NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE A LOCAL ISSUE

On September 23, 2021, the Back from the Brink campaign released a letter signed by over 300 local, county and state officials representing 41 states, calling on President Joe Biden and Congress to reduce and eliminate the threat nuclear weapons pose to their communities and the world. The letter remains open for other local and state leaders to sign. We also urge organizations, municipalities, and individuals to endorse Back from the Brink and get involved with our exciting campaign to fundamentally change U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Together, we can create a safer, healthier, more just and nuclear weapons free world! READ PRESS RELEASE

Bold action needed on nuclear weapons:
An open letter from local, county, and state officials to President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress

 

September 23, 2021

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
Washington, DC

Members of Congress
Washington, DC

Dear President Biden and Members of Congress:

We join together to urge bold action and U.S. leadership in the pursuit of global, verifiable nuclear disarmament and concrete policy steps to reduce and eliminate the severe danger nuclear weapons pose to each and every one of our constituents – and all of humanity.

Collectively, we celebrate the January 22, 2021 entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), an historic treaty signed by 86 nations and the first instrument of international law that comprehensively bans nuclear weapons in the same manner as biological and chemical weapons.

Nuclear weapons are the most horrific, destructive, inhumane weapons ever created. According to many scientists and public health experts, one nuclear bomb detonated over any one of the communities we represent – or anywhere in the world – could kill millions and wreak economic and environmental havoc. Even a limited nuclear war involving less than 1% of the world’s nuclear arsenals could trigger worldwide climate disruption and a global famine that could put billions of people at risk. A large scale nuclear war would likely end modern civilization as we know it.

Over the past decades, the testing and production of nuclear weapons has caused tremendous death and suffering for thousands of people and scores of communities. Nearly $70 billion of US tax dollars is spent annually to build and maintain nuclear weapons while $1.7 trillion is proposed to be spent over the next 30 years to rebuild the entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons – robbing our country and communities of precious resources and taxpayer dollars needed to solve so many urgent human security problems, including responding to the global pandemic, correcting racial and economic injustice, and addressing climate change.

In our communities there are many life-threatening security challenges related to housing, jobs, transportation, food, health care and other issues that impact real people, our constituents, every day. Nuclear weapons do nothing to address them.

Current US nuclear weapons policies and funding are unconscionable – and fundamentally and deeply unjust as many leaders, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to President Barack Obama have noted. In 1957, Dr. King said, “the development and use of nuclear weapons should be banned. It cannot be disputed that a full-scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic.” In 2009, in his famous Prague speech, President Obama affirmed “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” We urge you to reaffirm – and work together to realize – the Prague vision.

Our children and future generations deserve to live in a world of hope and promise – not one whose very existence could be annihilated in less than one hour. Setsuko Thurlow, a hibakusha and survivor of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima said the following when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN):

“Whenever I remember Hiroshima, the first image that comes to mind is of my four-year-old nephew, Eiji – his little body transformed into an unrecognizable melted chunk of flesh. He kept begging for water in a faint voice until his death released him from agony. To me, he came to represent all the innocent children of the world, threatened as they are at this very moment by nuclear weapons. Every second of every day, nuclear weapons endanger everyone we love and everything we hold dear.”

Nine countries possessing nuclear weapons and a small handful of decision-makers in those countries have no right putting the lives, livelihoods and future well-being of 7.8 billion people at grave risk. In the United States we urge both the Executive branch and Congress to take immediate steps to reform current US policy. Indeed, many of us represent municipalities and states that have already adopted resolutions supporting five common sense policy solutions that serve as the centerpiece of the national Back from the Brink campaign:

  • Actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals;
  • Renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first;
  • End the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack;
  • Take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; and
  • Cancel the plan to replace the entire US arsenal with enhanced weapons at a cost of more than $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

This campaign has been endorsed by over 380 health, environmental, faith, peace, policy and justice organizations – including Physicians for Social Responsibility, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, US Conference of Mayors, Indivisible, the Presbyterian Church, and the Hip Hop Caucus.

Our country and many of our constituents are seriously hurting, with millions of people out of work, thousands ill or dying from COVID, and the divide between rich and poor growing at an alarming rate. We should be investing in our communities, economic recovery, and public health preparedness, not spending hundreds of billions of dollars on new nuclear weapons that make us less safe and will only accelerate the global nuclear arms race.

It’s time to take concrete steps toward a world free of the dangers of nuclear weapons. We and many of our constituents will support you every step of the way.

