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Beyond the Bomb

How to mobilize local communities on an international issue – and win.

The Issue

Imagine one person having the unilateral authority to launch a nuclear weapon and start a global nuclear war. Now imagine that person is Donald Trump. Today, the President of the United States has unchecked power to press the “big” red button without the involvement of Congress, the Secretary of State, or anyone else. Tensions are growing between the US, North Korea and Iran, and nuclear anxiety is once again at a peak. The urgency is literally critical and so people across the US are standing up – and speaking up – to impede Trump’s access to the button.

The Challenge

How do you take a global issue as complex and weighty as nuclear weapons and make it a local issue? How do you convince someone they can limit any President’s ability to start a war?

The Beyond the Bomb campaign and a coalition of partners including Win Without War and Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) are working together to build local grassroots movements with a shared, imperative goal: get legislators at every level to disrupt the nuclear launch process.

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"Congress alone has the power to declare war under the Constitution. Congress must have that authority when it matters most — the decision to start a nuclear war." - Joe Cirincione , proud supporter

Targeted Engagement

The campaign successfully blends elements of field organizing and digital engagement:

  1. Empower people and bring them together in local communities
  2. Give them opportunities to take him impact action
  3. Set tangible goals that can be achieved in a reasonable period of time
  4. Show people that their work matters – demonstrate clear wins at the local level

Using New/Mode’s Targeted Engagement tools and ActionNetwork, supporters are calling and emailing city councillors, mayors and state legislators in their own communities, asking them to introduce, co-sign and pass local resolutions. These resolutions call on Congress to urgently pass a new bill that would require Congressional approval before the use of a nuclear weapon.

Impact

From Maryland to California and Iowa to Georgia, lawmakers in a dozen states have introduced bills to limit the President’s authority to launch nuclear weapons. City resolutions have already been passed in San Francisco, and parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Southern California. Meanwhile, California legislators have introduced Bill 669 in Congress (“Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act”) which is under House committee review.

Beyond the Bomb has also brought people together in local communities, and built the foundation of a strong movement to sustain long-term campaign efforts. With a first-step bill in Congress and more state resolutions expected to pass this the summer, campaign victory – and the end of single authority nuclear launch – is in sight.

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The Campaign Results

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18,800+

visitors to campaign landing page

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5,700+

messages sent to local lawmakers

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12

local resolutions passed

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1

Bill in Congress to limit the President’s authority to use nuclear weapons