Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell urged Congress and the Biden Administration on Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all captives held both by Hamas and the Israeli government, and the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid. 

Mitchell, who represents much of West and South LA, is the first on the LA County Board of Supervisors to explicitly urge a ceasefire. The Second District Supervisor addressed a letter to the LA County Congressional Delegation, including the two US senators who represent California — Laphonza Butler and Alex Padilla — as well as the 17 House of Representatives members who represent LA County.  

“Many communities in Los Angeles County are grieving and mourning
the loss of loved ones, or otherwise affected personally by the ongoing violence; and
there has been a sharp rise in the number of hate-related incidents and crimes directed
towards our Jewish, Israeli, Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities,” the letter said. “Your support for de-escalation and a diplomatic resolution to the conflict can help diffuse tensions both abroad and at home.”

Since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 that killed over 1,000 Israelis, the Israeli army has killed over 30,000 Palestinians — 70% being women and children — and wounded over 70,000 more, according to Gazan health officials. About 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced and more than half a million people are suffering “catastrophic levels of hunger,” according to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The Biden Administration has not committed to supporting a ceasefire despite 67% of American voters calling for a permanent ceasefire and de-escalation of violence, according to a recent Data for Progress survey.  

Last October, the Board of Supervisors passed two resolutions in response to the conflict. The original motion expressed “support for the State of Israel.” However, after two hours of public comment mostly in opposition of the motion and a protest disrupting the Board meeting, Mitchell made a read-in resolution calling for the “protection of human rights in Gaza and Israel,” which called for de-escalation and on the Biden Administration to provide humanitarian aid.   

Ashley Orona is a journalist and community organizer from South Central Los Angeles. She loves spending time with her family, supporting local businesses, and finding new scenic views around LA.