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116 organizations tell the President to rid the world of nuclear weapons

October 17, 2012

50 years ago today, the people of the world had no idea that the first steps of the Cuban Missile Crisis had begun, and the planet was about to be the closest that we have ever been to a global nuclear conflict.

For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union were in a standoff over bases the Soviets had built in Cuba for nuclear missiles. For most people in the US, this was the first time they had to face the stark reality of the danger that nuclear weapons posed to the entire planet.

In 2012, the dangerous nature of nuclear weapons is no longer a secret. And though we have made progress in the last 50 years in reducing stockpiles, limiting testing, and halting much of the development of new weapons, there is still much work to be done. There are still over 20,000 nuclear weapons on our planet, and President Obama has an opportunity right now to make changes to US nuclear policy that could make the world a much safer place.

Our sister organization, the Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World, organized small and large organizations and community leaders to sign a letter to the President. The letter urges him to use his current review of nuclear policy to move us closer to a world free of all nuclear weapons. That is only way we can truly be safe from the dangers of these outdated and horrific weapons of mass destruction.

The letter with 116 signatures from local, regional and national organization was delivered to the White House and key national security staff today. With this letter we bring together faith leaders, environmental groups, elected officials and peace groups from 28 states and representing hundreds of thousands of people with one united message. Showing the broad support across the country for working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, saving billions of dollars, and making the world a safer place. We expect that the Administration will not take further steps on the nuclear policy review until after the election, and at that point we hope to know more about the future role of nuclear weapons in our national security.

We want to thank all of the groups that joined the letter and helped us reach out to others. You can read the full letter here, and the list of signers below the jump:

Dear President Obama,

As 116 local, regional, and national organizations from across the United States representing hundreds of thousands of individuals, we applaud your work to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. We are pleased to see that your administration has undertaken a thoughtful process to review and revise US nuclear weapons policy.

We urge you to use the results of this review to move us closer to a world free of nuclear weapons. The eventual elimination of the threat of nuclear weapons requires us to rethink the role of these weapons of mass destruction in the 21st century. As you stated in Prague in 2009, it’s time to “put an end to outdated Cold War thinking”; there is no national security rationale for maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal.  In today’s world, nuclear weapons are a liability, not an asset, and the US can maintain its security while taking responsible steps to reduce our stockpile and work with other countries to do the same.

In addition to compelling moral and security arguments to move toward elimination of nuclear weapons, there is a strong fiscal argument. At a time of intense budget pressures in Washington, DC, and economic struggles around the country, conservative estimates put our spending on the nuclear weapons arsenal at $30 billion a year. It is unwise to continue to invest billions of dollars in weapons we don’t need to keep us safe.

We encourage you to use this opportunity to announce further steps to reduce all types of nuclear weapons well below the levels required by the New START Treaty, engage the other nuclear weapons states on transparency and nuclear posture, and push for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Thank you for your leadership in reducing America’s reliance on nuclear weapons and bringing us closer to a world free of nuclear weapons.

Sincerely,


National & International Organizations

Susan Gordon, Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

Carol Blythe, President
Alliance of Baptists

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director
Arms Control Association

Katie Heald, Coordinator
Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World

Nathan Hosler, Advocacy and Peace Witness Ministries
Church of the Brethren

Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director
Coalition on Human Needs

Eli McCarthy, Director of Justice and Peace
Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Nancy Soderberg, President
The Connect U.S. Fund*

John Isaacs, Executive Director
Council for a Livable World

Charles D. Ferguson, President
Federation of American Scientists

David Culp, Legislative Representative
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers)

Katherine Prizeman, International Coordinator
Global Action to Prevent War

Carleen Pickard, Executive Director
Global Exchange

Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Ira Helfand, MD, Co-President
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Robert Naiman, Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy

Kathleen McNeely, Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

David Krieger, President
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director
Pax Christi USA

Kevin Martin, Executive Director
Peace Action

Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Jean Stokan, Director, Institute Justice Team
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Barry Blechman, Distinguished Fellow
The Stimson Center*

The Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, Director
Two Futures Project

Lisbeth Gronlund, Co-Director, Global Security Program
Union of Concerned Scientists

Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate on International Issues
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Mark Harrison, Director, Peace with Justice Program
United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

Rev. Craig Roshaven, Witness Ministries Director
Unitarian Universalist Association

Susan Shaer, Executive Director
Women’s Action for New Directions

Arizona

Barbara Warren, MD, MPH, Chair
Arizona Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Arkansas

JoAnne Mills, Vice Chair
Arkansas Women’s Action for New Directions

California

Jon Rainwater, Executive Director
Peace Action West

Denise Duffield, Associate Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles

Harry Wang, President
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Sacramento

Dr. Robert Gould, President
SF Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Tri-Valley CAREs

Colorado

Bob Kinsey, Co-Chair
The Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Mary Casper, Coordinator
Pax Christi Denver

Judith Mohling, Coordinator, Nuclear Nexus
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

Florida

Lynn Ringenberg, President
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Florida

Georgia

Bobbie Paul, Executive Director
Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions

Glenn Carroll, Coordinator
Nuclear Watch South

Evelyn Gibson Lowery, Founder & President
Southern Christian Leadership Conference/W.O.M.E.N., Inc.

