[Alternatively, select the text below, copy and paste this letter into an email and send it to aaron.m.michlewitz@mahouse.gov – edit however you wish. Please don’t forget to include your full name, address and phone number at the bottom in either case.] OR give him a call right now on (617) 722-2990 and ask him to support H.3688!

Dear Rep. Michlewitz,

I wish to express my deep concern about the danger of nuclear war that has been highlighted by ongoing events in Ukraine, and I urge you to support H.3688, A Resolve to Establish a Citizens Commission to research and recommend to the state legislature ways to better protect the citizens of Massachusetts from the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

This bill is currently sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee, which you chair. It was voted favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety on May 4th, 2022, and has the support not only of that committee but of a large majority of MA citizens. A recent poll conducted by YouGov found 63% of MA adults, and 80% of MA Democrats, in support of this bill – which is hardly surprising, since it asks so little from the State House.

Previous versions of this bill, together with many other pieces of similar legislation, have been “sent to study” and never seen again. Why would you not establish a Commission to actually do the actual study this time?

My concern is that nuclear weapons are designed to destroy entire cities. If they are ever used, there would be a humanitarian catastrophe of unparalleled proportions. Even if they are never used, they are consuming enormous resources that would be so much better spent on the real needs of people in this Commonwealth.

Massachusetts itself is deeply embedded in the nuclear weapons business. Draper Labs in Cambridge is one of the main centers for nuclear weapons research in the country. Major nuclear weapons contractors like General Dynamics, Raytheon and Textron all have large facilities based in Massachusetts. Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA, is a major command and control center for US nuclear weapons.

These nuclear weapons facilities make Massachusetts a major target in the event of nuclear war. They also provide jobs and income to the state, I understand that. The Citizens’ Commission would look into how Massachusetts could remove itself from the nuclear weapons business while protecting livelihoods and the local economy. It would do research and hold hearings with experts and local residents across the state. It would report back to the state government with recommendations for future legislation.

Even if you yourself don’t support the abolition of nuclear weapons, all this bill is asking for is a commission to look more carefully into this issue and report back to the state legislature. The Commission would cost Massachusetts taxpayers nothing, and it commits the state to nothing. It is merely asking for a real study instead of being ‘sent to study.’

And even if you yourself don’t support the idea of setting up yet another Commission, surely it is the least you can do to give the citizens and taxpayers of Massachusetts an opportunity to be heard – and to learn the facts. To me, this is a matter of basic democracy.

Please bring this bill to the floor of the House for a vote. If you, or others in the House leadership, have specific concerns or objections to this bill, please explain them to your constituents. We want to know why you would oppose such a Commission, and would welcome a meeting or phone call to discuss it.

Thanks for your help.