'GOOD NEWS! Washington DC's Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton re-introduced her nuclear weapons abolition bill for the 12th time on Earth Day, April 22, 2015, as HR-1976. In her Dear Colleague letter, Ms. Norton writes, "Polls indicate that over 70% of Americans want 'the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.' We must begin to turn public sentiment into public policy, and make advances toward a peaceful, nuclear-weapons-free future."
The bill has been submitted to the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. In late May, Represenatives John Lewis (GA) and Raul Grijalva (AZ) told us that they would co-sponsor the bill.
This is the ONLY bill in the U.S. Congress calling for global abolition of nuclear weapons. It also provides funding for conversion of the war industries to provide for environmental restoration and clean-energy conversion. Co-sponsors are needed!
YOU CAN HELP by asking YOUR Representative to co-sponsor the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act" this session. We also hope that a Senator will be found to introduce similar legislation into the US Senate...'
History of the Bill
'Background: Proposition One Campaign is a grassroots movement for abolition of nuclear weapons and the conversion of nuclear and other arms industries to provide for human and environmental needs. The concept was proven viable by the victory of DC Initiative 37 in 1993.
As a result, the "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act" was introduced each session between 1994 and 2009 into the U.S. House of Representatives by Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The bill was first introduced in 1994, then 1995, 1997, and 1999, when U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (CA) joined Ms. Norton and several experts on nuclear disarmament issues to announce active support for the legislation, and again in 2001, 2003, and 2005 (when Representative Woolsey, plus John Lewis and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, and Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, quickly signed on). In 2007 there were no co-signatories, but in 2009 John Lewis and Lynn Woolsey's aides repeatedly told us that they signed on to HR-1653, although you'd never know about it by searching Congressional bills. (See Ms. Norton's 2009 announcement, which she timed to recognize Proposition One co-founder William Thomas, who died on January 23, 2009.)
During 2009 and 2010, Proposition One co-founder Ellen Thomas and a team from DC traveled 30,000 miles around the country learning about the entire nuclear chain, from uranium mines (reclaimed and not), to nuclear power and weapons plants, to radioactive storage facilities, and promoting voter initiatives everywhere. During that time they became convinced that we will never be sure of abolishing nuclear weapons until there are no longer nuclear power plants, which for sixty-plus years have been producing weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. The travelers received excellent suggestions for improving the language of the proposed bill, which up till then hadn't been getting much respect from Congress. They proposed revisions which Ms. Norton accepted in 2011.
The bill was renamed the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act." There were four co-sponsors for HR-1334, Representatives Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Bob Filner of California, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, and Fortney Pete Stark of California. Again, John Lewis and Lynn Woolsey's aides said they were signing on, but it didn't appear on the Library of Congress website.
In 2013, Representative Raoul Raul M. Grijalva (Arizona), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, signed on to HR-1650.
Other co-sponsors over the years, now retired, have included David Minge and James Oberstar (Minnesota), Charles Rangel (New York), Al Wynn (Maryland), and Earl Hilliard (Alabama). As each Congressional session ends, all unvoted-on legislation expires and must be re-introduced. Your help is needed in obtaining LOTS of co-sponsors in this Congress! Bipartisan support would be very helpful.'
+ Proposition One: http://prop1.org/prop1/index.html
'After an absence of roughly 2000 years the Star of Bethlehem may soon be making a return to our night skies on June 30, 2015 — to be more specific Venus and Jupiter will be making their tightest highly visible conjunction in nearly two millennia. The reference to the Star of Bethlehem is with regard to the fact that there was a very similar ultratight conjunction between the two — and close by the star Regulus (as this one will be), and high up in the sky (as this will be as well) — in 3-2 BC. Some astronomers have in the past speculated that this earlier conjunction is what the “Star of Bethlehem” referred to.'