Betsy Rivard, Chair
United Nations Association/Atlanta Chapter

Idaho

Liz Woodruff, Executive Director
Snake River Alliance

Illinois

David Borris, President
Chicago Area Peace Action

Sarah Lovinger, MA, MD, Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility Chicago

Iowa

Mike Carberry, Director
Green State Solutions

Maine

Rosalie Paul, Clerk
American Friends Service Committee, Maine*

Bruce Gagnon, Co-Coordinator
Bring Our War $$ Home Campaign

Michael Brennan, Mayor
City of Portland*

William Whitney
Let Cuba Live of Maine

Douglas Dransfield, MD, Secretary
Maine Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Rev. Jill Saxby, Executive Director
Maine Council of Churches

Rep. Mark Bryant (D-Windham)
Maine House of Representatives*

Denise Dreher, Coordinator
Pax Christi Maine

Jessica Moore, Chair
Peace Action Maine

Professor Douglas Allen
Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine*

Larry Dansinger, Coordinator
Resources for Organizing and Social Change

Daniel Avener, President
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 003

Maryland

Max Obuszewski
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Chesapeake Bay Area

Massachusetts

John Pastore, MD, Board of Directors
Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

Richard Krushnic
Kahal B’raira Middle East Working Group

Shelagh Foreman, Program Director
Massachusetts Peace Action

Henry Rosenberg, MD, Treasurer
Pioneer Valley Physicians for Social Responsibility

Steven Brion-Meisels, Educational Consultant
Supporting School Communities*

Michigan

Sister Betsy Meagher, CSJ
Congregation of St. Joseph, Kalamazoo*

Sister Barbara Hansen, OP
Culture of Peace Committee, Dominican Sisters – Grand Rapids

Fern Katz, President
Women’s Action for New Directions Southeast Michigan

Minnesota

Judi Poulson, Chair
Fairmont, MN Peace Group

Polly Mann, Member authorized to act
St. Joan of Arc Peacemakers, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Missouri

Edward Smith, Safe Energy Director
Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Henry Stoever, Chair of Board of Directors
PeaceWorks, Kansas City

Ann Suellentrop, MSRN, Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Kansas City

New Hampshire

Joe Sullivan, District Executive
Unitarian Universalist Association – Northern New England District*

New Jersey

David Mortensen, Chair
August 9 Saving Lives Task Force

Madelyn Hoffman, Executive Director
New Jersey Peace Action

New Mexico

Jay Coghlan, Director
Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Michelle Victoria-Delon, Co-Organizer
NukeFreeNow

Beryl Schwartz, Board Member
Peace Action New Mexico

New York

Rev. David J. Robb, Associate Minister
All Souls Unitarian Church

Guy C. Quinlan, Chair
All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force

Barbara Warren, Executive Director
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

Sally Jones, Chair
Peace Action Fund of New York State

Alicia Godsberg, Executive Director
Peace Action New York State

Susan Spivack
Peacemakers of Schoharie County*

Elaine Klein, Coordinator
Schenectady Neighbors for Peace*

Martha Conte
Westchester People’s Action Committee

North Carolina

Ellen Thomas, Director
Proposition One Campaign

Lewis Patrie
Western North Carolina Physicians for Social Responsibility*

Ohio

Nina McLellan, Co-President
Cleveland Peace Action

Sharon Cowdrey, President
Miamisburg Environmental Safety and Health

Vina Colley, President
Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security (PRESS)

Oregon

Michael Carrigan, Community Organizer
Community Alliance of Lane County

Kelly Campbell, Executive Director
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Susan Cundiff, Chapter Leader
Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions

Jill Mackie, Chairwoman
Oregon Branch – Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Herbert Rothschild, Jr, Chair of the Board of Directors
Peace House, Ashland

Clayton C. Knight, President
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72

Pennsylvania

Donna Cuthburt, Volunteer
Alliance for a Clean Environment*

Edward Aguilar, Director
Pennsylvania Peace Voter

Tammy Murphy, Director
Project for Nuclear Awareness

Tennessee

Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

Texas

Mavis Belisle, Director
JustPeace

Jerry Stein, Coordinator
The Peace Farm

Chris Masey, Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility Austin

Karen Hadden, Executive Director
Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition

Utah

Christine Meecham, Chairperson
Dialogue for Peace

Deb Sawyer, Coordinator
Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Washington

Leonard Eiger, Outreach Coordinator
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

Steven Gilbert, Director
The Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders

Tom Shea, Outreach Committee
Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone

Tracy Bier, Executive Director
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Wisconsin

John LaForge, Co-Director
Nukewatch

Pam Kleiss, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin

*Name of organization for identification purposes only

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