Join our 2021 “1,000 Call Campaign” to Help Rid the World of Nuclear Weapons
August 6 and August 9, 2021, are the seventy-sixth anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that caused an estimated 100,000-200,000 civilian deaths instantaneously and tens of thousands more in the days and years to follow.
It has been a tradition (interrupted over the past year by the Covid pandemic) for grade school children in Sacramento to collectively fold 1,000 paper cranes around this time of year – inspired by the true story of Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes – and send them to children in Japan as a gesture of hope for a nuclear-free world. At PSR/Sacramento, we’ve always felt that if grade school children could fold 1,000 paper cranes every year, we adults should be able to collectively make 1,000 calls or other contacts with our elected officials to urge them to openly support and actively work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. For whatever reason, though, we’ve never been able to reach our goal of 1,000 contacts in a single year. But inspired by Sadako, who persisted in her goal of folding 1,000 paper cranes, despite the fact that she was dying of leukemia caused by the radiation to which she’d been exposed in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, we’re going to persist in our goal of making at least 1,000 contacts with our elected officials every year until the world is rid of nuclear weapons.
Please contact President Biden, your U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Representative between now and August 9 and let them know that you expect them to openly advocate and do everything within their power to achieve the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. (Contact information for your elected officials is appended below.) And please document the contacts you make by entering them in our simple online 2021 PSR/Sacramento 1,000 Call Campaign log so that we can keep track of how close we’re coming to meeting our goal of 1,000 contacts this year.
Here are some other less comprehensive but more specific asks that you can also include when you make your contacts.
- Ask your elected officials to voice their support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to do everything within their power to ensure that the United States becomes a party to this treaty.
The TPNW was adopted by a vote of 122-2 in the UN General Assembly on July 7, 2017. The United States not only boycotted the vote, the Obama administration attempted to strong arm other countries into either boycotting the vote as well or voting against the treaty. The TPNW officially entered into force, though, on January 22, 2021, 90 days after the 50th state, Honduras, ratified the treaty. The TNW:
- Makes the use, threat of use, possession, or development of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.
- Creates a path for nuclear-armed countries to join the treaty and eliminate their weapons.
- Creates verification mechanisms to ensure countries comply with the treaty and that the destruction of nuclear weapons is verifiable, time-bound, transparent, and irreversible.
PSR is a member organization in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for the key role that it played in getting the TPNW adopted. We brought ICAN co-founder, Dr. Tilman Ruff, to be the keynote speaker at our annual dinner in 2018.
In 2018, the California State Legislature voted by an overwhelming margin to adop AJR 33, a joint resolution urging our federal officials and our nation to embrace the TPNW and make nuclear disarmament the centerpiece of our national security policy. Unfortunately, California’s federal elected officials have largely ignored this resolution.
- Ask your elected officials to support the House and Senate versions of the “No First Use Act” which declares that the United States will never use a nuclear weapon unless it has first been attacked with one.
In a resolution similar to AJR 33, the California state legislature voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to adopt AJR 30, a resolution calling on federal elected officials to pass a “No First Use” bill. California Senator Dianne Feinstein is a co-sponsor of the Senate’s current version of the “No First Use” bill. The only U.S. representative to co-sponsor the House version is Ted Lieu of Southern California.
- Ask your elected officials to revoke the authority of the President of the United States to singlehandedly order a nuclear attack. No single person should have the authority to start a nuclear war that would likely end human civilization as we know it, and the recent presidency of Donald J. Trump clearly demonstrated that we cannot assume that President of the United States can always be trusted to act in a rational manner.
- Ask your elected officials to openly advocate and actively work toward taking all nuclear weapons off hair trigger alert. Nuclear weapons that can be fired on a moment’s notice are the greatest threat for initiating a nuclear war caused by a false alarm of an incoming attack, and there have been numerous false alarms over the last several decades that nearly led to such an apocalyptic accident. Also, as former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and former chair of the Senate Armed Forces Committee Sam Nunn wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in 2008, nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert are susceptible to being launched remotely by hackers who take control of the computerized command systems.
- Ask your elected officials to openly oppose and do everything within their power to cancel plans to spend $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It makes no sense whatsoever to invest vast amounts of money and human resources in developing weapons that if ever used would signal the end of the human race.
And here are some additional talking points that you can use when you make your contacts.
