Frederick Aldermen Approve Resolution Supporting Nuclear Disarmament

It was proposed by Mayor Michael O’Connor.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The Frederick Board of Aldermen on Thursday approved a resolution calling on the federal government to move the nation toward nuclear disarmament. The vote was 3-0. Alderwoman Katie Nash and Alderman Ben MacShane were not present at Thursday’s  meeting.

The measure was introduced by Mayor Michael O’Connor, who said he spoke with representatives form “Back from the Brink,” which is working toward nuclear disarmament. “We know that world events have  only challenged us even more to find ways to grasp peace which oftentimes that is an elusive concept,” he said.

The resolution calls on Congress to renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first; end the “sole, unchecked” authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack; take US nuclear weapons off of hair-trigger alert; cancel  the plan to replace the entire US nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons; and actively  pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

James Wagner of Frederick, who is part of the “Back from the Brink:” movement, says these demands are not unreasonable. “Although these proposals in the resolution are not off the wall, radical things, they’ve been in Congress before and Congress is not pursuing them vigorously enough,” he said.

And he continued that it’s right for local cities to support resolutions like these. “I think it is absolutely a local issue. The cities would be targets of nuclear weapons,'” Wagner says.

The background materials for this resolution say that Frederick is at “an elevated risk” of being a target of a nuclear attack due to its proximity to Washington DC and Fort Detrick.

Annette Breiling is with Prevent Nuclear War Frederick, who says the world is being made more dangerous by nuclear weapons. “There are two issues which threaten our very existence; and that’s climate change and nuclear war,” she said. “And we are dangerously close to somebody accidentally pushing that button that can destroy us.”

She also responded to another concern people have about nuclear disarmament. “Sometimes people say ‘we can’t do that because if we do it, they’re going to attack us.’ So there has to be a deescalation,”: Breiling said.

Mayor O’Connor also acknowledged that a resolution like this won’t make nuclear weapons go away immediately. “But it does make a statement about our community and joins us with a number of other communities—-60 municipalities in the state of Maryland, including the largest municipality in Maryland, Baltimore–we are number two–and the city of Washington DC along with a number of state and county governments,:” he says.

The Mayor also said this resolution 77 years after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan; and 60 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis which almost led to a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union.

The resolution calls for copies to be presented to Representatives David Trone and Jaime Raskin, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and President Joe Biden.

By Kevin McManus