Does anyone else remember that Fayetteville is a Nuclear-Free Zone? | Street Jazz

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Does anyone else remember that Fayetteville is a Nuclear-Free Zone?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 12:51 AM

I know that I fall into an uncomfortable pattern of using editorials in the Northwest Arkansas Times as the start of a rant - especially when I agree with about half of them - but today’s (“A waste of time: Should aldermen be making collective political statements?”) struck a chord in me.

While the NWA Times makes some good points, especially about someone “filibustering” the council, the fact is that there are moments when an elected body can rise above the din of every day city business, and take moral stands, or “feel-good measures,” as the Times so cavalierly dismisses them.

While the rsolition opposing construction of new coal plants in Arkansas may indeed be “toothless,” as the Times put it, in a very real sense  it was not.

Sometimes the very act of taking a stand on an issue can promote debate and further understanding in a community, where there was none before.  And Dan Coody is right; the resolution was a good way for Fayetteville to take a stand on one of the major issues facing us today.

Fayetteville is not alone among cities that are willing to take a stand on issues facing Americans today. In fact, we are, in anything, following a national trend.

1998: Fayetteville City Council honors Tibetans

October 2, 2003: The Chicago City Council passes a resolution condemning the USA Patriot Act.

June 21, 2005: Oakland, California: City Council passes resolution edorsing Department of Peace.

April, 2006 - Salt lake City: City Council supported and passed a “natural family resolution.”

May 22, 2007: City Council of Portland, Oregon, voted a resolution  urging the US not to bomb Iran.

December 7, 2007: Indianapolis City Council Passes a resolution that "urges a moratorium on home foreclosures and for Congressional enactment of a Homeowners and Bank Protection Act."

Over 150 local governments across the United States have passed resolutions calling for a moratorium on executions.

These resolutions are the result of citizens coming forward to their city council, and making their case. Those opposed to the action are free to make their case, as well. But when cities pass these resolutions, other cities across the country take notice. And state and national leaders also take notice.

Toothless? I don’t think so.

If the presentation is well-made, and short (God, I treasure short), the work can be done in a few minutes. If anyone is going to carp, let it be on the preparation (or lack thereof) on the part of citizens making requests.

But a waste of time?

Bah, humbug!

******

About that Nuclear-Free Zone business

Does anyone else remember the Fayetteville Board of Directors in the 1980s taking a vote, declaring that Fayetteville be free of nuclear-weapons material?

*****

Quote of the Day

No man is the whole of himself; his friends are the rest of him. - Harry Emerson Fosdick

rsdrake@nwark.com


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