Kansas City Question 3: Nuclear Weapon Production Prohibition (April 2013)

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A Kansas City Question 3: Nuclear Weapon Production Prohibition question was overwhelmingly defeated on the April 2, 2013 election ballot in Cass and Platte Counties, which are in Missouri.

If approved, this measure would have prohibited the City from encouraging or granting permission or in any way facilitating a contract in which the city is directly financially involved in the production or procurement of components for, assemblage of or refurbishing of nuclear weapons. This measure was put on the ballot by citizen initiated petition in protest to the nuclear weapon manufacturing factories in Kansas City.[1]

Election results

Kansas City Question 3
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1690175.96%
Yes 5348 24.04%
These election results are from the Kansas City Elections Office.

Text of measure

Text of the question:

Shall the City of Kansas City adopt an ordinance proposed by a committee of petitioners to prohibit the City from entering into, facilitating or giving permission for any future contracts whereby the City is directly financially involved in facilities that produce or procure components for, assemble, or refurbish nuclear weapons, except for outside infrastructure improvements customarily provided by cities and governmental services ordinarily provided to citizens, and also barring any future funding or subsidizing such facility through taxes, bonds, loans, tax credits, credit or any other financial scheme or mechanism? The definition of such facility excludes providers of goods and services which were not produced for the purpose of nuclear weapons components production but which may be purchased by such a facility as a consumer.

Yes

No[1][2]

Support

Those who support the measure, including the original circulators of the petition, argue that the build up of nuclear weapons is no longer necessary and that the cost to the City is impractical. They also point to instances of health problems of plant workers reportedly caused chemicals used in the nuclear facilities. Maurice Copeland, a former employee and supervisor at the current nuclear weapons parts plant, testified that more than 150 deaths have resulted from exposure to dangerous chemicals at the current facility, and many more are still ill.[3][4]

Opposition

Honeywell and CPZ representatives point out that the construction and operation of the new plant provides the city with job growth and financial benefits, making it valuable to the city and worthy of city funded incentives. Moreover, as the new plant is allegedly safer and more environmentally and health friendly, the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce opposes the measure, implying that it is anti-development.[5][6]

Path to the ballot

Kc-plant1.jpg

Nuclear weapon protesters and peace activists became active when plans for a new nuclear weapon plant were revealed. At first Kansas City residents collected nearly 5,000 signatures to initiate a measure that would block the construction of the new plant, but this measure was overturned by a competing measure from the City Council and the construction went forward after a court case sided with Honeywell, the contractor that runs the plant, and the developer, Centerpoint Zimmer (CPZ). The massive 1.5 million square feet plant is currently nearing completion, costing $673 million to construct, and will replace the old plant, continuing production of 85% of the components for America's nuclear weapons.[7]

After activists failed to prevent the construction of the new plant, they proceeded to petition for Measure 3, prohibiting the city's financial involvement in the operation of the plant. “What we want to do is get Kansas City out of it,” said Jane Stoever, who is a member of Peaceworks Kansas City and one of the activists who helped to gather the 3,500 signatures that put this measure on the ballot.

See also

External links

References