Proposition One is a grassroots movement for disarmament 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.
The bill
has continuously been introduced in Congress since 1994.
Now we are asking you to replicate the Voter Initiative Campaign across the entire country.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Think Outside The Bomb youth conference was excellent

The Think Outside The Bomb conference was excellent -- engaging and highly informed speakers, engaged and very sharp youth, some 50+ from around the country who got together to figure out what to do about nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The conference is organized each year by young people for young people.

There were powerful presentations by several Native Americans who work on behalf of those most affected by the mining of nuclear material and its aftermath, as well as talks and workshops by a broad spectrum of other nuclear experts and activists. We spoke about Proposition One In 2010 Campaign, of course, and were invited to speak in Kansas City, Missouri on our way back east by a strong contingent of creative folk.

A high point was the field trip to a “reclaimed” mine in the nearby Grants uranium belt, near the foot of what is now known as Mt. Taylor, known to the Dineh (Navaho) people as the southernmost of the four sacred mountains that border their tribal lands. At least the US was finally, recently, persuaded not to mine there further. . .

The final day of the conference took us all up to Bandelier National Monument, yet one more site of exquisite natural beauty, and another place that was once home to the ancient Anasazi, or Pueblo and Hopi ancestors. Our attempted hike into the backcountry with 10 intrepid nuclear abolitionists took us first up to the summit of the closest mountain (Frijoles Mt. – overlooking the whole area, even down into Santa Fe, some 40 miles southeast. Oh, and a solid hawk’s eye view of Los Alamos National Laboratory to boot — Bandelier’s next door neighbor). By the time we worked our way over to Frijoles canyon, it was too late for us to head down to the creek waters and the backcountry ruins and petroglyphs, so we had to content ourselves with knowing they were there, and head back to finish, and depart. . .

Leaving the conference, Proposition One determined to head north through Taos, and ultimately to take our friend Steve to help harvest fruit at the organic farm he calls home, the White Buffalo Organic Farm in Paonia, Colorado (the oldest organic farm in the state, right on the bank of the North Fork of the Gunnison River).  Beautiful.  Tough to leave, sad to leave him there, but after a handy repair job on the front of the trailer, and switching out the right rear tire, and a few hugs and warm goodbyes, we were back on our way.

More to come. . .

Jay, Ellen, Troy, and Sophia

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Too Much To Report In One Message

We've had many experiences since our last report, too many for one posting.  I'm in Oakland, continuing to paint the trailer.  These photos were taken while we camped at Bandolier National Park in Los Alamos, New Mexico with youth from all over the country who had attended the Think Outside The Bomb conference in Albuquerque August 13-16.

Wednesday we talk in Berkeley, Thursday in Santa Cruz, and Friday in San Jose.  From there we head to Burning Man near Reno, NV, then up to Portland, visiting various spots in Oregon for a week.  We'll announce dates and places as soon as we know them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


[Please feel free to use all or part of the following press release]

PO Box 27217, Washington, DC 20038

August 15, 2009
Contact: Jay Marx ( or Ellen Thomas (
cell 202/210-3886 or 202/368-4690, ofc. 202/682-4282


Proposition One aims to put Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion on the ballot in every state; Santa Barbara event coincides with Vandenberg AFB missile launch

WASHINGTON, DC – The Proposition One in 2010! Campaign, a national multi-media action tour that educates the public on the need and opportunity to eliminate nuclear weapons, will present at the Santa Barbara Central Library at 2pm on Wednesday, August 22, returning to the West Coast from an outstanding four-day youth conference with Think Outside The Bomb in Albuquerque, NM.

Later that night, Proposition One will join anti-nuclear activists from across Southern California to protest the expense and waste of continuing US militarism at the missile launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

From there the campaign will head north to the East Bay (the 26th), Santa Cruz (the 27th), and San Jose (the 28th), then on to Mendocino and Humboldt Counties in California, through Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Wyoming, on the way to Boise, Idaho for an event on the 17th of September. From there they will go to Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri on their way home.

This is the second time the campaign has been through Santa Barbara on a four-month tour of the western United States, after traveling across the country from Washington, D.C.

