On February 28, 2022, the City of Salem Oregon voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting Back from the Brink’s policy solutions and the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The resolution recognized the contributions that Salem and Oregon residents have made to reduce nuclear dangers, stating:
Salem residents have also contributed significantly to efforts to eradicate nuclear weapons, including former Mayor Sue Harris, a leader in citizen diplomacy with the Soviet Union, Dr. Andy Harris, a national leader of Physicians for Social Responsibility, former U.S. Congress member Mike Kopetski, who, along with Oregon’s Senator Mark Hatfield, led the congressional effort to end nuclear weapons testing, and Ted Coran, Susan Gordon, Don Skinner, and Peter Bergel, who provided national and local grassroots leadership to support the ending of nuclear weapons testing.
Oregon has been home to many courageous people who have dedicated their lives to the eradication of nuclear weapons, including Hiroshima survivor Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider of Medford, Hanford cleanup advocate and Yakama Nation Elder Russell Jim, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Linus Pauling, Hanford “Downwinder” Pat Hoover of Eugene and Carol Urner, who organized the first Hiroshima commemoration in Portland in 1962.
The Salem resolution also noted the proximity of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was produced and which “remains the most toxic contamination site in the Western Hemisphere, a nuclear sacrifice zone that threatens the health and environment of our region” and called out the need to prioritize climate change and social justice over nuclear weapons, stating that:
In order to survive climate change and pursue social justice, we will need our brightest scientific minds and limited resources to no longer be squandered on weapons, because as the climate crisis increases stress on communities around the world and intensifies the likelihood of conflict, the potential for nuclear war will grow.
Several Council Members and community members noted the importance of speaking out for nuclear abolition at this time, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has increased nuclear tensions and the threat of nuclear war.
Back from the Brink congratulations all who worked to advance and support the Salem resolution. Let us know if you’d like to organize a resolution effort in your town or city, and check out our Advocacy Tools page for guidance.