Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Support An Occupation-Free Portland And Support Cultural And Political Awareness In Portland

The following comes from Portland's Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights organization:

Dear Supporters of Occupation-Free Portland,

Please call or email at your earliest opportunity the members of Portland's City Council to ask them to continue the city's Socially Responsible Investments policy and affirm the recommendation of the Socially Responsible Investments Committee to place four companies on the City's Do-Not-Buy list. The four companies are Amazon, Caterpillar, Nestle, and Wells Fargo.

We are in an emergency situation because the City is threatening to end the SRI policy and leave our investment decisions to the City Treasurer and a Wall Street firm. This is not only an undemocratic maneuver to prevent the community from having a say in how our tax dollars are invested but also prevents human rights violations from being considered in the City's investment portfolio.

Below please find contact information and talking points for your phone calls or emails. Please contact the Council as soon as possible and then plan to attend the March 29 City Council meeting at 2 pm at the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave. right next to City Hall.

Commissioner Nick Fish: 503-823-3589
Commissioner Amanda Fritz: 503-823-3008
Commissioner Dan Saltzman: 503-823-4151
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly: 503-823-4682
Mayor Ted Wheeler: 503-823-4120

Talking Points:
1. We need a public democratic process for making decisions about investments. It's taxpayer money, and the community has a right to have a voice in how its money is invested. That's why the Socially Responsible Investments policy was created in the first place. Keep the policy in place and keep the Socially Responsible Investments Committee.
2. Make our actions consistent with our words. The City Council unanimously opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and declared Portland a Sanctuary city. How can the City then invest in Caterpillar and Wells Fargo? Caterpillar helped build DAPL and Wells Fargo helped finance it. Wells Fargo invests in the private prison companies that run immigrant detention centers and Caterpillar is President Trump's chosen contractor to build the anti-immigrant Wall on our southern border.
3. Wall Street shouldn't be in charge of our investments. Under the proposed new policy, the City Treasurer will rely on reports from MSCI, an offshoot of the failed Morgan Stanley investment bank.
4. This process is not transparent. MSCI reports are proprietary and can't be seen by the public. Portland taxpayers will have no idea what these reports say.
5. Portland should join Seattle and other cities across country and take a stand for indigenous rights, Palestinian rights, immigrant rights, prisoner rights, and universal human rights.
6. Our alternative proposal can be found here:

Upcoming Events:

Sat 25 March 2017, 5:30pm-8:30pmSilk Road Cultural Diplomacy - Part 4 - Latino Night
MET Community Center
10330 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97223

Please bring your favorite dish.
Join us for an evening of Silk Road Cultural Diplomacy with the Latino American Community in Portland to foster an understanding of our Latino-American cultures. We will enjoy a conversation with our panelists, followed by a potluck dinner.

Sun 26 March 2017, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Film: Speed Sisters
Hollywood Theatre 4100–4114 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212, United States

Documentary about the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East. Grabbing headlines and turning heads at improvised tracks across the West Bank, these five women have sped their way into the heart of the gritty, male-dominated Palestinian street car-racing scene. Weaving together their lives on and off the track, SPEED SISTERS takes you on a surprising journey into the drive to go further and faster than anyone thought you could.

Wed 29 March 2017, 2pm - 5pm

City Council meeting on Socially Responsible Investing at the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave. right next to City Hall

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