Resolution on El Salvador To Appear on City Ballot
Cambridge voters will have an opportunity to register their sentiment on U.S. involvement in El Salvador and other Latin American countries this fall.
The Cambridge City Council voted last night to place on the ballot for the November city elections a question reading "Shall the Cambridge City Council call upon our Representative in Congress to oppose sending U.S. troops, military advisers, arms, or military aid of any kind whatsoever to the governments of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala?"
After presenting a petition signed by 1300 Cambridge residents. Clifford Truesdell told the council the referendum was necessary because the El Salvador conflict was quickly turning into another Vietnam. "Over the past year we've watched as non-lethal supplies have grown into bombs and helicopters and then into military advisers," Truesdell said. "Oh God, are we going to live through this again?" he added.
Support for the referendum is a way to say that "once and for all we are not going to stand idly by and watch the destruction of a country and its people," councilor Saundra Graham said.
The vote for placing the referendum on the ballot was 6-0, with three members absent, but one councilor. Alfred E. Vellucci, initially balked at the referendum idea. "They can kill a lot of people in six months," Vellucci said.
At Vellucci's suggestion, the council also sent an immediate resolution to Cambridge congressman Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. (D.-Mass.), speaker of the House of Representatives.
Cambridge voters passed a resolution opposing U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1967. "The people didn't stop them from having their Vietnam, but without them it might still be going on," Graham said.
"There is only one power on earth that can stop the Reagan militarists, and that is the people. We have to get this issue before the general public," councilor David Wylie added.
The referendum question is expected to draw voters to city polls who otherwise might have stayed home, observers said last night, voters who are likely to also support liberal Cambridge Civic Association candidates in races for city offices.