SF Supervisor Urges Pension Divestment From Firearm, Fossil Fuel Companies

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos introduced resolutions earlier this week urging the retirement board of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System to divest more than $1.9 billion away from firearm and fossil fuels companies over the next five years.

Based on an initial review by SFERS staff, approximately $900,000 has been invested in firearm-related companies and more than $1 billion has been invested in fossil fuel-related companies.

The resolutions proposed by Avalos at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting urge the retirement board, which oversees the $15.6 billion investment portfolio of pension funds for more than 53,000 active and retired local government employees, to examine the holdings in firearm and fossil fuel-related companies and to freeze any new investment in these sectors.

Avalos said that by not investing in fossil fuels, SFERS would align its portfolio with the city’s aggressive goals to address climate change and promote renewable energy alternatives.

On Dec. 18, in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera also called on SFERS to examine its investment portfolio and consider complete divestment of local government employees’ pension trust assets from firearm-related interests.

“San Francisco is part of a nationwide movement around gun control and divestment,” Avalos said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the retirement board to do our part to address the ongoing crisis of gun violence.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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