The troupe is headed by Washington, DC, peace activist Ellen Thomas, who maintained a round-the-clock anti-nuclear vigil in front of the White House for 18 years, and in 1993 helped coordinate the successful DC Ballot Initiative 37 for Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion, which has been introduced into US Congress nine times since 1994 by DC’s Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Campaign Coordinator Jay Marx says, “We use film, stories, songs and facts to educate people on everything we wish we didn’t need to know about nuclear weapons - from Alpha particles to X-rays, from Americium to Yellowcake, from Alamogordo to Zimbabwe, and from ambivalence to di-Zaster (or Nuclear Zero).”

The program includes the film “Proposition One, Peace Through Reason,” discussion with Proposition One co-founder Ellen Thomas, a review of the state of nuclear disarmament with activist Jay Marx, musical inspiration, and audience discussion and organizing.

The Summer Action Tour kicked off in May in North Georgia’s Nacoochee Valley, and will conclude October 11th, tabling at a Bonnie Raitt benefit concert in Columbia, South Carolina.

Tour dates are still developing throughout the western US, but currently scheduled upcoming tour dates and locations include:

Aug. 20 – Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Desert Experience
Aug. 22 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Central Library 2 pm; Vandenberg Air Force Base midnight
Aug. 26 – Berkeley, CA – Redwood Gardens – 7pm
Aug 27 – Santa Cruz, CA
Aug. 28 – San Jose, CA
Aug 29 – Laytonville, CA (Mendocino County)
Aug 30-31 – Humboldt County, CA
Sept. 1-? – Ashland, Corvallis, and Portland, Oregon (in that order)
Sept. ? –Washington
Sept. ? – Montana
Sept. ? - Wyoming
Sept. 17 – Boise, ID
Sept. ? – Utah
Sept. ? – Colorado
? - Oklahoma
? - Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis, MO
Oct. 11 – Columbia, SC

Please contact the Proposition One in 2010! Campaign to endorse the campaign, invite speakers, or for more information.

Contact: Jay Marx ( or Ellen Thomas (
cell 202/210-3886 or 202/368-4690, ofc. 202/682-4282

Available for Radio, TV or Print Interviews are:
Ellen Thomas – DC Activist, White House Vigiler, NucNews editor, Proposition One co-founder, WILPF Disarm Committee Co-Chair
Jay Marx – Writer, Activist, former Washington Peace Center Coordinator
Steve Mobray – Musician, Teacher, Activist

Weblinks: (Campaign Blog)

Endorsers include: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Nuclear Watch South, Code Pink, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, AfterDowningStreet, Peace Action, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Nevada Desert Experience, Think Outside The Bomb, Washington Peace Center, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Committee….

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palo Verde, the largest Nuclear Power Plant

We drove to the largest nuclear power facility in the U.S. (located on 4,000 acres in the deep desert).

"Due to its location in the Arizona desert, Palo Verde is the only nuclear generating facility in the world that is not located adjacent to a large body of above-ground water. Instead, it evaporates water from the treated sewage of several nearby municipalities to meet its cooling needs. 20 billion US gallons (76,000,000 m³) of treated water are evaporated each year. Bechtel Power Corporation was the Architect/Engineer/Constructor for the facility initially under the direction of the Arizona Nuclear Power Project.

"Palo Verde was of such strategic importance, due to a variety of its features, that it and Phoenix were documented by the former Soviet Union as target locations in the event of nuclear conflict during the Cold War. The site team and nearby town of Wintersburg remain a key focus of work in regard to homeland security, ranking in importance along with Arizona's major cities, military bases, ports of entry, and tourist sites. Security guards working for the utility are armed with semi-automatic weapons.

"In an Arizona Republic article dated February 22, 2007, it was announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had decided to place Palo Verde into Category 4, making it one of the most monitored nuclear power plant in the United States. The decision was made after the NRC discovered that electrical relays in a diesel generator did not function during tests in July and September 2006.

"The finding came as the 'final straw' for the NRC, after Palo Verde had several citations over safety concerns and violations over the preceding years, starting with the finding of a 'dry pipe' in the plant's emergency core-cooling system in 2004.

