Takoma Park, MD Nuclear Free Zone Act
Status: Adopted on 12/8/83
ORDINANCE No. 2703
To Declare the City of Takoma Park, Maryland A NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE. Be it ordained by the Mayor and Council of the City of Takoma Park, Maryland
Section 1. Title
This ordinance shall be known as "The Takoma Park Nuclear Free Zone Act."
Section 2. Purpose
The Purpose of this Act is to establish the City of Takoma Park, Maryland as a nuclear free zone in that work on nuclear weapons is prohibited within the city limits and that citizens and representatives are urged to redirect resources previously used for nuclear weapons toward endeavors which promote and enhance life such as human services including child care, housing, schools, health care, emergency services, public transportation, public assistance and jobs.
Section 3. Findings
It is the finding of the Mayor and Council of the City of Takoma Park, Maryland, that:
- The nuclear arms race has been accelerating for more than one third of a century, draining the world's resources and presenting humanity with the ever mounting threat of nuclear holocaust.
- There is no adequate method to protect Takoma Park residents in the event of nuclear war. Nuclear war threatens to destroy most other life forms on this planet.
- The use of resources for nuclear weapons prevents these resources from being used for other human needs, including jobs, housing, education, health care, public transportation and services for youth, the elderly and the disabled.
- The United States, as a leading producer of nuclear weapons, should take the lead in the process of global rejection of the arms race and the elimination of the threat of impending nuclear holocaust.
- An emphatic expression of the feelings on the part of private citizens and local governments can help initiate such steps by the United States and the other nuclear weapons powers.
- Takoma Park is on record in support of a bilateral nuclear weapons freeze and has expressed its opposition to civil defense crisis relocation planning for nuclear war.
- In view of the Nuremberg Principles, which hold individuals accountable for crimes against humanity and the illegality of nuclear weapons under international law, in adopting this ordinance this community seeks to end its complicity with preparations for fighting a nuclear war.
Section 4. Prohibition of Nuclear Facilities
A. No nuclear weapons shall be produced, transported, stored, processed, disposed of, nor used within the City of Takoma Park. No facility, equipment, components, supplies or substance for the production, transportation, storage, processing, disposal or use of nuclear weapons shall be allowed in Takoma Park, Maryland. This prohibition shall take effect upon adoption.
B. No person, corporation, university, laboratory or institution or other entity in the City of Takoma Park knowingly and intentionally engaged in development, testing, evaluation, production, maintenance, storage, transportation and/or disposal of nuclear weapon or the components of nuclear weapons shall commence any such work within the City of Takoma Park, Maryland after the adoption of this ordinance.
Section 5. Investment of City Funds
The City Administrator in conjunction with the Nuclear Freeze Task Force and other interested citizen organizations shall propose a socially responsible investment policy and implementation plan, specifically addressing any investments the City may have or may plan to have in industries and institutions which are knowingly and intentionally engaged in the production of nuclear weapons or their components, and shall submit said proposal to the Mayor and Council for their consideration and implementation.
Section 6. Eligibility for City Contracts
The City of Takoma Park shall grant no awards or contracts for any purpose to any person, firm, corporation or entity which is knowingly or intentionally engaged in the development, research, production, maintenance, storage, transportation and/or disposal of nuclear weapons or their components. It will be the responsibility of any recipient of a city contract or award to certify by a notarized statement to city clerk that it is not knowingly or intentionally engaged in the abovedefined activity. Notice of this certification shall be included in all "Requests for Proposals" issued by the City.
Section 7. Exclusions
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the research and application of nuclear medicine or the use of fissionable materials for smoke detectors, light-emitting watches and clocks, and other applications where the primary purpose is unrelated to nuclear weapons development or fabrication. Nothing in this ordinance shall be interpreted to infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution nor upon the power of Congress to provide for the common defense.
Section 8. Enforcement
A. Any violation of this ordinance shall be a municipal infraction, the abatement of which shall be ordered by the issuance of a municipal infraction citation. The fine for each initial violation shall be $100 and for each repeat or continuing violation shall be the maximum allowable by law. Each day for which the violation exists after issuance of a municipal infraction violation shall constitute a separate offense.
B. Without limitation or election against any other available remedy, the City or any of its citizens or any other aggrieved party may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction enjoining any violation of this ordinance The court shall award attorney's fees and costs to any party who succeeds in obtaining an injunction hereunder.
Section 9. Severability
If any section, sub-section, paragraph, sentence or word of this Act shall be held unconstitutional either on its face or as applied, the unconstitutionality of the section, sub-section, paragraph, sentence or word or the application thereof; shall not affect the other sections, sub-sections,. paragraphs, sentences and words of this Act, and the applications thereof; and to that end the section, sub-sections, paragraphs, sentences and words of this Act are intended to be severable.
Section 10. Definitions
Nuclear weapon is defined to be any device in which explosion results from the energy released by reactions involving atomic nuclei, either fission, or fusion, or both. A component of a nuclear weapon is defined to be any device, radioactive material or non-radioactive material, the primary function of which is to contribute to the operation of a nuclear weapon.
Section 11. Notification
A. Upon adoption of this ordinance, and annually thereafter, the Mayor and Council shall present a true copy of this ordinance to the President of the United States, to the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, to the ambassadors of all nations at that time possessing nuclear weapons, to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and to the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
B. In addition, true copies of this ordinance shall be sent to the Governor of the State of Maryland, to the United States Senators from Maryland, to the United States Representatives representing Takoma Park, to our State Delegates and Senators, to the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, and to the Council members of the respective counties.
C. The Mayor and Council of Takoma Park, Maryland shall choose a town or city of approximately 17,000 inhabitants within twenty miles of Moscow, or some other city or town in the U.S.S.R. as the Mayor and Council may deem appropriate, and shall send a true copy of the Takoma Park ordinance and a letter urging the chosen town to take similar action.