Next City - Boston City Councilors Eye Pension Fund Divestment, Reinvestment
Friday, March 8, 2019
A group of Boston city councilors is pushing to change the way the city invests a municipal pension fund, to better serve residents and reflect the city’s goals on racial equity, climate change resilience and more.
Following the lead of cities such as New York, which has divested from direct holdings in private prisons and announced plans to divest from the fossil fuel industry, and Portland, Oregon, with its socially responsible investment screening, the Boston councilors, along with local advocacy groups like Ujima Project, are calling for the city to divest from corporations involved in fossil fuels, private prisons, predatory loans and weapons.
But besides pulling money out of harmful industries — and even beyond putting it into traditional socially responsible funds — they seek to go further, aiming to reinvest money into community assets like local businesses, green energy initiatives and community land trusts.
Councilors Lydia Edwards, Michelle Wu and Matt O’Malley co-sponsored a hearing at City Hall on Feb. 28 to examine where city money is being invested now and what mechanisms could allow funds to be redirected.