Those who believe nuclear weapons have no military utility and would be used only by a terrorist should be encouraged by the rapid growth in membership of Mayors For Peace (MFP), an international organization initiated by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagsaki in 1982.

In 2005, when MFP launched its 2020 Vision Campaign for a nuclear-free world by the year 2020, it had a membership of 1,000. On Sept. 21, 2011, the United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace, MFP announced it had surpassed 5,000 and created a "5,000 Member Milestone" Hiroshima-Nagasaki poster exhibition. As of July 2012, MFP had 5,296 members in 153 countries, including over half the world's capital cities and over 190 U.S. members, having gained 160 cities over the last four months!

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) at its annual meeting in June, (which is the national association of cities over 30,000 population) "unanimously adopted" a new Mayors For Peace resolution. (Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede was one of the 18 sponsoring the MFP resolution for adoption by the USCM.)

Following are parts of the resolution.

"NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors reaffirms its call on the President of the United States to work with leaders of the other nuclear armed states to implement the UN Secretary-General's Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a comparable framework of mutually reinforcing legal instrument can be agreed upon and implemented by2020; and

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors call on Congress to terminate funding for modernization of nuclear warheads, delivery systems, and production facilities...;"

In a letter dated October 2011, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation reported, "It is estimated that the United States will spend $700 billion on nuclear weapons over the next decade, including spending on new nuclear submarines, bombers and land-based missiles as well as new facilities to build explosive cores for nuclear warheads."

Others have also so estimated.

On Feb. 8, 2012, Rep. Ed Markey introduced H.R. 3974 Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure [SANE] Act that would cut spending on modernization of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems by $100 billion over 10 years.

We should call Rep. Tim Walz to add his name to the 47 cosponsors and also call Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and request they advocate for a similar bill in the Senate. They can all be reached through the Capitol operator at 1-866-220-0044. We cannot expect North Korea and Iran to forgo nuclear weapons if the U.S. upgrades weapons as if it plans to keep them ready to use for 50 years or more.

The MFP resolution also reads, "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for the withdrawal of all tactical U.S. nuclear weapons from foreign soil and the immediate standing down of all nuclear forces on high-alert as steps to ensure that non-use of nuclear weapons is extended until global non-possession is achieved."

Robert K. Johnson,