Hi! It's time to bring you up to date.
We've returned from an amazing journey of 24,000 miles of talking to people about the need and right to vote on whether or not we should continue to possess, research, build, maintain, store, or otherwise support the continuing existence of nuclear weapons (which cost US citizens over $52 billion in 2009, and over $7 trillion since the 1940's).
In four months we toured in 22 states, talking up Nuclear Disarmament at over 30 sites including five downtown libraries, umpteen churches of various denominations, seven peace centers, multiple community centers, six universities, two youth conferences (Think Outside the Bomb in Albuquerque, NM, and Powershift at UNC Chapel Hill, NC), three casinos, several restaurants and coffee shops, the Venice Beach boardwalk, outdoor festivals in Idaho and Montana, and one Augusta, GA, sports bar where we were on a live radio show. We were also on radio in Kansas City, MO, and both radio and TV in Portland, OR.
We learned in Missouri that the Progressive (Green) Party of Missouri voted to endorse Proposition One, and Midge Potts, who is running for Senator of Missouri, joined us in Columbia and is now working in Washington, DC.
In Kansas City, Missouri, a video was posted online at http://www.youtube.com/lutherjondo where Ann Suellentrop of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability speaks about the local efforts to shut down the Honeywell nuclear weapons facility, which produces 85% of US nuclear weapons (the non-nuclear components). The plant has polluted the two rivers which converge nearby with toxic chemicals. This would be a great pilot project for conversion (see http://prop1.org/prop1/). If local workers begin to trust that they won't lose their jobs, just be retrained while the factory is being rebuilt to produce truly clean energy systems, then there should be a lot more enthusiasm, and if it works in Kansas City, it will give hope to others in the military-industrial complex who fear losing their jobs. Ann and the amazingly creative community in Kansas City are terrific allies.
During our tour we visited most parts of our nuclear weapons complex, including the two National Weapons Development Labs in Livermore, CA, and Los Alamos, NM; the Trinity test site at Alamogordo, NM; the Nevada Test Site north of Las Vegas, NV, and the Pantex facility in Amarillo, TX, a key place where nuclear weapons are actually dismantled, and the plutonium pits stored in the thousands.
We saw the massive cleanup sites at Hanford, WA, the Idaho National Labs, and Rocky Flats in Golden, CO, which is only 12 miles uphill and upwind of downtown Denver. We wonder what the Denver cancer rates are, and weren't surprised Rocky Flats was one of the first nuclear weapons facilities closed (in part thanks to the extreme diligence of Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center in Boulder).
We checked out eight different reactor sites, including the nation's largest, Palo Verde, near Phoenix, AZ, which is the only nuclear power plant in the US which is not on a major river, lake, or the coast, and gets the water for the cooling stations from liquid waste pumped miles across the desert from local communities. A clever idea, but the pipeline is incredibly vulnerable.
We saw a gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and a geiger counter assembly plant on a commune in Tennessee.
We saw unmanned drones landing at Creech Air Force Base (next to the Nevada Test Site), and vigiled most of the night outside a test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Bace on the southern California coast.
On August 6, Hiroshima Day, we paid our respects at a WWII era Japanese internment camp, south of Palmer, AZ, and on August 9, Nagasaki Day, we enjoyed the performance and support of WILPF's Raging Grannies in Tucson, AZ.
We joined several different anti-war protests in Oakland and Hollywood, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Carson City, NV, and a Health Care rally in Phoenix, AZ.
We distributed over 200 copies of two videos, "Proposition One: Peace Through Reason" and "The Strangest Dream," and dozens of copies of Arjun Makhijani's seminal book, "Carbon Free, Nuclear Free," and over 500 copies of three fliers.
We are hoping that we will be able to continue the tour until election day 2010 and perhaps beyond.
Our current plans are to
1) participate in Alliance for Nuclear Accountability actions in Washington, DC and the retreat following DC Days,
2) support a walk/tour during April from Washington, DC to New York City (through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey), to join the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) actions the first week in May,
3) tour New England after the NPT,
4) tour the northern and midwestern states,
5) return if invited to communities which want to put nuclear disarmament on the ballot.
6) Ellen hopes to tour Florida after the "Alternative New Year" at St. Mary's, Georgia, where she's been invited to speak on New Year's Day 2010.
We need help. Clearly we can't arrange the events where we'll be speaking. We need volunteers in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, etc. who will host an event.
We've spent $10,000 so far, mostly on gas. Not bad for 24,000 miles, four people and a dog over four months. If we're going to go any further, we'll need some backers.
Please contact us at email@example.com or Proposition One Committee, PO Box 27217, Washington, DC 20038 if you want to help, in any way you can.
Hope to hear from you!