Mar 29, 2017 - Los Angeles Moves Towards Divesting from Wells Fargo over the Dakota Access Pipeline

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz have introduced a motion to divest from Wells Fargo over their financial backing of the Dakota Access pipeline.

In their motion, councilmembers state LA’s commitment to the environment and to the health and welfare of people and feel that Wells Fargo’s support for the Dakota Access pipeline is, “at odds with these principals.”

The City currently holds over $40m in securities with Wells Fargo.

Read full motion here WELLS FARGO DIVEST

The movement made great headway today but the fight continues. We now have the opportunity to use Los Angeles’ massive financial portfolio as leverage to create powerful, long-lasting changes. It’s critical that the city develop strong ethical standards for its financial and investment practices, and take an active role in protecting the interests of the community and our environment. We’ll continue to push for a stronger Responsible Banking Ordinance, reinvestment of city funds into renewable energy and social good funds, as well as a feasibility study for a public municipal or state bank.

The Divest LA movement will continue to create events to raise public awareness and increase pressure until the final vote passes, and the city’s RBO matrix passes ethical muster. We’re also creating an educational campaign on the public banking system. We have a Lobby Day tomorrow Wed the 29th where groups of constituents will be meeting councilmember’s and/or their staff to discuss the next steps for the divestment movement. We hope to use this opportunity to urge city council to continue taking the steps towards creating a sustainable, human-and-earth centered financial system, one that supports the community, rather than merely pursue maximum profits.

One of the single most effective actions we can take to give power back to the people is the development of a public banking system. Many of the systemic problems of the world are directly fueled by private banks- from war to fossil fuels to private prisons- creating a public banking system would provide an alternative savings and loan service with a social responsibly charter with the people as shareholders. Such a bank would invest in community development and all interest gained for a public bank counts as income for the state which- rather than providing profits and bonuses for private shareholders- can be reinvested into the city or reduce the tax burden. Whether from a moral or a financial perspective, public banking just makes sense.

By Trinity Tran, Divest LA organizer

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