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    Councilman Lerch Circulates Proposed Amendment To Lowenthal/Baker/Reyes-Uranga Iraq Resolution -- Calling It "Unity Resolution" -- For Mar. 25 Council Meeting

    (March 23, 2003) -- has learned that 9th district Councilman Val Lerch has circulated a proposed friendly amendment to an Iraq resolution agendized by Councilmembers Bonnie Lowenthal, Dan Baker and Tonia Reyes-Uranga.

    As first reported by, the Lowenthal/Baker/Reyes-Uranga resolution would put the City of Long Beach on record supporting "our service personnel as they are sent to war," then adding

    "[W]e must continue to pursue every avenue of peaceful resolution including negotiation or mediation strategies; and we advocate for post-war policies that are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice and in doing, so we encourage concerned Americans to continue to speak out guaranteeing their rights to free speech and debate."

    Councilman Lerch's amendment wouldn't change the above verbiage (which is the substantive part of the resolution)...but would add two "WHEREASES" (below) that precede it:

    "WHEREAS: Many Americans have expressed their support for our foreign policy: and

    WHEREAS: Americans who support going to war with Iraq need not apologize for giving a voice to their conscience in a country devoted to freedom of debate;"

    Councilman Lerch has dubbed the resulting amended resolution a "unity resolution."

    Whether Lerch's proposal will head off a Council firefight on the issue -- and a resolution agendized in response to the Lowenthal/Baker/Reyes-Uranga item by Vice Mayor Frank Colonna and 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll -- remains to be seen.

    The Colonna/Carroll resolution would put the City on record supporting a Congressional Resolution passed by the House of Representatives expressing:

    "'[U]nequivocal support and appreciation of the Nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the on-going Global War on Terrorism; to the members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are carrying out their missions with excellence, patriotism, and bravery' and to their families)."

    Both items are currently set for discussion at the March 25 City Council meeting.

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