Evanston takes stand against nuclear conflict

Updated 1/20/2020 10:02 AM

The taboo against nuclear war is widespread and well-founded. Such a war would result in one of the worst humanitarian crises imaginable.

Yet, with the United States' withdrawal from critical arms control agreements and with ever-escalating tensions between the United States and nations like Iran, the potential for nuclear conflict is rising right now.


Even at the local and state level, elected officials and people around the country can make a difference. On Jan. 13, the Evanston City Council unanimously passed Resolution 136-R-19, led by Alderman Eleanor Revelle, expressing Evanston's commitment to the prevention of nuclear war, based on the priorities outlined in the Back from the Brink initiative.

As an Evanston resident, I was proud that my organization, Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility, helped champion the Evanston resolution alongside the Union of Concerned Scientists, Chicago Peace Action and a cross-section of other faith, peace and justice organizations.

The resolution seeks to have the federal government renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first; end the sole, unchecked authority of any president 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; and actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

The passage of this resolution makes Evanston the first city in the Midwest to adopt these critical priorities and hopefully not the last.

Sarah Lovinger


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