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US Mayors Call For No Nukes, War Dollars Home

Posted by Lisa -

Wed, Jun 26, 2013

War Dollars Home

 

The US Conference of Mayors holds an annual meeting to guide federal policy decisions that affect people living in the nation’s cities. Mayors know firsthand the effects of sequestration and other budget cuts to essential services and programs that result from obscenely high levels of military spending. If you count all the nuclear programs funded under the Dept. of Energy rather than through the Pentagon, the share of federal discretionary spending on military is even higher than 57%.
If only Congress and the Obama administration listened to constituents instead of campaign contributors.
Here is the text of the great Mayors for Peace resolution that was unanimously adopted at the conference (PDF).
CALLING FOR U.S. LEADERSHIP IN GLOBAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND REDIRECTION OF MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC NEEDS
WHEREAS, in April 2009, President Barack Obama declared in Prague, “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and

WHEREAS, in November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly established a working group open to all member states “to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons,” and scheduled for September 26, 2013, the first ever summit-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to nuclear disarmament; and
WHEREAS, adherence to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons commits each State Party “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”; and the U.S. Conference of Mayors has regularly adopted resolutions since 2004 calling for the commencement of comprehensive nuclear disarmament negotiations, as put forth by the UN Secretary General in his “Five Point Proposal,” to be concluded and implemented by 2020, as proposed by Mayors for Peace; and
WHEREAS, an historic conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted in Oslo in March 2013 by the government of Norway and attended by representatives of 127 states, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and civil society, including Mayors for Peace, highlighted three key points relevant to mayors as first responders:
“It is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected.

The historical experience from the use and testing of nuclear weapons has demonstrated their devastating immediate and long-term effects. While political circumstances have changed, the destructive potential of nuclear weapons remains.

The effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, irrespective of cause, will not be constrained by national borders, and will affect states and people in significant ways, regionally as well as globally”; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors expresses its deep concern that both the May session of the new UN disarmament working group and the Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons took place without the participation of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, including the United States; and WHEREAS, nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the end of the Cold War, yet an estimated 17,300 nuclear weapons, 94% of them in the possession of the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity; and
WHEREAS, the threatened first use of nuclear weapons remains at the heart of U.S. and Russian national security policies, and nuclear tensions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and on the Korean peninsula remind us that the potential for nuclear war is ever present; and
WHEREAS, the Administration’s FY 2014 budget request of $7.87 billion for Department of Energy Nuclear Weapons Activities represents an increase of nine percent above the 2012 enacted level – in inflation-adjusted dollars, the highest amount ever, and funds increases for nuclear weapon life extension programs that will result in upgrades to missile and bomber-based warheads, construction of a new uranium processing facility, tritium production and plutonium manufacturing and experimentation, and other programs to sustain the existing stockpile; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Defense has requested an additional $12 billion in FY 2014 to maintain and modernize nuclear weapons delivery systems including a new nuclear–capable heavy bomber, development of a replacement Ohio class submarine by 2031, and extension of the service life of the nation’s 450 Minuteman 3 ICBMs or their replacement in coming decades with new nuclear-armed ballistic missiles; and
WHEREAS, the Air Force plans to spend more than $1 billion over the next six years to develop a guided tail kit to increase the accuracy of the B61 nuclear bomb, and the Pentagon plans to spend a total estimated at more than $336 billion on the new F-35 joint strike fighter, a variant of which will be mated with the more accurate guided B61 bomb based at NATO bases in Europe,
significantly increasing the capability of the non-strategic U.S. nuclear force, and making it more difficult for the Russian military to accept reductions of its own inventory of non-strategic nuclear weapons; and
WHEREAS, the Administration’s budget request calls for a 23 percent increase for nuclear weapons research, manufacturing and maintenance over the next five years; and
WHEREAS, nuclear weapons spending is emblematic of Pentagon spending, which has grown by 50% in real dollars in the last 12 years, not including war spending, and nearly all of the “cuts” up for debate are only reductions in the growth rate; and
WHEREAS, in 2012, during a time of continuing domestic financial hardship, the U.S. spent $682 billion on its military, as much as the next 11 top spenders combined, accounting for nearly two-fifths of the world total; and

WHEREAS, our nation’s deep economic crisis can only be addressed by adopting new priorities to create a sustainable economy for the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, as the country was coming out of a long recession, the budget sequester enacted in March is imperiling the economic recovery in cities, with cuts to federal programs such as Community Block Development Grants, Section 8 Housing Vouchers, and Head Start forcing cities, local agencies and non-profits to lay off staff, reduce or eliminate services, delay infrastructure projects and reduce program benefits to low and moderate income families; and

WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace membership has surpassed 5,600 member cities in 156 countries, speaking on behalf of more than one billion citizens, and is approaching 200 U.S. members; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted resolutions in 2010, 2011 and 2012 calling for deep cuts in nuclear weapons spending and redirection of those funds to meet the needs of cities, and adopted an additional resolution in 2011, “Calling on Congress to Redirect Military Spending to Domestic Needs”;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on President Obama to reaffirm his determination, expressed in Prague, to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons by speaking at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament on September 26, 2013 and endorsing the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. government to demonstrate good faith by participating in the August session of the UN disarmament working group by helping “to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons,” and by supporting extension of the working group’s mandate beyond 2013; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. government to demonstrate good faith by participating in the follow-on conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons to be hosted by Mexico in early 2014; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reduce funding for modernization of nuclear weapons systems, to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reduce military spending and to reinvest those funds in programs to address the dramatic increase in poverty and inequality in our country; take emergency measures to repair the social safety net and protect Social Security and Medicare; create jobs, retrain displaced workers, including military contractors, rebuild deteriorating physical infrastructure, invest in new technologies for a sustainable energy future, and aid local government to restore and maintain vital public services, reemploying teachers, police, firefighters and other workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors expresses its continuing support for and cooperation with Mayors for Peace

SPONSORS
Resolution No. 56, Submitted by: The Honorable Donald L. Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron (OH); The Honorable Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown (PA); The Honorable John Hieftje, Mayor of Ann Arbor (MI); The Honorable Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley (CA); The Honorable Matthew T. Ryan, Mayor of Binghamton (NY); The Honorable Henrietta Davis, Mayor of Cambridge (MA); The Honorable Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill (NC); The Honorable Satyendra Singh Huja, Mayor of Charlottesville (VA); The Honorable Franklin T. Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines (IA); The Honorable Michael A. Tautznik, Mayor of Easthampton (MA); The Honorable Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene (OR); The Honorable Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield (IA); The Honorable Joy Cooper, Mayor of Hallandale Beach (FL); The Honorable Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke (MA); The Honorable Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, (AR); The Honorable Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison (WI); The Honorable John Stefano, Mayor of New Haven (CT); The Honorable David J. Narkewicz, Mayor of Northampton, MA; The Honorable Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal (IL); The Honorable Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines (FL); The Honorable Michael Brennan, Mayor of Portland (ME); The Honorable Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond (CA); The Honorable Ardell Brede, Mayor of Rochester (MN); The Honorable Stephen Cassidy, Mayor of San Leandro (CA); The Honorable Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara (CA); The Honorable Bruce R Williams, Mayor, Takoma Park (MD); The Honorable Neal King, Mayor of Taos Ski Valley (NM); The Honorable Richard D. Schneider, Mayor of South Pasadena (CA); The Honorable Laurel Lunt Prussing, Mayor of Urbana (IL); The Honorable Geraldine Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach (FL).

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