It is exciting to hear New York City has joined ICANs Cities Appeal. I watched a live link of the cheers and comments from the trenches yesterday. This has been in the works for three years. The cities’ Comptroller explained his vote this way “I pledge as New York City Comptroller to work with this community and explore the process of this divestment of New York City pension from the sale and manufacture of nuclear weapons. City Hall is located across the street from the birthplace of the Manhattan Project. The comprehensive legislation adopted by NYCity Council yesterday, calls on the US government to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (TPNW)
The Public Pension fund today has approximately $475 million invested in nuclear weapons producers this represents less than .25% of the city pension funds holdings however these holdings generally under perform socially responsible investment. From the ICAN press release
the history of nuclear weapons in New York City is long and marked by struggle. From the ICAN press release: Council Member Daniel Dromm, stated, “…we will not remain idle under the threat of nuclear annihilation. We seek to right the wrongs of Nuclear harms by divesting funds, upholding international law and remediating the environmental damage produced by the Manhattan Project.
ICAN press release, The Bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing 200,000 people. During these early days the Army weaponized a nuclear research program at Columbia University, even pressing into service the universities football team to move tons of Uranium. During the cold war the US military built a ring of nuclear weapons missile bases in and around New York City, housing approximately 200 war heads making New York City more of a target for attacks.
Today these communities continue to be affected by the legacy of the Manhattan project. Radioactive materials were handled at 16 sites throughout New York City including university labs, contractor warehouses and transit points, six of those sites concentrated in marginalized communities, have required environmental remediation and in some cases this remediation is ongoing.
We in St.Louis have our nuclear legacy. Wouldn’t it be great to see an upswell of interest in banning nuclear industries both from a Nuclear Free Zone and St.Louis City pension funds.