CINCINNATI, Ohio — This traditionally conservative Ohio city voted in January to express its “deep concern” about Bush’s plan to send an additional 21,500 U.S. troops to Iraq. While stating strong support for the soldiers fighting in Iraq, the resolution, which passed 5-4, noted “the resulting impact on available federal resources, which are urgently needed by the most vulnerable portions of the American population in the city of Cincinnati and other major urban areas within the United States.”

“Passing this resolution shows just how far things have changed, even in Cincinnati,” City Councilman David Crowley, the resolution’s sponsor, commented.

“Four years ago we worked really hard, pushing petitions against the war, doing e-mail blasts, holding rallies and press conferences. Churches and labor were involved, but we couldn’t pass a resolution opposing the war,” said Crowley. “Now people have had it. They are beginning to see what this war is doing to us. We didn’t even have to work hard to pass this one.”

The resolution, which originated in the Council’s finance committee, cited a $6.2 million decrease in federal housing (HUD) funds since the invasion of Iraq in 2002. This “severely lessens the ability of the city of Cincinnati to rebuild its urban core, promote home ownership opportunities and provide critical housing services for the poor, the disabled and people with HIV-AIDS,” the resolution said.

Some 40-50 people packed council chambers for the vote on the resolution, cheering when it passed. More than a dozen testified, all supporting the measure. One, the mother of a soldier being forced to return for a third tour of duty in Iraq, brought the crowd to tears as she spoke of her concern for her son.

Councilman Crowley was among the two busloads of Cincinnati residents who traveled to the Jan. 27 demonstration against the Iraq war in Washington, D.C. “We probably could’ve filled more buses,” said Kristan Barker, a director of the Inter-Community Justice & Peace Committee. “More people are calling every day, asking what they can do to help end the war.”

One of those working to end the war is Mark Mallory, Cincinnati’s mayor. Not only did Mallory support the City Council resolution, he left a mayors’ conference in D.C. to walk with the contingent from his hometown in the huge Jan. 27 march.

“People are reaching a boiling point,” said Phil Amadon, President of Machinists Local 6760 here. “People are tired of being lied to and sick and tired of this war. We need to spend money for health care and housing, not to kill people half a world away.”

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