Nukes vs. needs

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Thank you, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, for signing the proclamation asking our government to stop the building of nuclear weapons and to redirect the funds to the needs of our cities.

Schools are closed; teachers are laid off; we have potholes galore and unsafe bridges and much bus service has been eliminated, yet the United States has 5,113 nuclear weapons deployed or held in reserve, with an estimated cost to operate and "modernize" this arsenal at $352 billion over the next decade.

Our leaders debate budget cuts ("Deficit-Reduction Process in the Works," Oct. 2), while our tax dollars are squandered preparing for nuclear apocalypse.

According to a report from International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, an exchange of just 100 nuclear weapons by two warring nations "would disrupt the global climate and agricultural production so severely that the lives of more than a billion people would be at risk."

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty requires countries with nuclear weapons to decrease their arsenals. Let's get started right now. There will be money to hire more teachers and construction workers, bus drivers, support personnel and money left for health care.

Mayor Ravenstahl does not have the power to make this happen, but by signing this proclamation he added his drop in the bucket along with those of many others who are calling for elimination of all nuclear weapons. Add your voice! Contact your U.S. representatives and senators.

EDITH BELL
Highland Park
The writer is a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Remembering Hiroshima/Imagining Peace, which submitted the proclamation to Mayor Ravenstahl.


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