There are 220 towns, cities, counties and Native American nations across the United States which declared themselves Nuclear Free Zones (NFZs) in the 1980s. Some of the local ordinances and city codes that established these zones were largely symbolic, but many had real teeth and included fines and other sanctions for violations. Sample ordinances and city codes are located here.

Many of these existing NFZs are already Treaty Compliant with the Nuclear Ban Treaty. Others may want to revise their existing legislation to be fully in compliance with the new Treaty.

In addition to NFZs, there are 211 cities in the United States who have signed the Mayors for Peace (MfP) covenant. This commits the mayor to “make every effort…to achieve the total abolition of nuclear weapons…” These mayors may choose to appoint a Mayoral Commission to oversee Treaty Compliance for their city.

In towns and cities which have neither a NFZ status nor a MfP connection, it will probably be necessary to first build public support for Treaty Compliance. This will be easiest in smaller towns which have a Town Meeting (common in New England) and such a proposal can be put on the agenda. In larger towns and cities, a more concerted effort may be needed: public meetings, a petition, local media coverage, letters to the City Council or Select Board, and Treaty Compliance campaigns at lower levels within the town/city, for example at schools, places of worship, workplaces, civic organizations, clubs, etc.

At all levels of local government, the basic 3-step process is the same:

Step #1: Making the political commitment to go ahead with the process of Treaty Compliance.

Step #2: Considering what Treaty Compliance would involve, which would normally mean setting up a Treaty Compliance Committee of some kind to oversee the process.

Step #3: Confirming the commitment to the Treaty with binding legislation to bring the jurisdiction into compliance with the Treaty.

 

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