"The selection of the present site for Palo Verde was controversial. Critics claim that the site was not the first choice because it was in the middle of nowhere, had no water supply, and put the Phoenix-Metro area into jeopardy in the event of even a minor accident, because of the prevailing westerly winds, would endanger the capital. Critics claimed that that site was selected over alternatives because it was owned by a relative of Keith Turley, who received almost $2 million for the land. Keith Turley was the president of APS (Arizona Power Service)."



Ariz. nuclear worker found with pipe bomb; plant locked down
Nov 03, 2007 AP

Arizona Farewell

Arizona, despite the crippling heat (108 after dark!), was an amazing experience.

In Phoenix on August 6th we met with some folks at the Fair Trade Café, thanks to the efforts of Liz Hourican of Code Pink, who also kindly hosted us for two nights, and took us on a tour of Phoenix highlights. Especially impressive was a statue created from melted-down weapons, pictured here.

On August 7th we stopped by Senator John McCain's office building, and later presented to a fine crew of uber-dedicated anti-nuke folks at the Quaker Meeting House, where we stayed one night thanks to the kindness of Jason and his wife.

We also had three excellent days in Tucson, where we stayed at the Pima Friends’ (Quaker) Meeting House, managed by Jeanmarie Simpson, a playwright and actress, and by Pat Birnie, both members of WILPF Disarm Committee.

The sun was setting on the 8th as we pulled into the Cancer Survivor’s Pavilion at Reid Park, where the Tucson Raging Grannies presented a colorful collection of great songs and a moving memorial to the Nagasaki bombing.

The next day we showed the film “The Strangest Dream,” about the life and work of Joseph Rotblat, the only nuclear physicist to leave the Manhattan Project before its “success” in 1945. He later won a Nobel Prize for his work in nuclear medicine, and later still won another Nobel – the Peace Prize – for helping organize the international Pugwash Peace Conferences. It is a beautiful and inspiring story, and was appreciated by the audience of 30+ in the basement of the downtown Tucson Library. We particularly appreciate this film because it shows that great minds 50 years ago were saying the same things Proposition One says...

Afterwards, WILPF gave a sensational pot luck back at the Quaker house and we spent two delicious hours eating, talking and planning with some of Tucson’s finest activists.

Monday, August 10, we spent organizing, planning ahead and following up, taking advantage of the road respite that the Pima Friends House provided. The highlight of the day was meeting with Jack and Felice Cohen-Joppa, longtime editors of the Nuclear Resister newsletter, and their friend John Hyde, another spectacularly dedicated Quaker anti-nuclear activist who has endured several jail stints over the course of his decades of peace work.

We talked at length about their history, major moments in the movement, and what the future may hold. We were lucky to capture part of the interview on video, but as always seems to be the case, some of the gems were missed, like the fact that, though Tucson has no nuclear industries per se, the nearby Air Base houses the “Warthog” planes that are primarily used in dropping depleted uranium (DU) munitions, and Felice has a “Permanent Ban and Bar” order for her repeated anti-DU demonstrations there. (Jack has received a similar order for passing out pro-peace literature at air shows.) Next summer on the 4th of July, they will celebrate 30 years of the Nuclear Resister (and their sister paper in Wisconsin, Nukewatch Quarterly) with a demonstration at the Oak Ridge plant in Tennessee.

Great colorful murals all over Tucson. Next time we’re back, we'll do a photo safari of Tucson murals… That, and a trip to the Atlas Missile museum, which displays the control room, silo, and missile (decommissioned like all Atlas missiles since 1965). Considering the welcome we had here, and the enthusiasm of the people we met, who knows if it might not be soon ... to help put Proposition One on the ballot in 2010!

On Tuesday, August 11th, we regretfully said goodbye to Tucson and headed east towards New Mexico, on our way to Think Outside the Bomb in Albuquerque. We were at White Sands as the sun set, a strange and beautiful sacred land, which has been bombarded for decades by toxic ammunition and missiles.

