Cambridge City Council: Divest from Nuclear Weapons!

Dear Cambridge Friends and Neighbors: We have a historic opportunity to take a step toward nuclear disarmament and increased domestic security. Please e-mail the City Council expressing your support for Mayor Simmons’ proposal to ask the Cambridge Pension Fund to divest their holdings of corporation stocks that profit from manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Send e-mails today to and cc to to be entered into the public record.  Write “Yes to Nuclear Weapons Divestment” in the subject line. Feel free to add comments such as those in the Talking Points below, but not required.

The City Council will meet on Monday, March 21, 2016. If you can attend Monday night’s meeting in City Hall by 5:30 pm, call 617 349 4260 soon after 8:30 am Monday morning to sign up to speak to the Master Plan Policy Order. Keep calling if busy. When you arrive Monday also sign in to the public testimony list. You will be given three minutes to express your views.

  1. I’m contacting you to express my support for the upcoming resolution calling on the Cambridge Retirement Board to divest from nuclear weapon producing companies.
  2. The City of Cambridge is known for its progressive values and is already on record in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons. I hope we will continue to act as a model for other cities and institutions by divesting from nuclear weapons.
  3. Investments in nuclear weapons make us less safe and supports the misdirection of our tax dollars.
  4. Divestment from nuclear weapons is a sane and human response to the current nuclear paradigm, where nations still maintain over 15,000 nuclear weapons.

The role Cambridge can play in promoting a safer, more just, and more economically responsible nuclear weapons policy.

The problem: Many fellow citizens are unaware of the continuing threat of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are kept on hair-trigger alert, whereby they can be launched within minutes. The fallibility of persons and instruments only further exacerbates this issue. Consequently, there have so far been at least 14 nuclear close calls where a nuclear war was almost started by mistake. Nuclear arsenal enhancements risk another arms race and undermine global diplomatic accords such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” approach: Promote symbolic divestment of community and municipal funds from companies profiting from the nuclear weapons industry as a way of raising awareness. This emphasizes the connection between economic inequality and military spending, and highlights our wish to be mutual allies in the fight for social justice issues.

  • In recent years, the Cambridge Retirement Board top 10 equity portfolio has included numerous nuclear weapon producers, including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, and is currently still invested in Lockheed Martin.

    According to new research by Pax Christi’s “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” report, “Lockheed Martin is responsible for the construction of the Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles for the US and the UK. It is also involved in the production and maintenance of the Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles for the US.”

The Current Campaign:

  • The Cambridge City Council will vote on a resolution calling on the Cambridge Retirement Board to divest. As Cambridge is a member of Mayors for Peace, a UN NGO, and has already adopted resolutions calling for an abolition and reduction of nuclear weapons, we are confident we can be successful with enough community support. 

How to support the campaign:

  • Help by coming to showing support in person: On Monday March 21st at 5:30 PM in the City Hall, the City Council will vote on this nuclear divestment resolution. There will be a section for citizen comments and inputs.  If possible, you can help tremendously by preparing a short (up to 3 minutes) “Public Testimony” in support of the resolution. You can sign up by calling the City Council at (617) 349-4280 on Mondays between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, or by signing up at the meeting between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM.
  • Help by sending letters and emails to your city councilors on March 17th through March 20th: We suggest including the following points:

Abel Corver

Harvard BA Candidate

Harvard College Peace Action

Jonathan King

Professor of Biology at MIT, Massachusetts Peace Action

Lucas Perry

Boston College BA Candidate, Future of Life Institute Project Coordinator

Max Tegmark

Professor of Physics at MIT, Future of Life Institute Director