Our History

In 1978 Bob Cleland, a Wilmette peace activist deeply concerned about the threat of nuclear weapons decided to develop a network of people who would be dedicated to nuclear disarmament. He went to his home church, Wilmette Congregational Church for help. He found there a donor, Mel Traylor, who said he would give $10,000 to start the process if Bob could find persons and congregations who would raise $10,000 more. He did. The initial name of the organization was the North Suburban Peace Initiative, NSPI; they hired an executive director, Allan Howe, who provided 14 years of creative leadership.

In 1982 NSPI was a major factor in organizing the Illinois Nuclear Freeze Campaign and in 1984 worked nationally with Peace Action and other groups to get a Nuclear Freeze Bill through the U. S. Senate. Over the years we expanded the issues to include reducing military spending, stopping armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but never ceased to work for nuclear disarmament. In 2011, we changed our name to Chicago Area Peace Action, CAPA; to not only expand our reach to the greater Chicago area, but also to become an affiliate of a national organization, Peace Action.

As an affiliate of Peace Action we are fortunate to share in collaborative efforts with, and the resources of this national organization and its expert staff.

National Peace Action

Peace Action is the nation's largest grassroots peace network with chapters and affiliates in states across the country. We organize our network to place pressure on Congress and the Administration through write-in campaigns, Internet actions, citizen lobbying and direct action. Through a close relationship with progressive members of Congress, we play a key role in devising strategies to move forward peace legislation. As a leading member of various coalitions, we lend our expertise and large network to achieving common goals.

National Peace Action, believes that war is not a suitable response to conflict, that every person has the right to live without the threat from nuclear weapons and that America has the resources and responsibility to both protect and provide for its citizens.

Find out more about Peace Action National here

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