To the Editors of the Crimson:
In this election Cambridge voters will have a chance to ban nuclear weapons research and development from their city. We are computer professionals with careers in the high tech field. Because of this we feel a special responsibility to publicly urge the people of Cambridge in vote YES on Question 2.
We ask Cambridge citizens to think carefully about the following reasons to support the Nuclear Free Cambridge Act.
1) It is vitally important for us to show the politicians in Washington that the American people want an end to the constant escalation of nuclear terror. We cannot wait while Ronald Reagan keeps proposing and Congress keeps passing increases in our nuclear budgets. We must act now, here, to begin the end of such madness.
2) Contrary to opponents charges, making Cambridge a Nuclear Free Zone will help create jobs not endanger them. The law would only affect part of the business of one firm. Draper Labs, that employs only 180 Cambridge residents. In the two year transition period allowed by the law. Draper Labs could easily use its expertise to find other work for its employees. Should Draper decide to leave town the current rapid expansion of high tech industry in Kendal Square would quickly reoccupy the Drager building and re-employ all available workers.
In fact, replacing nuclear weapons work with non-nuclear (preferably non-military) contracts has been consistently shown to create more jobs per dollar, and more support jobs per scientist. Voting YES on Question 2 is a vote for jobs.
3) The Nuclear Free Cambridge Act specifically states that "basic research, the primary purpose of which is not to work towards the development of nuclear weapons" is not affected by the law. It is misleading to describe Question 2 as an attack on freedom of thought or basic research. It will prevent people from developing ever better ways to destroy humanity. But this is similar to outlawing research on better ways to inflict human torture. Both are prohibitions to be proud of.
4) Several constitutional lawyers have stated that the Nuclear Free Cambridge Act is not a violation of the Constitution. Nowhere in the constitution does a private firm get the right to violate local laws designed to protect the health and safety of citizens. Steve E. Miller, Lotus Development Corporation Joel Taunton, Wang Laboratories Denis Shasha, Harvard University Thomas Whitaker, Symbolics Judith Hoer, Symbolics Steven Tolkin, Wang Toby Bloom, Digital Joseph Weizenbeum, MIT Ed Frankenberry Elizabeth Martin Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility