Oregon Becomes Second State in Nation to Support Nuclear Ban Treaty

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

By Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, June 25, 2019

Today, Oregon’s House of Representatives voted to approve Senate Joint Memorial 5 (SJM 5), which urges congress to lead a global effort to reduce the threat of nuclear war, making it the second state in the nation after California to pass such legislation in both chambers. The bill passed the Oregon Senate on May 20th.

The bill was introduced at the request of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility with the support of 31 organizations around the state and garnered moving testimony from a Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor), Hanford Downwinder, Atomic Veteran, the Marshallese community, a Corvallis city councilor, and more. The bill language and testimony can be viewed here. Chief Sponsors included Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Southeast Portland), Representative Tawna Sanchez (D-North & Northeast Portland), and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Southeast Portland) along with 15 other legislators from throughout the state.

“As a survivor of Hiroshima, with memories of the horrific deaths and suffering still vivid in my mind even after nearly seventy-four years later, I don’t want anyone ever to experience what we lived through,” wrote Dr. Hideko Tamura, a Hibakusha who lives in Medford, Oregon, in her testimony supporting SJM 5. Dr. Tamura is acknowledged in the bill for dedicating her life to the eradication of nuclear weapons.

SJM 5 acknowledges that Oregon taxpayers are spending roughly $188 million annually on nuclear weapons, money that could be better spent on education, health care, infrastructure and the environment. It calls out the racial injustice and harm to human health that nuclear weapons have already caused from uranium mining on indigenous land to weapons testing in the Marshall Islands to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the contamination of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation upriver from our state. It asserts that treaties and international agreements that are now being abandoned by the US administration such as the INF treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Nuclear Deal) actually keep Oregonians safe.

“As a member of the Hanford Clean Up Board, the intergovernmental body overseeing the clean up of the most toxic contamination site in the Western Hemisphere, I have witnessed first-hand the difficulty and extreme cost that nuclear storage and decontamination efforts incur,” explained Representative Tawna Sanchez, one of the bills chief sponsors. “We are still attempting to deal with today, the lingering residue of the nuclear decisions of our past, and it is literally costing us billions of dollars.”

The bill supports federal legislation that would stop the President’s sole unchecked power to launch nuclear weapons, end nuclear first-strike, take nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, stop wasteful spending on a new nuclear arms race, and lead negotiations with other nuclear armed states to eliminate nuclear weapons. It also calls on the US government to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which is supported by the majority of the world’s nations.

“Oregonians have the human right to live a life free from nuclear contamination and the threat posed by the reckless use of nuclear weapons,” said Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, a chief sponsor who carried the bill on the House floor. “At this moment in time, when the risk of nuclear war is higher than any time since the cold war, we must do everything we can to work for nuclear disarmament.”

“In our current political climate with the looming threats of war and a new nuclear arms race, it’s vital that local elected officials speak up for diplomacy and protecting their constituents from the devastation of nuclear weapons and war,” said Kelly Campbell, Executive Director of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “I applaud Oregon’s legislature for passing this bill and joining with the majority of countries in the world that support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

One Response

  1. DODECAHEDRON: The Natural Triggers of Nuclear War
    “What causes a leader of a nuclear armed nation to press the button and start nuclear war?” were the last words of the last man on earth who mused while in the grip of excruciating pain from his stomach acid spilling out and digesting his own innards, “Could anything have been done to keep this horror of little children endlessly screaming in pain from happening?” Well, say we founders of A WORLD WITH NO WEAPONS, Ruth Marion Graf and Peter Calabria, of course something can be done ahead of time, at least theoretically. If the leaders of all the nuclear powers destroyed their weapons, no nuclear war would be possible. We’d be home. But realizing that seems impractical and extremely unlikely. And the nukes could all be remade from scratch later. So that path to security is pretty much impossible. An alternative remedy is to put together a world-wide political movement starting in America for a one-world government. Such a new kind of nation that encompasses all the people in the world makes war, including nuclear war, flat out logically impossible because such a one-world nation of all the people in the world can have no other nation on planet Earth to be at war with. Once the leaders of the nuclear armed nations have the mathematics in Dodecahedron understood sufficient to see that nuclear annihilation is statistically as certain as such mathematical certainty can be, the sane nuclear leaders will be for the one-world government and a reluctant leader too greedy to forego power for the sake of the rest of the human race can be convinced by the other nations acting together and by an angry working class in their own country eager for out-and-out revolution against such an obvious tyrant. To ignore the problem is blind foolish unless you really don’t care about the prolonged intense pain that will be inflicted on you and 8 billion other people during the last 60 days of mankind’s burning in true hell. Dodecahedron’s mathematics are on the attachment along with an explanation of its basic ideas in an easy to read story form.  
    Please circulate to your friends and colleagues. Thank you,
    Ruth Marion Graf & Peter Calabria, PhD (RPI)Portland

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