The 350PDX PERS* Divestment group has been busy this month. We are currently working on reaching out to the Unions to make sure that we have their support and to ask them to help us build more support by notifying their members of this ambitious task. On the weekend of April 22nd (Earth Day and the March for Science!) I had the chance to table at the Oregon Education Association Representative Assembly. The OEA RA is a yearly meeting of elected representatives of educators from all over the state. We felt very privileged to be a part of the OEA’s event and extremely grateful for their support.
The RA for the OEA was an active event and the Assembly passed many business items, objectives and resolutions in support of public education, educators, and topics related to improving the lives of students and their families. At the RA for the OEA I met many different people from across the state that truly support the divestment of PERS. The general consensus behind the support of divestment of PERS has been for both moral and practical reasons. In fact, they renewed a new business item from the previous year, to support the effort to divest PERS from coal, first and foremost, and the top 200 fossil fuel corporations.
I could ramble on forever but I will leave you with this: The PERS divestment movement that we at 350PDX are working on means so much for our future. PERS has over 70 billion dollars in retirement holdings, if even something as small as 5 percent is invested in fossil fuels, divestment could make a huge difference. Consider our future–will you be happy with what you have left behind?
*PERS (Oregon Public Employees Retirement System)