Anchorage Assembly rejects resolution calling for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas conflict

Dozens of people filled the Anchorage Assembly chambers on Tuesday. Many waved signs in support of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly shot down a resolution Tuesday night calling on federal representatives to work towards an “immediate bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.” 

The Assembly chambers were packed with people supporting the resolution, with dozens holding signs showing messages like “Stand with Palestine” and “Jews for a Ceasefire.” 

“It is essential to object to the loss of life in Gaza, and to advocate for peace and a ceasefire,” Anchorage resident Erinn Barnett said during public testimony. 

The resolution matches similar efforts passed by dozens of cities across the country, according to Reuters. 

Ultimately, the Assembly voted to forgo debate and to postpone the ordinance indefinitely, effectively killing it. The vote was met with immediate backlash from many audience members, with Michael Patterson, a member of the Anchorage Party for Socialism and Liberation, yelling out at Assembly members. Assembly Chair Chris Constant called for security to remove Patterson.

“Mr Patterson, you are creating a disturbance,” Constant said. 

“Cowards, absolute cowards,” Patterson yelled as he and many other audience members jeered at the Assembly. 

“Security, please remove Mr. Patterson,” Constant continued. “We will adjourn to our dinner break. The room will be cleared. Security, please clear the room.”

North Anchorage Assembly member Daniel Volland was one of nine Assembly members who voted to postpone the resolution. He said the Assembly received over 700 emails about the resolution on Tuesday, and most were opposed.

“Although it was drafted to be sort of neutral, I think it lacked context for the current conflict,” Volland said. “I also, you know, I think it was divisive, rather than something that was, you know, bringing more communication and peace.”

East Anchorage Assembly member George Martinez was one of three sponsors of the resolution who voted in support of it. He said the resolution was built based on a variety of local perspectives on the conflict, and he wanted it to express the community’s values.

“And if there was a voice for us, in our lane, to ask for our federal delegation, which was what our resolution did, to speak to a ceasefire in the lane that they’re working on now, then I think that was what we hoped for,” he said in an interview after the vote. “It is unfortunate.”

Assembly members Felix Rivera and Karen Bronga also voted in support of the resolution.

Later in the meeting, Constant asked the Assembly’s Youth Representative, Jesse Tyrrell, for his vote on postponing the ceasefire resolution. Though Tyrrell’s vote is procedural and doesn’t actually count, Tyrrell voted against postponing the resolution.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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