US Mayors for Peace Call for Demilitarization and Disarmament
June 17, 2011
Jackie Cabasso / Western States Legal Foundation
The Annual Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) will be held in Baltimore from June 17 – 21. The meeting will be attended by activists representing Mayors for Peace. The USCM will be considering two anti-war resolutions: the Code Pink-initiated Bring Our War Dollars Home resolution and the Mayors for Peace Nuclear Disarmament resolution.
SAN FRANCISCO (June 16, 2011) -- The Annual Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) will be held in Baltimore from June 17–21. The meeting will be attended by activists representing Mayors for Peace. The USCM will be considering two anti-war resolutions: the Code Pink-initiated Bring Our War Dollars Home resolution and the Mayors for Peace Nuclear Disarmament resolution. (Read the texts below.)
Both of these resolutions call for deep cuts in military spending, with those funds to be redirected to meet the urgent needs of cities. In addition, the Baltimore area Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home Campaign will be holding a teach-in Friday night, and a march and rally for jobs Saturday afternoon. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be speaking Sunday morning.
Jackie Cabasso will be inside the conference, attempting to tweet updates on the two resolutions and other interesting tidbits. Yor can “follow” Jackie on Twitter @JackieCabasso. Go to www.Twitter.com to sign up.
Draft Text Mayors' Resolution
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO REDIRECT MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC PRIORITIES
WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and
WHEREAS, the people of the United States are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars per year to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, 6,024 members of the US armed forces have died in these wars; and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports efforts to speed up the ending of these wars; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy
Ask your mayor to send notice of his/her support to C.J. Minster at CODEPINK, cj [AT] codepink.org or 310-827-4320.
CALLING ON THE PRESIDENT TO WORK WITH LEADERS OF OTHER NUCLEAR WEAPON STATES FOR ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS BY 2020 AND CALLING ON CONGRESS TO CUT FUNDING FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS
AND TO REDIRECT THOSE FUNDS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF CITIES
WHEREAS, more than two decades after the end of the Cold War, nearly 23,000 nuclear weapons, over 95% of them in the arsenals of the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and people everywhere;
WHEREAS, recent studies have shown that a nuclear war involving no more than 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs—about 0.3% of the global nuclear arsenal—could have catastrophic, long-lasting effects on the global climate leading to a drop in average surface temperatures, reduction of the ozone layer, a shortened agricultural growing season resulting in a global famine of unprecedented proportions;
WHEREAS, the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review did not lead to substantial changes in the U.S. nuclear force structure, only marginally reduced the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy, explicitly rejected reducing the high-alert status of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine Launch Ballistic Missiles, and retained the capability to deploy U.S. nuclear weapons on tactical fighter-bombers and heavy bombers, including at NATO bases in Europe, while proceeding with a modification of the bombs carried on those planes;
WHEREAS, a plan submitted to Congress by President Barack Obama projects investments of well over $185 billion by 2020 to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear weapons systems, including construction of three new nuclear warhead production facilities and an array of new delivery systems;
WHEREAS, although the U.S. stockpile contains one-fifth as many warheads as it used to, the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget request is the largest ever for maintenance and modernization of nuclear warheads, and after accounting for inflation, the $7.63 billion request is 21 percent more than President Ronald Reagan’s largest nuclear weapons budget;
WHEREAS, reflecting President Obama’s commitment to modernize all three legs of the strategic triad of nuclear weapons delivery systems, the FY 2012 budget request also includes $197 million for research and development on a new Air Force long-range nuclear bomber, $2.6 million to study a future Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and $1.07 billion to develop a new replacement ballistic missile submarine slated to be in operation through 2080, all of which will lead to far greater expenditures if production follows;
WHEREAS, with the economic downturn forcing mayors and cities to make deep cuts in critical public services, and with more than 100 metropolitan areas projected to have double-digit unemployment by the end of this year, the budget deal worked out between the Administration and Congress contains a 16.2 percent reduction in Community Development Block Grant formula funding – a $647 million cut for the current year, eliminates Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, and includes huge reductions to other domestic programs of importance to mayors and cities, the size of which have not been seen in recent times;
WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace membership has grown to over 4,700 cities in 150 countries and regions, including half of the world’s capital cities, with more than 170 U.S. members;
WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted resolutions in 2004, 2006 and each year since, expressing its strong support for Mayors for Peace, its demand for negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020, and its Cities Are Not Targets campaign;
WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace has been endorsed by national mayoral associations in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa;
WHEREAS, the final document of the 3rd Congress of United Cities and Local Governments,
adopted in Mexico City November 20, 2010 expresses “our support for the call of the Mayors for Peace Campaign for a world free of nuclear weapons by 2020 through a new international Convention”;
WHEREAS, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Hiroshima for the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on August 6, 2010 expressed his strong support for the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign for the global abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, declaring, “The 2020 vision is a perfect vision”; and the United Nations, on March 24, 2011 recognized the importance of Mayors for Peace by inaugurating a permanent installation at its New York headquarters exhibiting more than 1 million signatures on the Mayors for Peace Cities Are Not Targets petition;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors reaffirms its call on President Obama to work with the leaders of the other nuclear weapon states to implement the United Nations Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a related framework of mutually reinforcing legal instruments can be agreed upon and implemented by the year 2020, as urged by Mayors for Peace; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to terminate funding for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and nuclear weapons systems, to slash spending on nuclear weapons programs well below Cold War levels, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in its contacts with national associations of local authorities of the other nuclear weapon states, calls upon them to also press their governments to enter into negotiations for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world and to sharply curtail expenditures on nuclear arms; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors expresses its continuing support for Mayors for Peace, pledges to assist in recruiting new U.S. members in order to help reach the goal of 5,000 member cities by the August 6, 2011 Hiroshima anniversary, at which time Mayors for Peace will represent one billion people; and, as since 2005, supports USCM representation at the international Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign Executive Committee and General Meetings later this year; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors agrees to take up this matter at its 80th Annual Meeting in June 2012, and that mayors shall remain engaged in this matter until our cities and citizens, and cities and citizens throughout the world, are no longer under the threat of nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change.