti-government.  I did not want to be anti-military personnel.  I myself am the daughter of a veteran.  I was born in the Navy hospital in Key West.”

“There is a concern that expressing a desire for peace is unpatriotic.  That is untrue,” continued Commissioner Turner.  “You can want peace and still respect and support your country and the men and women in uniform.”

Passionate statements were made both for and against the resolution.  Regardless of which side they were on, there was a respect noted for the opinions of everyone and respect for the right to be heard.

“This is our opportunity as Americans to express our opinion,” said Mayor Jimmy Weekley.  “We are a government of the people and by the people.  It’s our obligation to debate these issues and express our opinions.”

Commissioner Bethel expressed that he did not support the resolution and felt that these decisions were best left to those in the Federal government who are closely studying this issue.  He did note, however, that it was important that all opinions on the issue be respected and that no matter which side of the issue you were on, it did not mean that you did not support your country or that you were unpatriotic.

Commissioner McCoy said she agonized over her decision not to support the resolution, while both Commissioner Anthony and Commissioner Oosterhoudt expressed their strong support for the resolution.  Commissioner Scales was absent from the meeting.

The resolution passed four to two and will be forwarded to President George W. Bush, Senators Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and all members of the Florida legislature.  Key West joins 65 other government bodies, including San Francisco, Chicago, Boulder, the State Senate of Maine and the House of Representatives of Hawaii, in passing this type of resolution. 

Key West is the first city in Florida to pass this type of resolution.  Campaigns are underway in Gainesville, St. Petersburg, and Manatee County.

CONTACT:
Kelly L. Haglund, Public Information Officer
305-292-8143
khaglund@keywestcity.com

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