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To: The Mayor of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles City Council, The Los Angeles City Office of Finance, The 3 Pension Fund Systems of Los Angeles (LACERS, DWP and LAFPP), and any other City of Los Angeles investment entity

Divest the City of Los Angeles from Fossil Fuels!

Divest the City of Los Angeles from Fossil Fuels!

The City Los Angeles should immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels, and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

Why is this important?

Today, March 22, 2013, Mayor Villagrossa is announcing that the City of Los Angeles will not receive any of its electrical power from coal by the year 2025. That is good news, but it alone is not a significant enough step to avoid the worsening climate catastrophe. From the acidization of the seas, to the recent droughts in the midwest, to super storms such as Sandy, to the streak of 336th consecutive months that global temperatures have risen above 20th century averages, our civilization is in peril and we must act, now!

There is a movement, spearheaded by, on over 300 college and university campuses across the nation calling for fossil fuel divestment. Four schools have already commited to divest and more are sure to soon follow suit. Yet students cannot be the only ones leading the fight for a just and sustainable future, our local governments must join the phalanx confronting our would be destroyers, the fossil fuel corporations such as Exxon-Mobil, British Petrolium, and Shell. Our governments must recognize them as the most abhorrent villans in the ongoing tragedy of the commons. The City of Los Angeles must not profit from the devastation of its citizens, currently enduring ailments from cancer and asthma. The City of Los Angeles must divest its holdings from the 200 companies listed in the Carbon Tracker report "Unburnable Carbon."

Divestment in Los Angeles is not without precedent. The boards of our public pension plans have addressed divestment from South African securities, tobacco stock, and the securities of firms conducting business in Sudan and Iran. The boards adopted a Sudan policy in March of 2007, a policy addressing social, political and human rights issues in May of 2007, and and Iran policy in April 2010. They are currently considering a divestment from firearms related securities. The suffering to human health and well-being caused by fossil fuel companies is in no way less noxious than the crimes of the entities from which Los Angeles has previously divested.

Additionally, the divestment from fossil fuel stock is in accord with stated fiduciary duties and applies a "costlessness" standard.

The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!

The City of Los Angeles

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2015-03-10 22:17:48 -0400

500 signatures reached