The first statewide campaign to Divest from War is launching in Oregon. The Oregon Divest from War Coalition is calling on Governor Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read, the Oregon Investment Council, and the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board to immediately create an investment policy that values life, local communities, a green Oregon, and sustainable jobs at home.
Oregon Divest from War Coalition members are joining with activists across the country calling for a national movement to divest from war. The manufacture and use of war goods and services creates unnecessary and widespread environmental destruction, and uses material and financial resources that could be more wisely and ethically applied.
“Our state investments are subsidizing weapons manufacturers who consume about 30% of our federal discretionary budget,” said Stacy Bannerman, Women’s EcoPeace Director. "Meanwhile, programs for domestic needs such as food, education, housing and health care are being cut."
The nearly $78 billion PERS fund, the 14th largest public pension fund in the U.S., is draining money from struggling communities in rural Oregon to finance record profits for out-of-state companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, BlackRock and others that are making a killing on killing. The state’s public pension fund struggles to meet its obligations, while examples of socially responsible investing, including excluding weapons manufacturers, show better returns.
Research by Oil Change International suggests that the Iraq War, which was a war for oil, has likely generated upwards of 400 million metric tons of CO2e to date. U.S. armed conflicts generate the largest carbon footprint of any enterprise on the planet.
Military contractors such as MVM and General Dynamics are making millions from holding immigrant children hostage in the child detention centers, even as Governor Brown and other state officials have opposed the zero-tolerance immigration policy.
The Oregon Divest from War Coalition urges all state investment managers to proactively engage in creating investment portfolios that prioritize Environmental, Social, and Governance risks that will have a better return on investment. In light of the escalating costs of war to people, the planet, and taxpayers’ pocketbooks, the current state investment portfolio is fundamentally unsustainable by every measure.
“It’s morally and environmentally indefensible for a public fund like PERS to invest in endless, pointless wars, given the human and climate costs of combat.” said Coalition Director Stacy Bannerman, wife of a two-time Iraq War combat veteran and author of Homefront 911 (2015). “I cried when I saw that PERS made a profit from my loss and that of so many others.”
email email@example.com to join the Coalition
To learn about the national campaign to Divest from the War Machine, a coalition of 85+ organizations led by CODEPINK, visit www.divestfromwarmachine.org.
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