In part through the tireless work of several of our grantees, California just passed a state resolution urging Congress to support national legislation restricting the President's sole authority to launch a nuclear first strike. If you live in California, see how your California State Senator voted on AJR 30 here: http://bit.ly/CA-nonukes
Like all US presidents, President Trump has the unilateral authority to start a nuclear war. If he orders a first strike, nuclear-tipped missiles would fly within minutes. Once launched, they cannot be called back. We are working to reform this nuclear launch authority for Trump and all future presidents. Under the constitution, Congress alone has the power to declare war – conventional or otherwise.
The California resolution is an important victory, and it would not have been possible without the hard work of our grantees Beyond the Bomb, Women's Action for New Directions, Win Without War and others. Our investment strategy ensures grantees have the resources they need to organize and lobby; now, we are seeing it pay off.
Starting with grassroots organizing in cities and states, we can build momentum for change that otherwise seems impossible. Grassroots action is one of many "parts of the puzzle" that we fund, and participating in local advocacy is one of the ways you can support the movement to prevent nuclear war.
Through this resolution, we are building momentum for a new disarmament activism. Regarding the passage of AJR 30, Beyond the Bomb organizer Yasmeen Silva said, "Across red districts and blue, lawmakers heard from their constituents and as a result voted overwhelmingly in favor. This is a huge moment for the entire country."
Creating a check on the president's absolute authority to start a nuclear war is a necessary step, and long overdue. Every community has a say and can raise its voice. Through this resolution, California is building momentum for a movement to prevent nuclear war.
As the executive director of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), Nancy Parrish, said, “California is the first, but it will not be the only state to send this message to Congress. Across the country, members of WAND’s Women Legislators’ Lobby have introduced ten resolutions in eight states taking a stand against sole authority. I look forward to other states joining California and uniting against nuclear war.”
In addition to AJR 30, AJR 33 also passed calling for a wide range of critical nuclear policies, including ending sole authority, taking nuclear weapons off of hair-trigger alert, and supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
A full list of pending nuclear resolutions and their sponsors includes:
- GA: Senator Nan Orrock [SR 897]
- IA: Rep. Marti Anderson [No current bill number; resolution drafting number 5419HH]
- IL: Rep. Carol Ammons [HR0877]
- MA: Senator Barbara L’Italien [SD.2488]
- MD: Delegate Pamela Queen [HJ12]
- VT: Rep. Mary Sullivan [JRH.12]
Thank you to those involved for all you do to create a safer future, free from the threat of nuclear weapons.
To learn more and to get involved, contact any of these organizations and/or sign up for our Ploughshares Fund newsletter today!
Photo: California's state flag. Flickr / Håkan Dahlström (cc)