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Senate Ratifies New START 71-26, Georgia WAND celebrates Senator Johnny Isakson’s strong leadership

PRESS RELEASE
Georgia Women's Action for New Directions

For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010

Contact
Courtney Hanson
404.524.5999, Courtney@wand.org

Atlanta –In an historic and overdue triumph for national security, Senator Johnny Isakson along with 70 other U.S. Senators, voted to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in a 71-26 victory this afternoon.  Georgia WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) celebrates Senator Isakson’s statesmanship and wisdom on this issue.

“We applaud Senator Johnny Isakson for his intelligent and careful consideration of New START,” Bobbie Paul, Executive Director, Georgia WAND said. “His vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his vote on the Senate floor today have come after intense study of the treaty and meetings with both grassroots individuals as well as past and present top military and national security officials.  Today, Johnny Isakson stood on the right side of history.”

Ratification of New START is a major step towards confronting a new nuclear reality. Georgia WAND thanks the WAND members, partners and other Georgians across the state who have made hundreds of calls and helped us deliver thousands of letters to Georgia Senate offices, building awareness and a coalition of grassroots support for the treaty.

“The grassroots effort in Georgia, fueled by enthusiastic activists was unwavering. Our Senators understood the passion ignited by the threat of nuclear weapons. This victory on New START gives us hope that a bi-partisanship approach to serious issues is always preferable over paristan political games.” Paul said.

Undeniably, citizens along with legislators across Georgia recognized that New START, which will reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and re-establish crucial U.S. monitoring and verification of Russia’s stockpile, will make the United States more secure.

“A delegation of 55 Georgia legislators signed letters to Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss in support of New START. Defying the conventional wisdom that national issues are not state issues, these legislators seized the opportunity to speak up on a security issue that affects us all,” Senator Nan Grogan Orrock (D-GA), President of the Women Legislators’ Lobby, said.

New START is an extension of the original START treaty, first ratified in 1992 in the US Senate during the presidency of George H.W. Bush with an overwhelming 93-6 vote. With the original START treaty’s expiration on December 5, 2009, the U.S. has been unable conduct on-site inspections of Russian for over a year. During that time, not a single U.S. nuclear inspection has taken place in Russia.

Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) is a grassroots, woman-led, community-based organization that seeks to direct women's voices into a powerful movement for change. www.gawand.org.  First incorporated in Georgia 26 years ago as  Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, Georgia WAND continues to adhere to its founding principles of nuclear non-proliferation and peace in action.

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