Testimony to the New York City Council Hearing on Resolution 0976 – 2019 and INT 1621 – 2019,
January 28, 2019.

Written Statement of Seth Shelden (ICAN United Nations Liaison)

I submit this statement in support of two proposed bills before the New York City (“NYC”) Council, Int 1621-2019 (“Int 1621”) and Res 976-2019 (“Res. 976”), the hearings for which are to be held by the Committee on Governmental Operations, jointly with the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, on January 28, 2020, at Council Chambers in City Hall.

I. Nuclear weapons are an NYC problem; these bills are an NYC solution.

NYC holds claim as a birthplace of nuclear weapons – the “Manhattan Project” was so named for the location where the plans originated.1 It is in part for this reason that NYC has a responsibility for the origins of these indiscriminate and inhumane weapons of mass destruction. NYC also suffers, itself, from a legacy of radioactivity emanating from the development and production of nuclear weapons, which has affected and continues to affect NYC residents and communities. To date, federal taxpayers have paid more than $85 million for environmental remediation, compensation claims, and medical bills relating to NYC locations associated with the Manhattan Project.2

But NYC has also advanced solutions and, since 1945, New Yorkers have had an inspired history opposing nuclear weapons. For example, in 1946, John Hersey’s report on the first atomic bombings, “Hiroshima,” first appeared in our hometown The New Yorker magazine.3 In 1955, Norman Cousins brought 25 atomic bomb survivors from Japan, known as the “Hiroshima Maidens,” to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan to receive reconstructive surgeries for … read more download the full PDF