Sincerely,

Josh Adjutant
State Representative
Bridgewater, NH

Mary Alford
Alachua County Commissioner
Gainesville, FL

Pious Ali
City Councilor
Portland, ME

Susan Almy
State Representative
Lebanon, NH

Eddie Alvarez
Councilmember District 1
Santa Rosa, CA

Poppy Arford
State Representative
Brunswick, ME

Ricard Arroyo
City Councilor
Boston, MA

Joseph Baldacci
State Senator, ME

Samba Baldeh
State Representative
District 48, WI

Ian Baltutis
Mayor
Burlington, NC

Christine Barber
State Representative
Somerville, MA

John Beard
Winneshiek County Supervisor
Decorah, IA

Brian Benford
Alderperson
Madison, WI

Steve Bennett
State Assemblymember
Ventura, CA

Liv Bennett
County Councilor
District 13
Allegheny County, PA

Alessandra Biaggi
State Senator
Bronx and Westchester,
NY

Claudia Bill-de la Peña
Mayor
Thousand Oaks, CA

Daniel Biss
Mayor
Evanston, IL

Natalie Blais
State Representative
Sunderland, MA

Lydia Blume
State Representative
York, ME

Kenzie Bok
City Councilor
Boston, MA

Alicia Bowman
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Liz Breadon
City Councilor
Boston, MA

Michael Brennan
State Representative
Portland, ME

Jabari Brisport
State Senator
Brooklyn, NY

Sandy Brown
Councilmember
Santa Cruz, CA

Llatetra Brown Esters
City Councilmember
College Park, MD

Illece Buckley Weber
City Councilmember
Agoura Hills, CA

Lisa Bunker
State Representative Rockingham County District 18
Exeter, NH

Kristerfer Burnett
City Councilor
Baltimore, MD

Colin Byrd
Mayor
Greenbelt, MD

Andrea Campbell
City Councilor
Boston, MA

Heidi Campbell
State Senator
Nashville, TN

Andres Cano
State Representative
Tucson, AZ

Jim Carruthers
Mayor
Traverse City, MI

Jill P. Carter
State Senator
District 41, MD

Gregorio “Greg” Casar
Council Member
Austin, TX

TJ Cawley
Mayor
Morrisville, NC

Brandon Chafee
State Representative
Middletown, CT

Amanda Champion
County Legislator
Ithaca, NY

Wilma Chan
County Supervisor
Alameda County, CA

Terry Clark
Cheshire County Commissioner
Keene, NH

Zeke Cohen
City Councilmember
Baltimore, MD

Kate Colin
Mayor
San Rafael, CA

Benjamin Collings
Maine Legislator
House District 42
Portland, ME

Jo Comerford
State Senator
Northampton, MA

Sean Costello
School Committee Member
Marshfield, MA

T.M. Franklin Cownie
Mayor
Des Moines, IA

Deborah Crossley
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Bridget Degnen
Commissioner
Chicago, IL

Victor DeLuca
Township Committeeman
Maplewood Township, NJ

Michael Dembrow
State Senator
Portland, OR

D Scott Dibble
State Senator
Minneapolis, MN

James Dill
State Senator
Old Town, ME

Carol Doherty
State Representative
Easton and Taunton, MA

Christy Dolat Bartlett
State Representative
Concord, NH

Mindy Domb
State Representative – 3rd Hampshire District
Amherst, MA

Andreae Downs
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Carol Jean Doyle
Council President
Kearny, NJ

Mary Ann Dunwell
State Representative
Helena, MT

Dee Durham
New Castle County Councilmember
Wilmington, DE

William Dwight
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Kari Dziedzic
State Senator
Minnesota

Marc Elrich
County Executive
Montgomery County, MD

Meaghan Emery
City Councilor
South Burlington, VT

John Engen
Mayor
Missoula, MT

Harvey Epstein
Assemblymember
Manhattan, NY

Patricia Fahy
Assemblymember
Albany, NY

Omar Fateh
State Senator
District 62, MN

Sam Fein
County Legislator
Albany, NY

Jessica Feldmark
Delegate
District 12,MD

Rosa Ferraro-Santana
Alder Ward 13
New Haven, CT

Brad Finkeldei
Mayor
Lawrence, KS

Joe Fitzgibbon
State Representative
West Seattle, WA

Jessica Fitzwater
County Council Member
Frederick, MD

Phara Forrest
New York State Assembly Member, 57th District
Brooklyn, NY

Mary Fortier
City Councilor
Bristol, CT

Karen Foster
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Suza Francina
Ojai City Council,
Former Mayor
Ojai, CA

