Friday, December 27, 2019

Are you interested in a Baltimore divestment resolution?

Below is a draft resolution for the city of Arlington, Virginia.  There is a group which is working on this matter.  It will be some time before the organizers actually present it to a legislative body.  I am curious to see if there would be interest in engaging in such a process in Baltimore.  Please share your perspective.
Kagiso, Max
Draft resolution:
WHEREAS Arlington County formally declares its opposition to investing County funds in any entities that are involved in the production of fossil fuels or the production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems, whether conventional or nuclear, and including the manufacture of civilian arms;
and, WHEREAS pursuant to the Virginia Security for Public Deposits Act ( Virginia Code Section 2.2-4400 et seq.), and the Virginia Investment of Public Funds Act (Virginia Code Section 2.2-4500 et seq.), the County Treasurer has sole discretion over the investment of County operating funds;
and, WHEREAS the County Treasurer has a duty to invest all County funds with the primary objectives of safety, liquidity, and yield;
and, WHEREAS the primary investment objectives for operating funds of safety, liquidity, and yield can be achieved while supporting the Board’s opposition to investing County funds in any entity involved in the production of fossil fuels or the production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems;
and, WHEREAS weapons companies that Arlington County can commit to not investing in produce weapons that have been used in mass shootings in Virginia and which are likely to be used in more mass shootings in the future;
and, WHEREAS on June 20, 2017, Arlington County resolved to track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for climate adaptation, and on September 21, 2019, Arlington County updated its Community Energy Plan which makes a strong moral and financial case for a shift to sustainable energy and commits Arlington County to wise energy use;
and, WHEREAS U.S. weapons companies supply deadly weapons to numerous brutal dictatorships around the globe;
and, WHEREAS the current federal administration has labeled climate change a hoax, moved to withdraw the U.S. from the global climate accord, attempted to suppress climate science, and worked to intensify the production and use of warming-causing fossil fuels, with the burden therefore falling on city, county, and state governments to assume climate leadership for the sake of their citizens’ wellbeing and the health of local and regional environments;
and, WHEREAS militarism is a major contributor to climate change;
and, WHEREAS continuing on the current course of climate change will cause a global average temperature rise of 4.5ºF by 2050, and cost the global economy $32 trillion dollars;
and, WHEREAS the President of the United States has said that the current U.S. war in Syria is being fought exclusively in order to take Syria’s oil, the consumption of which would do serious damage to the earth’s climate;
and, WHEREAS five-year averages of temperature in Virginia began a significant and steady increase in the early 1970s, rising from 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit then to 56.2 degrees F in 2012, at which rate Virginia will be as hot as South Carolina by 2050 and as northern Florida by 2100;
and, WHEREAS economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs-creation program, and that investment in other sectors is economically beneficial;
and, WHEREAS satellite readings show water tables dropping worldwide, and more than one in three counties in the United States could face a “high” or “extreme” risk of water shortages due to climate change by the middle of the 21st century, while seven in ten of the more than 3,100 counties could face “some” risk of shortages of fresh water;
and, WHEREAS, wars are often fought with U.S.-made weapons used by both sides (Examples include U.S. wars in SyriaIraqLibya, the Iran-Iraq war, the Mexican drug war, World War II, and many others);
and, WHEREAS local government investing in companies producing weapons of war implicitly supports federal war spending on those same companies, many of which depend on the federal government as their primary customer, while a fraction of the same spending could pay for a Green New Deal;
and, WHEREAS heat waves now cause more deaths in the United States than all other weather events (hurricanes, floods, lightning, blizzards, tornados, etc.) combined and dramatically more than all deaths from terrorism, and an estimated 150 people in the United States will die from extreme heat every summer day by 2040, with almost 30,000 heat-related deaths annually;
and, WHEREAS the rate of mass shootings in the United States is the highest anywhere in the developed world, as civilian gun manufacturers continue to reap enormous profits off bloodshed that we do not need to invest our public dollars in;
and, WHEREAS between 1948 and 2006 “extreme precipitation events” increased 25% in Virginia, with negative impacts on agriculture, a trend predicted to continue, and global sea level is projected to rise an average of at least two feet by the end of the century, with rising along the Virginia coast among the most rapid in the world;
and, WHEREAS the danger of nuclear apocalypse is as high as it has ever been;
and, WHEREAS climate change, like gun violence, is a serious threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Arlington, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that climate change poses a threat to human health and safety, with children being uniquely vulnerable, and calls failure to take “prompt, substantive action” an “act of injustice to all children”;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Supervisors of Arlington, Virginia that it declares its support and encouragement of any and all persons acting on behalf of County investment activity, to divest all County operating funds from any entity engaged in the production of fossil fuels or the production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems within 30 days.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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