ACTION ALERT: Let’s End the Nuclear Era

May 3rd, 2019 - by The Proposition One Campaign / Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, US
The end of nuclear proliferation? (Photo: United Nations Assembly)


Online Letter to Representatives asking for cosponsorship to Eleanor Holmes Norton’s “Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2019” – HR-2419 
Paper Petition to Representatives

WILPF online Petition to Senators for UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty 
WILPF paper Petition to Senators for UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty 
*  wide version, paper Petition to Senators 
WILPF-US foldover flyer 
WILPF Tax Day flyer 
Contact the CampaignI

IN THE HOUSE: Proposition One Campaign was founded in 1990 to bring a voter initiative for global nuclear disarmament and conversion of the war machines to the people of Washington DC. Since its success in 1993, DC’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced a bill each session, the “Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act.”

Ms. Norton reintroduced her bill on April 30, 2019 as HR-2419, and issued a press release which focuses on important revisions* to the bill. We’re asking you to ask your Representative to cosponsor her bill. To make it easy, we have created a sign-on letter online, which begins: 

“As a constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor ‘The Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act.’ The bill has been introduced each session since 1994, suggesting we help lead the world step-by-step towards complete elimination of nuclear weapons. In addition the bill provides funding for environmental restoration and to transform our war industries to produce carbon-free, nuclear-free energy….” 

* In 2019 members of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – US Section asked Ms. Norton to revise the language of the bill by naming the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the first clause, eliminating the “date by” portion of the last clause, and removing (for later introduction as a separate bill, we hope) the clause calling for an end to war and all military operations, which was getting in the way of recruiting new co-sponsors. Ms. Norton agreed to all the revisions, and was congratulated by Nobel Peace Prize winner ICAN‘s executive director, Beatrice Fihn, and Wallis Timmons and Vicki Elson of WILPF-US and NuclearBan.US.

IN THE SENATE: On July 7, 2017, at the United Nations, 122 nations adopted a nuclear weapons ban treaty!

At their 33rd triennial congress July 27-30, 2017, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-US Section launched a petition to the President and the Senate asking for ratification. Please print and get signatures on the paper petition and send to the address shown, AND please sign (and encourage everyone you know on social media to sign) the online petition supporting the nuclear weapons ban treaty as well. We hope and believe this will go viral!

Let your legislators know you want them to support a world without nuclear weapons! The Congressional Switchboard is 202-224-3121. The White House comment line is 202-456-1111. 

And if you are a constituent, please take time to thank Eleanor Holmes Norton for faithfully introducing her nuclear weapons abolition bill each session since 1994, and tell her you’ve contacted your Representative to ask for co-sponsorship! Ms. Norton’s fax is 202-225-3002.

As NPT review begins, demonstrators call for nuclear abolition outside UN Headquarters in New York (Photo: Japan Times)


Introduced on September 27, 2017, HR-3853 was the 13th time that Washington DC’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced her nuclear weapons abolition bill. Her September 25, 2017 press release read: “There is no greater threat to the future of our planet than nuclear war . . . . As we seek to eliminate North Korea’s march toward achieving long-range nuclear weapons, our nation, with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, should lead by example by bringing nations together to begin negotiations on reducing our stockpiles of warheads and moving toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons.”

On Earth Day, April 22, 2015, when she introduced HR-1976, Ms. Norton wrote in her Dear Colleague letter, “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 consistently been submitted to the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. They should be written as well. 

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. 

* In addition to the Roots Action letter above, you can contact your legislators at 202-224-3121, or by fax

* You can educate your neighbors how to help rid the world of nuclear weapons – print out the attached flyer and spread it around!  Circulate the attached petition and send it to Ellen Thomas at 401 Wilcox Rd, Tryon, NC 28782.

Please let us know if you have contacted your Representative or Senators so that we may follow up.Also, please contact the members of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees and ask them to release HR-1976 to the floor for a vote. 

Working for a Nuclear-Free Future

For over three decades we have been working to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to shut down the entire nuclear chain. Since we cannot be sure to eliminate nuclear weapons without also eliminating the nuclear power plants which produce weapons-grade plutonium or enriched uranium, we strive to stop the building of any new nuclear power plants, and to replace nuclear power with carbon-free, nuclear-free clean energy systems.

On the issue of nuclear power, beginning in 2010 we attended hearings before the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina Public Utilies Commissions, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to testify, film, and oppose any new nuclear power plants -— for example, our 2012 opposition to the proposed new Lee Nuclear Power Stations 1 and 2 in Gaffney, SC, 40 miles from our southeast office. We also have been posting testimonies of other opponents, people who live in the vicinity of proposed and existing nuclear power plants who are pleading with the nuclear industry to invest in renewable (solar, wind) energy instead of nuclear, which is so dirty and dangerous. These testimonies can be found on the Proposition One Campaign YouTube site.

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 19951997, 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 20012003, 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-1650and in 2015 Raoul Grijalva (Arizona) and John Lewis (Georgia) again signed on, to HR-1976. In 2016, Lacy Clay (St. Louis, MO) also signed on. And in spring, 2017, we were told by Lacy Clay and Raul Grijalva aides, and by Jan Schakowsky (Chicago, IL) personally, that they would sign on to the bill when introduced in the 115th Congress.

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.

Now we have the Roots Action letter to help us!

We of the Proposition One Campaign thank Ms. Norton for her vision, courage, and patience over these many years.  We hope this session the bill will have so many co-sponsors that it will finally get out of Committees and to the floor for a vote. 

Contact Proposition One Campaign for more information.

[This is a current project of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, Disarm/End Wars Committee.]