Michael V. Frett
City Councilor
Hallowell, ME

Randall Friese
State Representative
Tucson, AZ

Sherry Frost
State Representative
Dover, NH

Robyn Gabel
State Representative
Evanston, IL

Sean Garballey
State Representative for Arlington and Medford
Arlington, MA

Jan Gardner
County Executive
Frederick, MD

Claudia Gazal
Councilwoman
Crest Hill, IL

Mike Gierau
Senator
Jackson, WY

Jeff Golden
State Senator
District 3, OR

Roger Goodman
State Representative
Kirkland, WA

Cam Gordon
City Council Member – Ward 2
Minneapolis, MN

Chris Gorsek
State Senator
District 25, OR

Dr. Tami Gouveia
State Representative
Acton, MA

Alexis Gracia-Arrazola
Council member
Seaside, CA

Dacia Grayber
State Representative
Tigard, OR

Derek Green
Councilmember At-Large
Philadelphia, PA

Mia Gregerson
State Representative
SeaTac, WA

Mitch Gruber, PhD
City Councilmember
Rochester, NY

Trish Gunby
State Representative
99th District, MO

Helen Gym
Councilmember
Philadelphia, PA

Maria Hadden
Alderman to the 49th Ward
Chicago, IL

Claire Hall
County Commissioner
Newport, OR

Mike Hallquist
Alderman
Brookfield, WI

John Hamilton
Mayor
Bloomington, IN

Anna Hansen
County Commissioner
Santa Fe, NM

Marqueece Harris-Dawson
City Councilor
Los Angeles, CA

John Haschak
County Supervisor
Mendocino County, CA

Mary Heath
State Representative
Manchester, NH

Bill Henry
Comptroller
Baltimore City, MD

Kevin Hertel
Representative
District 18, MI

Sue Himmelrich
Mayor
Santa Monica, CA

Francesca Hong
State Representative
Madison, WI

Timothy Horrigan
State Representative
Durham, NH

Tom Hucker
County Councilmember
Rockville, MD

Zach Hudson
State Representative
District 49, OR

Hank Hughes
Santa Fe County Commissioner
Santa Fe, NM

Sam Hunt
State Senator
Olympia, WA

Justin Hurst
City Council
Springfield, MA

Patricia Hymanson
State Representative
York, ME

Catherine Ingram
State Representative
Cincinnati, OH

Jani Iwamoto
Utah State Senator, Assistant Minority Whip
Salt Lake, UT

Troy Jackson
Maine Senate President
Allagash, ME

Pam Jochum
State Senator
Dubuque, IA

Fazlul Kabir
City Council Member
College Park, MD

Jessica Karjala
State Representative
Billings, MT

Paul Kashmann
City Councilman
Denver, CO

Patrick Kearney
State Representative
Scituate, MA

Matt Keating
City Councilor
Eugene, OR

Karen Keiser
State Senator
33rd District, WA

Kate Kennedy
City Councilmember
College Park, MD

Ken Kerr
Delegate
Frederick, MD

Sandra Kilgore
City Councilor
Asheville, NC

Kelly King
County Councilmember
Maui, HI

Mark King
State Representative
Nashua, NH

William Kinne
Legislator District 15
Onondaga County, NY

Derek Kitchen
Senator
Salt Lake City, UT

Paul Koretz
City Councilmember
Los Angeles, CA

Kacy Kostiuk
City Councilmember
Takoma Park, MD

Steve Kozachik
City Councilor
Tucson, AZ

Mary Kuhn
Onondaga County Legislator
Syracuse, NY

Marianne LaBarge
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Tony Labranche
State Representative
Amherst, NH

Nicole LaChapelle
Mayor
Easthampton, MA

Clarence Lam
State Senator
District 12, MD

Kathleen LaNatra
State Representative – 12th Plymouth District
Kingston, MA

Diane Langley
State Representative
Manchester, NH

Chris Larson
State Senator
7th Senate District, WI

Alison Leary
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Jesse Lederman
City Councilor
Springfield, MA

Daniel Lee
Vice Mayor
Culver City, CA

Michael Leszcz
Councilperson
Laurel, MD

Joseph Levesque
Select Board Member
Alstead, NH

Jack Patrick Lewis
State Representative
Framingham, MA

Brooke Lierman
Delegate
Baltimore, MD

Michael Lilliquist
City Councilor
Bellingham, WA

Marvin Lim
State Representative
Norcross, GA

Monique Limón
State Senator
Santa Barbara, CA

Grayson Lookner
State Representative
Portland, ME

Paul Lowe
State Senator
Winston Salem, NC

Rachel Maiore
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Esther Manheimer
Mayor
Asheville, NC

