The Senate must ratify START by a two-thirds vote. Arms control advocates are being urged to lobby their Senators, but Senators would listen to city and town governments much, much faster than to individual voters. Hundreds of cities around the world remain targeted by ICBMs, twenty years after the Cold War ended. Cities are therefore the logical entities to demand de-targeting. They can speak on behalf of their populations, not to mention their targeted hospitals, libraries, parks, office buildings, and city halls.
A Mayor, City Councilor, Alderman, or Town Selectman is readily accessible for an appointment, especially for an appointment of a group three or six or ten, or representatives of a neighborhood organization. Ask your governing body to hold a public hearing. Local media will be there.
160 American municipalities belong to Mayors for Peace, started by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, numbering 4144 communities in 144 countries. Go to the Mayors for Peace website and see whether your municipality belongs. If it does belong, that will give you a leg up in getting your state’s Senators to vote to ratify START. Mayors for Peace has adopted the 20-20 Vision Campaign, calling for eradication of nuclear weapons by 2020. START is just the start of that.
In my state, Massachusetts, fifteen cities and towns belong to Mayors for Peace, and Republican Senator Scott Brown’s vote is in doubt. Brown should receive resolutions from all those communities, and many more besides.
What you are asking your local governing body for is a resolution addressed to your two Senators, making these points:
1. 65 years have passed since Hiroshima.
2. Twenty years after the Cold War, some one thousand Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles remain targeted at cities around the world, on fifteen minute alert.
3. START is the next step in universal, progressive, verifiable nuclear arms reductions. Slowness in ratifying the Treaty is blocking further progress.
4. This city (or town), on behalf of its targeted population, says ratify START now!