DALLAS — In an act of solidarity, Dallas’ Mayor Eric Johnson proposed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And in a unanimous decision, members of the city council agreed during Wednesday’s meeting.
“I’m in full support of this resolution,” said Councilman Omar Narvaez, of District 6, just minutes before the council took a vote. “I think this is the right time.”
According to the USA for UNHCR, nearly 2 million people have been displaced as a result of Russia’s continued attacks on Ukraine and a death toll remains unknown. USA for UNHCR projects that 6.7 million will be forced out if the crisis continues. Russia President Vladimir Putin received more backlash Tuesday after news surfaced that an airstrike destroyed a southern Ukrainian maternity hospital leading to at least three deaths.
“Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror?”
Zelensky went on to urge Putin to call off the airstrikes, which have persisted for two weeks.
“Close the sky right now,” he said. Stop the killings. You have power, but you seem to be losing humanity.”
Councilwoman Cara Mendelsohn, of District 12, asked if members’ pension funds had any ties to Russian businesses. But, no one was on hand from the employee retirement fund to provide any details into the matter. She went on to say that she’d be interested in divesting if it was any connections to Russia. Mendelson’s question led Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold, of District 4, to inquire about the council’s banking choices and if they did business with any Russian companies, etc.
“I think we need to be very conscious as we move forward about where we’re doing business and if they’re doing business with the Russians, then we might need to think about that as well with our future investments,” said King.
Currently, the city doesn’t have any business contracts with Russia. The resolution will ban future business contracts with Russian organizations:
Item 44: Consideration of a resolution condemning Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and standing with the Ukrainian people, with the Ukrainian community that now calls Dallas home, and with people in Russia and all over the world who are calling for peace and an end to Vladimir Putin’s war; and support for the coalition of nations imposing sanctions on Russia and encourages its international business, civic, and philanthropic communities to support the Ukrainian people in all possible ways in their fight to retain their freedom…
Mayor Eric Johnson, who acknowledged he wasn’t too keen on speaking on worldly matters, noted that the attack on Ukraine required the city to take a stand.
“… I do think that extraordinary times do call for extraordinary actions, sometimes and I think we are living through one of those extraordinary times,” Johnson said. “There’s a real life or death situation going on in Europe, right now. We have people who are fighting for their very freedom over there and this is a fight that frankly is a defining one for the century that we find ourselves living in.”
He also talked about the need to support Dallas’ Ukrainian community during this time as he described the city as “welcoming” and an “international city.”
“If we’re going to be a part of a global community, we have to stand up at times like this and make our intentions and our feelings known," he said. "So, I think the city is clearly important to the global economy. We talk about that all of the time. We’re the cultural engine of this entire region. But, we also have to be the moral leaders and that’s what this is about.”