John Mannion
State Senator
Geddes, NY

James Ivory Manning Jr
State Senator
Eugene, OR

Michael Manning
County Commissioner
Vermillion, SD

John Marty
State Senator
Roseville, MN

Justin Massey
Mayor/City Councilmember
Hermosa Beach, CA

Tim Mathern
State Senator
Fargo, ND

Mary Sue Maurer
Mayor Pro Tem
City of Calabasas, CA

Rita Mayfield
State Representative 60th District
Waukegan, IL

Julie Mayfield
State Senator, District 49
Asheville, NC

John McDonald
NYS Assembly 108th AD
Cohoes, NY

Jennifer McEwen
State Senator
Duluth, MN

Julia Mejia
City Councilor At-Large
Boston, MA

David Michel
State Representative
Stamford, CT

Dale Miller
Cuyahoga County Councilperson
Cleveland, OH

Dave Miramant
State Senator
Camden, ME

Kenneth Miyagishima
Mayor
Las Cruces, NM

Craig Moe
Mayor
Laurel, MD

David Moon
Delegate
Takoma Park, MD

David Morales
State Representative
Providence, RI

Nicole Morell
City Councilor
Medford, MA

Marcia Morey
State Representative, North Carolina
Durham, NC

Cathy Murillo
Mayor
Santa Barbara, CA

Jean Naples
Mayor of Montebello Village, Mayor of Suffern
Suffern, NY

David J. Narkewicz
Mayor
Northampton, MA

James Nash
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Jim Nash
Water Resources Commissioner
Oakland County, MI

Heather Navarro
Alderwoman
Saint Louis, MO

Courtney Neron
State Representative
House District 26, OR

Brownie Newman
Buncombe County Commission Chairman
Buncombe County, NC

Mark Niedergang
City Councilor
Somerville, MA

Jonathan Nieuwsma
City Councilmember
Evanston, IL

Patricia Nolan
City Councilor
Cambridge, MA

Susan Norlander
Moderator
Alstead, NH

Emily Norton
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Rob Nosse
State Representative
Portland, OR

Kevin O’Grady
City Council Member
Wilmington, NC

Patrick O’Connor
State Senator
Weymouth, MA

Michael O’Connor
Mayor
Frederick, MD

John Oliver
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Juan Orozco
Mayor
Ukiah, CA

