Local government resolutions, proclamations or declarations in support of medical aid in dying send an important message about the values of a community and its citizens. Local resolutions also alert state legislators that other levels of government support medical aid in dying. Passing a local resolution can be an effective strategy to further state legislative efforts to authorize medical aid in dying.

What Is a Local Resolution?

A local resolution is an expression of support or recognition from an elected city or county body, such as a council, board, assembly or commission. Every city and county has different procedures regarding public statements, and they may have different names. Often, it is a mayor who issues such declarations — or signs or vetoes those passed by a city council. In some jurisdictions, a resolution is actually a binding commitment for city lawmakers. Regardless of the small differences, in every city- or county-elected body, there is a mechanism for the elected representatives to vote on and issue some kind of public declaration expressing their support or opposition to — or at least acknowledgment of — a matter of public importance or interest.

Resolutions and other declarations on medical aid in dying have been critical momentum-builders in states like California, during our campaign to pass a statewide law. They can also be enormously important to generate awareness in states where we are still building capacity and laying the foundation for future legislative efforts.

Click here to download the Passing a Local Resolution Toolkit.