We spent the night at 9,000+ feet in Sierra Blanca high above Ruidoso, NM, seeking cool weather. It was a joy, after so much hot desert, to awake at dawn among tall pines and grass at a scenic overlook, chilly enough for a sweater, cuddling up to Sophia the peace dog, who had been avoiding contact because of the heat ever since Los Angeles. We wound down the mountain to get as close as possible to the Trinity Test Site near Alamogordo. We were stopped by a gate and mountain at Stallion Range Camp, a small military town, and photographed some strangely shaped clouds rising from beyond the mountain. At first we thought they must be testing weapons, later wondered if they were making artificial clouds for weather purposes, probably we’ll never know….

Unfortunately, our geiger counter isn’t working, so we weren’t able to gauge the radioactivity near the Trinity test site, 64+ years after the world’s first atomic explosion, but we do intend to get satisfaction on our $80 investment from the owner of The Black Hole, where we purchased it, when we return to Los Alamos with the TOTB crew on Saturday night.

Now we’re back in New Mexico at the first morning of the Think Outside The Bomb conference, surrounded by eager young minds, where we'll be until Sunday. More about this next posting….

Ellen and Jay, Steve and Troy

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Half-Closed Reactor of San Onofre

We took a day trip south from LA to San Onofre nuclear power plant much too near San Clemente, which hangs on the cliffs above beautiful beaches. There on the Pacific shore, sandwiched between two popular beaches for swimming and surfing, loom two ominous domes. . .

"Unit 1 is no longer in service. This reactor was a first generation Westinghouse pressurized water reactor that operated for 25 years, closing permanently in 1992. Units 2 and 3, Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors, continue to operate and generate 1,172 MWe and 1,178 MWe, respectively. The plant is operated by Southern California Edison. Edison International, parent of SCE, holds 78% ownership in the plant; San Diego Gas & Electric Company, 20%; and the City of Riverside Utilities Department, 1.8%.
The environment is protected from potential unexpected releases of radioactivity by strong, spherical containment buildings. This containment structure feature was missing at the reactors at Chernobyl.
The closest fault line is the Christianitos fault, which is supposedly inactive." (Wikepedia)

All well and good, but consider the following!

"San Onofre safety lapses disclosed" - Los Angeles Times, 1/15/08

"More falsified documents investigated at San Onofre" - North County Times, 6/28/08

"San Onofre's Problems Continue" - February 25, 2009 Voice of San Diego (excellent!)

"Regulators criticize safety "culture" at San Onofre nuke plant" - North County Times, 5/7/09

Please remember, one end product of the nuclear reactor cycle (plutonium) is the beginning product of the nuclear weapons cycle. . .
What if we put the 52 BILLION U.S. dollars each year currently going to nuclear weapons towards the development and deployment of renewable and sustainable energy solutions and environmental restoration, instead?

ALSO: Please know that our journeys are also being charted at the WILPF Disarm site!


Fare well, SoCal...

Farewell, southern California, at least until our return to Santa Barbara Public Library at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 22nd, and then to Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:30 pm that night.

We've had a multi-layered experience in our "No War" van as we've explored the campgrounds, beaches and mountains of southern California. It's a journey first to meet other activists, especially antinuclear ones, and to collect their stories as we share ours. It's also, for all of us, a return to places important to our childhoods. We visited the golden hills of Palos Verdes, on the coast south of Los Angeles, where Ellen spent the first 14 years of her life, and found Steve's birthplace in the lovely hills of Upland. (We plan to visit Jay's childhood home in Colorado, and Troy's birthplace in Ohio.) We toasted at Venice Beach with our signs and literature on display in a parking lot (with no result), and paid a short, non-productive visit to the Los Angeles Catholic Workers, who are very busy helping people personally, and cynical about the political process.

However, there were terrific contacts along the way.

We joined and photographed an Iran Free Speech Solidarity rally just before we left San Francisco, and spent a great evening with David and Carol Lee Krieger in their beautiful home in the Santa Barbara Hills. David is the creative force behind Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and Carol Lee is an ardent clean water advocate.

We also connected with Sandy Stites of Santa Barbara WILPF, who arranged for us to show our film and speak at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

We encountered a "Free Speech" (only with a permit) zone in Venice Beach; Jay has a citation to prove it.

We lunched in Los Angeles on Saturday with Roger Easton, who is the glue that binds the Los Angeles Area Nuclear Disarmament Coalition.... (more next message)


Our sentiments exactly....