OLYMPIA – Washington’s capital city is declaring itself a “nuclear-free zone.”
The designation, which cleared a key test vote on the City Council on Tuesday night, will ban nuclear weapons or materials from the city and its port on Puget Sound. The ordinance also attempts to halt city purchases of police cars, cell phones and other supplies from an estimated 32 companies connected with nuclear weapons production.
Liberal Olympia is home to a politically active peace movement. Some townspeople have complained about shipments of Iraq war supplies through its port and some critics have urged the USS Olympia, a nuclear-powered submarine, to stop calling on its namesake city. The ship does not carry nuclear warheads.
In February, the council passed a resolution calling for a worldwide end to nuclear weapons by 2020.
The 5-2 vote on the nuke-free resolution came after two hours of debate over whether it divides the community and whether the city can adequately enforce the provisions.
The council turned down a request by Mayor Mark Foutch to table the measure in favor of a public advisory vote in November.
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