In her 2017 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, ICAN Executive Director Ms. Beatrice Fihn said:
“The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what the ending will be. Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?”
We used this statement as the prompt for our 2021 PSR/Sacramento High School Essay Contest, and the winning essays are posted on the home page of our website. Urge your elected officials to read these essays. The students understand the truth of Ms. Fihn’s statement. Our elected officials should not only understand it, they should act upon it.
In her Nobel Prize speech, Ms. Fihn also re-emphasized the point that George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn made in their op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:
We have avoided nuclear war not through prudent leadership but good fortune. Sooner or later, if we fail to act, our luck will run out.
President John F. Kennedy made a similar statement in a speech to the UN General Assembly in September of 1961, a year before the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the United States and the USSR to the brink of nuclear war. He said:
Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which considers multiple factors in estimating the risk of a cataclysmic nuclear war, has set its “Doomsday Clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, with midnight representing the beginning of nuclear war and the beginning of the end of human civilization. One hundred seconds is the closest that the Doomsday Clock has ever been to midnight – closer even than during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the height of the Cold War.
As we previously stated, after you contact your elected officials “armed” with above information, we’d appreciate it very much if you’d record the contacts you make on our simple online 2021 PSR/Sacramento 1,000 Call Campaign log so that we can monitor our progress toward our goal of collectively making at least 1,000 contacts. In past years, when we’ve asked people why they haven’t participated in our 1,000 call campaign, the most common reasons we’ve heard are “I’m too busy,” “I assumed other people were doing it,” or “It doesn’t make any difference.”
We’re all busy in one way or another, and there are many other important issues to address in addition to the threat of nuclear weapons, but there’s no other single threat that can result in the extinction of the entire human race virtually overnight.
We know from the results of our past 1,000 call campaigns that many “other people” who fervently agree with us about the need to abolish nuclear weapons aren’t contacting their elected officials to let them know their views.
And as far as “making a difference” goes, doing nothing certainly doesn’t make a difference. We know, however, from candid conversations with congressional staff members that as few as 20 personal contacts on any given issue can influence the way a member of Congress thinks – and votes – on that particular issue. We also know that personal contacts, in the form of calls, letters, personalized emails, and especially, face to face contacts, are far more influential than signatures on computer generated mass petitions.
So please don’t just “remember” the 76th anniversary of the horrific atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please take action yourself to help ensure that these kinds of weapons will never be used again by participating in our 1,000 Call Campaign and letting your elected officials know that you expect them to openly advocate and do everything within their power to achieve the complete abolition of all nuclear weapons.
Contact information for federal elected officials
- President Biden via The White House:
- Via email form: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
- Via US mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
- California Senator Laphonza Butler:
- Via email form: https://www.butler.senate.gov/share-your-opinion/
- By phone via Washington DC office: (202) 224-3841
- By phone via San Francisco District office: (415) 393-0707
- Via US mail at the Capitol: 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
- Via US mail at San Francisco District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
- California Senator Alex Padilla:
- Via email form: https://www.padilla.senate.gov/
- By phone via Washington DC office: (202) 224-3553
- By phone via Sacramento District office: (916) 448-2787
- Via US mail at the Capitol: 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
- Via US mail at Sacramento District office: 501 I Street, Suite 7-800, Sacramento, CA 95814
- S. Representative Ami Bera
- Via email form: https://bera.house.gov/connect-with-me/email-ami
- By phone via Washington DC office: (202) 225-5716
- By phone via Sacramento District office: (916) 635-0505
- Via US mail at the Capitol: 172 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
- Via US mail at Sacramento District office: 8950 Cal Center Drive, Building 3, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95826
- S. Representative John Garamendi
- Via email form: https://garamendi.house.gov/contact
- By phone via Washington DC office: (202) 225-1880
- By phone via Sacramento District office: (530) 498-5600
- Via US mail at the Capitol: 2368 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
- Via US mail at Davis District office: 412 G Street, Davis, CA 95616
- S. Representative Doris Matsui
- Via email form: https://matsui.house.gov/contact/
- By phone via Washington DC office: (202) 225-7163
- By phone via Sacramento District office: (916) 635-0505
- Via US mail at the Capitol: Rayburn Building 2311, Washington, D.C. 20510
- Via US mail at Sacramento District office: 501 I Street, Suite 12-600, Sacramento, CA 95814
- Other elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials