Boulder's elected leaders are expected to decide next week whether to draft and vote on a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.For the past few weeks, activists have been showing up at Boulder City Council meetings, carrying signs, handing out "impeach" pins and asking City Council members to take up such a resolution. Similar measures have passed in cities across the country, including Detroit and Telluride.
Liz Robinson, one of the organizers of the effort, said people hoping to see impeachment proceedings have given congressional Democrats - who won a majority in the fall of 2006 - plenty of time to act.
But since they haven't, she said, locally elected officials should take up the slack.
"Whether or not it's the city's business directly, like potholes, I feel this affects all of us," she said. "We're the ones who are paying the taxes to support this administration's depredations, especially the war."
Impeachment proceedings would be worth doing even if they only put the last few months of Bush's eight years in office at risk, Robinson said.
"We need to send a message that this all matters to us, whether it's last-minute or not," she said.
The group appears to have some support among the City Council, although it's not clear if it has the five votes it would take to get a resolution drafted and subsequently debated.
City Councilman Macon Cowles wrote in a memo to his colleagues that he'll likely make a motion at the Feb. 19 meeting asking that a resolution be drafted.
"I believe that these citizens deserve a hearing," Cowles wrote to the council.
It wouldn't be the first time the City Council has weighed in on matters far outside the city's physical boundaries. In 2006, the council approved a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and in 2003, the council passed a resolution opposing the invasion.
Deputy Mayor Crystal Gray, who helped draft the 2006 resolution, said Boulder has a tradition of debating big-picture issues.
"I'm a believer that the council should be responsive at the level of local government to issues that the residents raise, just like the Iraq war resolution," she said.
But City Councilman Ken Wilson said he's not on board. During a recent retreat, the City Council agreed to priorities ranging from fixing structural problems in the budget to doing better land-use planning.
That doesn't leave much time for issues over which the city doesn't have direct jurisdiction, he said.
"We did not identify national issues as a priority for work by council and staff. We are already seeing scheduling problems trying to address our priorities and the immediate needs of the city," he said. "Hours spent discussing national issues will reduce the amount of time we can spend on city issues."
© 2008 The Boulder Daily Camera