Tina Orwall
State Representative
Olympia, WA

Nick Page
Dutchess County Legislator
Beacon/Fishkill, NY

Julie Palakovich Carr
Delegate
Rockville, MD

Laura Pantelakos
State Representative
Portsmouth, NH

Linda Parks
County Supervisor
Ventura County, CA

Dave Paul
State Representative
Oak Harbor, WA

Capi Peck
City Director, Ward 4
Little Rock, AR

Jamie Pedersen
State Senator
Seattle, WA

Khanh Pham
State Representative for HD 46
Portland, OR

Barbara Phifer
State Representative
Kirkwood, MO

Luther Propst
County Commissioner
Teton County, WY

Michael J Quinlan, Jr.
City Councilor
Northampton, MA

Bill Quirk
State Representative
Union City, CA

John Raby
Budget Committee Member
New London, NH

Neil Rafferty
State Representative
Birmingham, AL

Kesha Ram Hinsdale
State Senator
Chittenden County, VT

Carmen Ramirez
Supervisor, District 5,, Ventura County,
Oxnard, CA

Ellen Read
State Representative
Newmarket, NH

Ann Rest
State Senator
New Hope, MN

Eleanor Revelle
Council Member
Evanston, IL

Satya Rhodes-Conway
Mayor
Madison, WI

Darden Rice
City Councilmember
St. Petersburg, FL

Zandra Rice Hawkins
City Councilor
Concord, NH

Rigel Robinson
City Councilmember
Berkeley, CA

Kim Roney
City Councilor
Asheville, NC

Abigail Roth
Alder
New Haven, CT

Lindsey Rothschild
City Councilor
Easthampton, MA

Kelda Roys
State Senator
26th District, WI

Carmen Rubio
City of Portland Commissioner
Portland, OR

Bob Russo
Councilor
Montclair, NJ

Sheila Ruth
Delegate
Catonsville, MD

Sheila Rutledge
Du Page County Board Member
West Chicago, IL

Lindsay Sabadosa
State Representative
Northampton, MA

Julia Salazar
NY State Senator
Brooklyn, NY

Rebecca Saldana
State Senator
Seattle, WA

Tawna Sanchez
State Representative
Portland, OR

Lane Santa Cruz
City Councilor
Tucson, AZ

Sharon Tomiko Santos
State Representative
Seattle, WA

Robert Savidge
Alderman
Annapolis, MD

Don Saylor
County Supervisor
Yolo County, CA

William Sayre
Selectman
Williamsburg, MA

Jan Schmidt
NH State Representative
Nashua, NH

Kris Schultz
State Representative
Concord, NH

Judy Schwiebert
State Representative, District 20
Phoenix, AZ

Gina-Louise Sciarra
City Council President
Northampton, MA

Diana Scully
City Councilor
Hallowell, ME

Kaleem Shabazz
3rd Ward Councilman
Atlantic City, NJ

Karen Sher
Governing Board Member, Oxnard Union High School District
Oxnard, CA

Sharon Shewmake
State Representative
Bellingham, WA

Maile Shimabukuro
State Senator
Waianae, HI

Sumbul Siddiqui
Mayor
Cambridge, MA

Parker Sloan
Commissioner
Asheville, NC

Elizabeth Smith
County Commissioner
Vermillion, SD

Greg Smith
Assembly Member
Juneau, AK

Brencis Smith
Councilman
Luarel, MD

Ken Snow
State Representative
Manchester, NH

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler
City Councilor
Cambridge, MA

Catherine Sofikitis
State Representative Hillsborough 34, Nashua Ward 7
Nashua, NH

Janeen Sollman
State Representative
Hillsboro, OR

Peter Somssich
State Representative
Portsmouth, NH

Peter-Alain Spiegel
City Councilor
Hallowell, ME

Mark Squilla
City Councilmember
Philadelphia, PA

Adam Steiner
City Councilor
Framingham, MA

Kate Stewart
Mayor
Takoma Park, MD

Will Stewart
Alderman – Ward 2
Manchester, NH

Betsy Stix
Mayor
Ojai, CA

Denyse Stoneback
State Representative
16th District, IL

Lisa Subeck
State Representative
Madison, WI

Larry Suffredin
Cook County Commissioner
Evanston, IL

Rod Sullivan
County Supervisor
Johnson County, IA

Amanda Toll
State Representative – Cheshire District 16
Keene, NH

Patricia Torres Ray
State Senator
Minneapolis, MN

Maida Townsend
State Representative, Chittenden 7-4
South Burlington, VT

Daniel Tremble
Council Chair
Bangor, ME

Karin Uhlich
Council Member
Tucson, AZ

Katie Valenzuela
City Councilmember
Sacramento, CA

David Van Luven
Town Supervisor
Bethlehem, NY

Andre Vasquez
Alderman
Chicago, IL

Rachel Ventura
Will County Board Member
Joliet, IL

Shirley Vermace
County Supervisor
Decorah, Winneshiek County, IA

Cynthia Vermillion
City Council Member
Hilliard, OH

Renee Villarreal
City Councilmember
Santa Fe, NM

Joshua Wachtel
Town Moderator
Cummington, MA

James Walkinshaw
Fairfax County Board of Supervisor, Braddock District
Burke, VA

Ben Walsh
Mayor
Syracuse, NY

David Watters
State Senator – District 4
Dover, NH

Patrick Wynne
City Councilor
Hallowell, ME

Charles Weed
County Treasurer
Cheshire County, NH

John Weems
County Commissioner
Bolivar, TN

Scott Wiener
State Senator, 11th District
San Francisco, CA

Susan Wengraf
City Councilor
Berkeley, CA

Rob Werner
City Councilor
Concord, NH

Dr. Paula Whitman
City Councilor
Monroe, MI

Karen Whitsett
State Representative
Detroit, MI

Chuck Wiger
State Senator
Maplewood, MN

Terry Wilke
County Commissioner
District 16
Lake County, IL

Das Williams
Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor
Santa Barbara, CA

Lynne Williams
State Representative
Bar Harbor, ME

Marcus Williams
City Council President
Springfield, MA

Nicole Williams
Delegate
Greenbelt, MD

Vernon Williams Jr.
County Legislator
Onondaga County Syracuse, NY

L. Kate Wiltz
County Councilor
Bloomington, Monroe County IN

Patrick Wojahn
Mayor
College Park, MD

John Wojtila
Council Member- Ward 6
Euclid, OH

Mary Ann Wolf
Select Board Chair
Alstead, NH

Pam Wright
City Councilor
Newton, MA

Michelle Wu
City Councilor
Boston, MA

Michael Yantachka
Representative District 4-1 Chittenden County, VT

Mike Yin
State Representative
Jackson, WY

Sam Zager
State Representative
Portland, ME

Owen Zaret
City Councilor
Easthampton, MA

Olivia Zink
City Council & Interim Mayor
Franklin, NH

Quinton Zondervan
Councilor
Cambridge, MA

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