+ Tel Aviv: http://www.timesofisrael.com/star-of-bethlehem-shines-again/
+ The Quantum and the Lotus: http://www.amazon.com/The-Quantum-Lotus-Frontiers-Buddhism/dp/1400080797
H.R.1976 -- Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 22, 2015
Ms. NORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and to the Committee on Armed Services
To provide for nuclear weapons abolition and economic conversion in accordance with District of Columbia Initiative Measure Number 37 of 1992, while ensuring environmental restoration and clean-energy conversion.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015'.
SEC. 2. REQUIREMENT FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION AND ECONOMIC AND ENERGY CONVERSION.
(a) In General- The United States Government shall--
(1) provide leadership to negotiate and enter into a multilateral treaty or other international agreement by the date that is three years after the date of the enactment of this Act that provides for--
(A) the dismantlement and elimination of all nuclear weapons in every country by not later than 2022; and
(B) strict and effective international control of such dismantlement and elimination;
(2) redirect resources that are being used for nuclear weapons programs to use--
(A) in converting all nuclear weapons industry employees, processes, plants, and programs smoothly to constructive, ecologically beneficial peacetime activities, including strict control of all fissile material and radioactive waste, during the period in which nuclear weapons must be dismantled and eliminated pursuant to the treaty or other international agreement described in paragraph (1); and
(B) in addressing human and infrastructure needs, including development and deployment of sustainable carbon-free and nuclear-free energy sources, health care, housing, education, agriculture, and environmental restoration, including long-term radioactive waste monitoring;
(3) undertake vigorous, good-faith efforts to eliminate war, armed conflict, and all military operations; and
(4) actively promote policies to induce all other countries to join in the commitments described in this subsection to create a more peaceful and secure world.
(b) Effective Date- Subsection (a)(2) shall take effect on the date on which the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have--
(1) eliminated such weapons; or
(2) begun such elimination under established legal requirements comparable to those described in subsection (a).
+ H.R.1976 -- Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015:
'WASHINGTON, D.C.—To commemorate Earth Day, a day dedicated to protecting the planet and its environment, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015 to require the United States to negotiate an international agreement to disable and dismantle its nuclear weapons by 2020 and to redirect the funds to human and infrastructure needs, such as housing, health care, Social Security and the environment. This year, the bill is particularly timely because of final negotiations underway for a historic nuclear agreement to keep Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.
The bill, which also requires ecologically beneficial activities, including the control of fissile material and nuclear waste and conversion to nuclear-free energy power, would take effect when the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have either eliminated them or begun such elimination under established legal requirements. The Congresswoman has introduced a version of the bill since 1994, after working with the District of Columbia residents who were responsible for the nuclear disarmament ballot initiative passed by D.C. voters in 1993.
“Earth Day has come into its own with the urgency of climate change, which could destroy the earth but was unknown when Earth Day was established in 1970,” Norton said. “At the same time, there is no greater threat to the future of our planet than nuclear war. As the United States seeks to eliminate the nuclear threat from Iran, our country, with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, should lead by example by reducing our already unnecessarily high number of warheads, and move toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons.”'
+ On Earth Day, Norton Introduces Nuclear Disarmament Bill - Apr 22, 2015 Press Release:
+ Support Proposition One (H.R.1976): http://prop1.org/prop1/HR1976.dear.colleague.2015.pdf
+ H.R.1976 - Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015 - 114th Congress (2015-2016):
Photo Credit: "And the Times they are a Changin'" - William Banzai 7: https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/
Current Sponsors in U.S. Congress (2015):
+ Rep. Eleanor H. Norton (Washington D.C.):
+ Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (Nogales, AZ):
+ Rep. John Lewis (Atlanta, GA):
Previous Sponsors of Proposition One:
+ Dennis Kucinich: https://twitter.com/Dennis_Kucinich
+ Cynthia McKinney: https://twitter.com/cynthiamckinney
+ Lynn Woolsey: https://twitter.com/lynnwoolsey
+ Sheila Jackson-Lee: https://twitter.com/JacksonLeeTX18
+ Steve Cohen: https://twitter.com/RepCohen
+ Charles Rangel: https://twitter.com/cbrangel