Peace is precious! Cities Are Not Targets!
In August 1945, atomic bombs instantaneously reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, taking hundreds of thousands of precious lives. Today, more than seventy years after the war, thousands of citizens still suffer the devastating aftereffects of radiation and unfathomable emotional pain. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.
On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.
Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the program Mayor Araki announced in 1982. As of December 1, 2016, membership stood at 7,196 cities in 162 countries and regions. Mayors for Peace was registered as an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in May 1991.
Now, more than 70 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States government is investing billions of dollars in nuclear weapons, rebuilding its bomb-making facilities, including those in Los Alamos, Tennessee and Kansas City. It is also investing in improving nuclear weapons systems, including the Trident D-5 missile and B-61 gravity bomb. On top of that the Navy is planning the next generation ballistic missile submarine fleet that will cost nearly a $ trillion just to build, as well as new intercontinental ballistic missiles, new nuclear-capable bombers, and a new nuclear-capable cruise missile.
At the same time cities, counties and states across the U.S. are cutting programs across the board in a desperate effort to balance their budgets. Health, education, infrastructure, and many other vital programs are on the chopping block, while the Federal government wastes trillions of dollars on endless wars and nuclear weapons - the government plans to spend roughly $1 trillion over 30 years.
On June 20, 2011 the U.S. Conference of Mayors called on President Obama to work with leaders of other nuclear weapon states to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020, and called on the U.S. Congress to cut funding for nuclear weapons and redirect those funds to meet the needs of cities.
This was a wake-up call to mayors of all cities to demand that the Federal government redirect our tax dollars to meet the needs of the people. Nuclear weapons certainly do not increase our security. Creating strong cities by meeting all the needs of the citizenry does. Mayors for Peace understands this.
Now - with the Obama administration nearing its end, with no progress on reducing the role of nuclear weapons in US foreign policy, and on the eve of the Trump administration - is the time for Mayors for Peace to play an even more important role than ever to eliminate the greatest threat still facing humanity - nuclear weapons.
How We Can All Help
- First, learn more about Mayors for Peace (MFP) at their Website.
- Find out if your city is a member of MFP. If not, this is a great time to invite your mayor to join. If your city is already a member, this is an excellent time to meet with your mayor to discuss his/her commitment to abolishing nuclear weapons.
- Click here to learn about the membership process and download membership materials.
- Contact your mayor and request a meeting to present your invitation. Click here for a sample letter to the mayor you can use as a template for your own letter.
- Set a timeframe and deadlines. Try to set up a meeting with a goal of a committment to joining before August 6th. Let your mayor know that each mayor who joins between now and August 6th will get special recognition as one of the last 100 mayors to bring MFP to 5000.
- Gather a small group of constituents from your city to join you, particularly young people (college students).
- Be creative. Involve the media if possible. It was the presence of a Japanese TV crew plus a bunch of DePaul University students that helped to inspire Chicago’s Mayor Daley to join!
- Finally - Let us know what you're doing, and let us know if we can help you. Email email@example.com.