On November 18th, the city of Atherton, CA became the latest city to express their support for the Back from the Brink campaign, joining with nearly 50 other cities around the country in calling on the U.S. government to live up to its treaty obligations to work toward total nuclear abolition, and in the meantime, to embrace commonsense nuclear policies that will reduce the likelihood of a nuclear exchange.
The City Council heard powerful testimony in support of the proclamation, including comments from Bill Perry (former Secretary of Defense), Rick Wayman (the President and CEO of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation), Stanford Professor Martin Hellman, Dr. Bob Gould (President of San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility), Jackie Cabasso (Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation) as well as a prepared statement from George Schultz (who has held four cabinet posts, including Secretary of State).
We are excited that communities aren’t backing down from having these conversations with their elected officials, despite the various challenges our communities are currently facing. Given the budgetary difficulties that many cities are facing in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now clearer than ever that billions of dollars should not be flowing from our communities to pay for these dangerous and unnecessary weapons. While it may often seem like a national issue, cities and towns have a crucial role in the fight against nuclear weapons. As Jackie Cabasso said in her remarks (quoting Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie), “If you don’t think nuclear weapons are a local issue, ask the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
Our sincere appreciation goes out to everyone who organized to make this wonderful accomplishment a reality, including Mayor DeGolia and City Council for their time and deliberation while considering this proclamation.