On April 10, 2018, the city of Ojai, California adopted a resolution declaring the city the first nuclear-free zone in decades. Against the backdrop of events over the past year, and recognizing the catastrophic human consequences of any use of nuclear weapons plus the exorbitant costs of nuclear weapons production and maintenance, the City Council adopted the resolution unanimously.
The background for the Resolution began last November when Dr. Dodge approached a city council member about the proposal, and then, during public comments, challenged the City Council to take a stand on behalf of the citizens of Ojai regarding the greatest public health threat we face, that of nuclear war.
This bold Resolution has three main components.
First, it adopts the five point “Back From The Brink” resolution that many PSR chapters are championing. “The city council, on behalf of the residents of Ojai, call on the United States and our elected officials to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war” via:
- Renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first.
- End the president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack.
- Take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.
- Cancel the plan to replace the entire U.S. arsenal with enhanced weapons.
- Actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
Secondly, the City Council declares Ojai a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone by prohibiting a variety of nuclear weapons-related activities within the city.
The third section, titled “Nuclear Free Contracts and Investments,” includes guidelines for city contracting and investment of funds. The resolution calls for divestment from institutions and companies that are involved in the financing, manufacture, development, stockpiling and testing of nuclear weapons.
Recognizing that Ojai is but one small Southern California community, the resolution concludes with this appeal to other communities:
“Conscious of the magnitude of destructive capacity of modern nuclear weapons, we recognize that our proposal would have little meaning on its own. We therefore appeal to our neighboring counties and cities to make similar statements on the half of the citizens they represent”.