The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is voting on a resolution on Tuesday urging the Treasurer to immediately include a DAPL screen in the Treasurer’s monthly investment review. Join SF Defund DAPL Coalition to speak during public comment and urge the Board to pass this resolution UNANIMOUSLY. This time, we will NOT be waiting 7 hours to be heard :)
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***Background and Moving Forward***
The Treasurer issued a statement last week expressing he is considering implementing a DAPL screen in October--Supervisors Fewer and Ronen introduced a resolution to fast-track that. The resolution also initiates an analysis of banking alternatives to our current bank, Bank of America (see below for more on alternatives), which hosts more than $10 billion in City funds (e.g. payroll, department expenses) each year.
This resolution is "Phase 1" of the Coalition's divestment effort. We will continue to mobilize and work with the Treasurer, Supervisor Fewer, and Supervisor Ronen until the Board of Supervisors formalizes its intent to break up with Bank of America and until the Treasurer actually sells its more than $1 BILLION in investments with Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley Government Portfolio, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Blackrock T-Fund Institutional, and US Bancorp.
Mark Farrell District 2 (415) 554-7752
London Breed District 5 (415) 554-7630
Aaron Peskin District 3 (415) 554-7450
Norman Yee District 7 (415) 554-6516
Malia Cohen District 10 (415) 554-7670
Katy Tang District 4 (415) 554-7460
Jeff Sheehy District 8 (415) 554-6968
Ahsha Safai District 11 (415) 554-6975
My name is ____. I am calling to support the SF Defund DAPL Coalition and I urge Supervisor ______ to Vote YES on the Resolution Urging the City Treasurer to Update the Socially Responsible Investment Matrix. Also, please break up with Bank of America, which oversees more than ten billion dollars in City funds each year. Taxpayer money should not be managed by a bank that finances the violation of indigenous rights. Thank you.
The Treasurer has a legal obligation to "safely manage the short-term investments of" San Francisco. Technically, the Treasurer can divest tomorrow if he wanted to, but first he has to dot his I's and cross his T's. This means locating investments/depository institutions that 1) preserve capital, 2) meet the daily cash flow demands of the City, and 3) provide a market rate of return. He's also got to ensure he's abiding by state and local statues governing the investment/depositing of public funds. Once he has investment options before him that satisfy those 3 criteria, a third party investment analyzer will throw out any options that don't make the Socially Responsible screens (e.g. Financing the production of firearms, predatory lenders like Wells Fargo, etc.). This investment review process happens monthly. More than 12% of the City's portfolio ($1 billion) is invested with financial institutions financing DAPL. There are 35 major financial institutions financing DAPL's Energy Transfer Family of Companies, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Chase, which all could provide high margins for the City. Luckily, we live in an age where there are more than 35 financial institutions with proven track records of providing satisfactory margins and NOT financing the oppression of indigenous people. In fact, there is even an App called OpenInvest, based in SF, that allows investors to divest from these 35 financial institutions and automatically balance their portfolios in one click. We will continue to work with the Treasurer to see that this screen is implemented and effective at divesting City funds from DAPL.
As many of you may know, Seattle passed an ordinance last month breaking up with Bank of America. They are currently looking for a place to put their $3 billion in City funds, holding out hope for a public bank. The State of Washington is currently considering passing legislation that will make credit unions and public banks viable options for depositing City funds. However, California is not there yet. It may take a massive, extensive campaign to lobby CA legislators to follow Washington, as California would be a bigger loss to Big Bank lobbyists than Washington (no offense, Washington).
Unlike Seattle, our Board is not progressive enough to break up with Bank of America over DAPL without seeing for their own eyes that we have viable alternative banking options. The Budget & Legislative Analyst report will provide this information to them, the Treasurer, and us taxpayers. In the meantime, we've identified 16 alternative commercial banks the City might look to. They each have assets of more than $500 million and at least one branch in SF: First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, East West Bank, Umpqua, Pacific Western Bank, First Bank, Cathay Bank, Sterling Bank and Trust, Westamerica Bank, Bank of Marin, Far East National Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Bank of the Orient, Preferred Bank, Mechanics Bank, and Presidio Bank.
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