Act now: Help us pass our bill
Are you as enthusiastic about fossil fuel divestment as we are? Then please help us get the Local Option Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Service!
The most important thing you can do in January is to contact your representatives and urge them to contact the chairs of the Public Service Committee in support of our bills, H.3662/S.636. You can do so by emailing or calling your representatives.
At the end of this post, we’re including a template you can use as a start for your email. Please customize and edit it as you wish.
Two more updates:
- On November 18th, 2019, the Joint Committee on Public Service held a hearing for our House and Senate bills. At the hearing, we heard inspiring testimony from an impressive array of individuals, including financial professionals, elected officials, youth activists, and more. You can find videos of the testimony on our MassDivest Coalition Facebook page, including testimony from financial experts Tom Sanzillo and Alex Jovanovic and State Representatives Dylan Fernandes and Jay Livingstone. The committee also heard from the Mass. Petroleum Council, but two committee members disputed the arguments made in the testimony. You can watch the exchange here. Please be sure to like and share our page!
- The hearing and our bill continues to generate press, including write-ups in Cape Cod Today and CapeCod.com. And our recently released white paper, which found that the City of Somerville’s retirement fund lost money by remaining invested in fossil fuels, was covered in Energy Central. It’s clear that our divestment movement is experiencing great momentum, including a resolution that was introduced and passed by the Boston City Council supporting the bill (scroll down to paragraph 3 to read about the resolution)!
Template for email to State Representatives:
Dear Rep. [YOUR STATE REP],
I am a constituent living at [YOUR ADDRESS & CITY/TOWN]. I want to tell you about a bill that is very important to me.
H3662/S636 would allow municipal and other independent retirement systems to divest their pension funds from fossil fuels, if they so choose. This bill is important to me, our investments, and to our future. Please contact the Public Service Committee and urge them to report out this bill favorably.
This bill would not require divestment, but provides the option to municipalities. Right now, in order to divest, each independent fund would need a home rule petition. With this bill, that would not be necessary; each fund could decide for themselves.
There is a lot of evidence that pension funds do better financially without fossil fuel investments. Municipal and other independent retirement systems should have this option.
In addition to the returns of our retirement funds, I am concerned about the impact of fossil fuel driven climate change on our future. Investing in fossil fuels is not investing in the future I want to see.
The issue is urgent – we can’t afford to wait, so please urge a favorable report this session.