On Wednesday, the City Council of Saint Paul voted unanimously to adopt a Back from the Brink resolution, joining the ever-growing chorus of city councils, nationwide, lending their voice to this campaign! The adoption of this resolution unites the Twin Cities with their call for the United States government to abolish nuclear weapons and to embrace the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
We extend our deepest gratitude to City Councilors Jane Prince, Nelsi Yang, and Russel Balenger for their sponsorship of the resolution, and the rest of the city council for their unanimous support.
Of her support for the resolution, City Councilor Yang explained, “To me it’s really meaningful because it shows me how interconnected we all are no matter where we live, no matter what country, and that we’re all impacted by war. All of us have a history where we have lost people, where we have experienced genocide, or have lived through trauma or continue to have generational trauma from war. So, for me being a Hmong person, that’s something very personal to me…”
Explaining how nuclear weapons are a local concern, City Councilor Prince remarked, “I want to point out one very significant number that appears on our resolution. And it is that, the people of Saint Paul are spending $65 million annually to maintain – to go to the national government – to maintain ‘our share’ of the nuclear defense system. It is something that is pretty personal to all of us when we think about how much housing we could build if we were able to redirect that money.”
Grassroots advocacy efforts were led by a coalition of individuals and organizations. Amy Blumenshine, Caren Stelson, Ann Frisch, and Karen Stevensen were instrumental in building support for the resolution, as well as the local Veterans for Peace chapter through the work of Mike Madden.
Integral to our success on nuclear weapons advocacy in the Twin Cities, Marie Braun of Women Against Military Madness passed away unexpectedly in June. Marie worked tirelessly for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons and we are happy that she was able to celebrate our victory in Minneapolis and know she would have loved to do the same with us now.
Find out if your town/city/county has passed a resolution by checking our Who’s on board? page, and if not, we invite you to reach out to learn more about starting a local effort.
(City Councilors Jane Prince & Nelsi Yang w/ Karen Stevensen & Ann Frisch)