CalPERS Calls for More Discussion of AB20, DAPL Divestment

In a surprise development, the CalPERS Investment Committee called for more discussion of AB20 and DAPL divestment. Although the committee did not vote on the issue, member Theresa Taylor, the elected representative of state members and a veteran leader of  SEIU Local 1000, expressed her personal opposition to the pipeline project:

“Personally I think the DAPL is highly problematic and represents a failed vision for meeting our society’s needs for sustainability, energy and health.  It’s poorly thought out and first nations have stated clearly that it violates their sovereign treaty rights, and it could threaten the primary water source of water for millions of Midwesterners.

After a short early morning rally and march, an unprecedented number of participants (more than 50) signed up to give public comment and filled the meeting room.  CalPERS heard comments from representatives of Native American tribes and other indigenous groups, from Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and from many, many CalPERS members and beneficiaries.  The organizers of the protest rally that preceded the meeting—Fossil Free California, Climate Hawks Vote, Friends of the Earth, and the Daily Kos, among others—have gathered more than 55,000 signatures to date on petitions directed at CalPERS and CalSTRS.

The Sacramento Bee and the East Bay Express covered the protest and meeting at CalPERS with quotes, pictures, and video.

Stay tuned for future developments at the CalPERS meeting in March.  And save the date: on Wednesday, April 5 at 9 am, there will be a rally at CalSTRS headquarters, 100 Waterfront Place, West Sacramento, to deliver Divest DAPL petitions to CalSTRS.

If you can’t come to Sacramento, add your name to our petition. Sponsored by Climate Hawks Vote and other organizations (California League of Conservation Voters, Change.org, MoveOn.org) the number of signatures continues to grow.

Other ways you can help:

  • Circulate our petition! Send around the link to the online version, or print this PDF  for events or meetings.  If you collect signatures on paper petitions, send them to Fossil Free California at PO Box 21022, Oakland, CA 94620.
  • Write to the CalPERS Board asking them to support AB20 and divest from DAPL construction. If you’re a CalPERS member or retiree, say so!
    • Email to board@calpers.ca.gov. You may want to attach a pdf of your letter to the email.  Direct comments to Board of Administration Chair Rob Feckner, cc Investment Committee Chair Henry T. Jones and CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost, and ask that your message be shared with all board members
  • Call or write your Assembly member asking him or her to co-sponsor AB20.
  • Let us know (contact@fossilfreeca.org) if you’d like to be part of a group making a district office visit to your Assemblymember.
  • Stay tuned for info about the committee schedule in the legislature — when AB20 will be heard. We’ll need help reaching out to Democratic committee members, and their constituents before those important votes.
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