Naperville mayor says city won’t adopt cease-fire resolution

Residents pushing Naperville City Council members to pass a resolution supporting a cease-fire in Gaza got their answer this week.

After an hour of public comment, mostly from those supporting a cease-fire resolution, Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli told residents their comments were heard but the city would not be adopting the resolution they sought.

“Naperville residents have entrusted the city council with the responsibility of determining whether official city action is appropriate, responsible and in the interest of our community,” Wehrli said.

“To be clear, the city council does not intend to initiate a cease-fire resolution,” he added. “The situation is clearly outside the scope of our local municipal government. That said, we all mourn the loss of human life and hope for peace to prevail soon.”

Wehrli’s comments came three days after more than 100 people gathered in downtown Naperville for a rally demanding the council pass a cease-fire resolution.

Chicago and other communities, including Bolingbrook and Villa Park, have adopted resolutions supporting peace and an end to the conflict. On Monday, Plainfield Mayor John Argoudelis read a proclamation during the village board meeting supporting an “end to the military campaign in Gaza” and an immediate cease-fire.

Residents at Naperville’s city council meeting Tuesday shared stories of those caught in the crossfire of the conflict in Gaza and urged council members to be their voice. Several held up their hands, painted red to symbolize those who have died in the conflict, as others spoke.

“Your silence makes you complicit, leaving the blood of Palestinians on your hands,” said Hanna Hernandez, who lived in Naperville as a child but now lives in Bolingbrook. “I don’t understand how it’s so easy for you to look away.”

Tuesday’s meeting was recessed for 10 minutes after audience members began chanting “cease-fire now” following Wehrli’s statement. Audience members cleared the room peacefully during the recess.

On Thursday, Wehrli said the only response he has received since his statement was from those agreeing that the city council needs to remain focused on local issues.

Wehrli said he made his statement to provide people with an answer to the request for a resolution. He noted council members have had the opportunity to request the issue appear on a future agenda, but none have done so.

Longtime Naperville resident Basim Esmail suggested the best way to address the request for a cease-fire resolution was to put it to a vote. He said he expects people will return to the council at the April 2 meeting with the resolution request.

“All we’re asking for is to put it up for a vote,” he said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.