Mar 7, 2017 - San Francisco Takes First Steps Towards Defunding DAPL by Jacqueline Fielder

San Francisco is taking its first steps to divest $1 billion from DAPL and break up with Bank of America. Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, with Supervisor Hillary Ronen cosponsoring, will introduce a resolution on Tuesday urging the San Francisco Treasurer to include a DAPL screen in the Socially Responsible Investment Matrix. The resolution also directs the Budget & Legislative Analyst to explore alternative cash management contractors that are not Bank of America. Stay tuned for an invite to mobilize to the next SFBoS meeting (3/14) where they will vote on this resolution. We need it to pass unanimously, so also stay tuned for directions and a script to call the Board.

The City currently invests over $1 billion with financial institutions financing the Energy Transfer family of companies. This DAPL screen would NOT be an immediate trigger to divest. Additionally, Bank of America oversees over $10 billion in City funds each year. This resolution does NOT break up with Bank of America, it directs the Budget & Legislative Analyst to explore alternatives to Bank of America. WE WILL CONTINUE TO MOBILIZE TO CITY HALL UNTIL THE CITY DIVESTS AND FORMALLY BREAKS UP WITH BofA. Wopila tanka to everyone who has called or shared our posts and showed up for us at City Hall. You’ve all shown the world that THIS MOVEMENT IS NOT OVER. Mni Wiconi! #SFNextToDivest

On Tuesday, March 7th, 2017,San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Fewer, with Supervisor Hillary Ronen cosponsoring, will introduce a resolution urging the Treasurer of San Francisco to include a Dakota Access Pipeline screen in the Treasurer’s Socially Responsible Investment Matrix. The City currently invests more than $1 billion in financial institutions that are either shareholders or financers of the Energy Transfer family of companies operating and constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline. These investments include Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley Government Portfolio, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto – Dominion Bank, Blackrock T – Fund Institutional, and US Bancorp. The City also contracts with Bank of America to manage more than $10 billion of taxpayer money each year.

The indigenous – led San Francisco Defund DAPL Coalition will mobilize to City Hall on Tuesday, March 14th at 2:00pm , when the Board of Supervisors will vote on this resolution. The resolution needs unanimous approval. The Coalition calls on indigenous and climate justice allies to call the Board of Supervisors at their office numbers and read the script provided (see page below) from Wednesday, March 8th through Tuesday, March 13th. Because the screen does not trigger immediate divestment, the Coalition will continue to pressure the Treasurer to immediately implement this screen — when passed — and actually divest the $1 billion. Following the Budget & Legislative Analyst’s report, the Coalition will work with Supervisors Sandra Fewer and Hillary Ronen to ensure that the City passes legislation to formalize its intent to break up with Bank of America.


Bank of America is currently at risk of losing its contract with the City, which expires in August 2018. Last October, the City passed an ordinance prohibiting City agencies from contracting with businesses headquartered in “anti-LGBT” states. North Carolina is one of those states, due to its transphobic bathroom laws. If Bank of America keeps its headquarters in North Carolina — and if North Carolina maintains their transphobic policies — the City will be forced to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new cash management contractor. The Supreme Court’s decision today to send transgender student Gavin Grimm’s case back to the lower courts —as well as President Bannon’s anti-Black, anti-Brown, and anti-poor people tough-on-crime agenda—should wake the Board of Supervisors up to the
current political-economic reality: as long as we depend on big banks to manage and invest taxpayer money, we are risking not only indigenous rights, but also trans rights and the human rights of undocumented immigrants, incarcerated people, and poor Black and Brown people yet to be incarcerated. This is why we want the Board of Supervisors to immediately formalize their intent to break up with Bank of America and work to make the idea of a public bank a reality.

The resolution introduced tomorrow will direct the Budget & Legislative Analyst Office to explore alternatives to Bank of America, revisiting an analysis on community-responsive banking alternatives published in 2011. The Coalition strongly urges the City to work with California state legislators, the Community Reinvestment Coalition, the Public Banking Institute, the City of Oakland, and other stakeholders to make the idea of a city, regional, or state bank a reality in the near future. The Coalition would also like to see the Treasurer follow in the footsteps of Seattle by increasing the weight it gives Socially Responsible criteria in its cash management contract bidding process, from 5 percent to 20 percent. As the City explores more socially responsible alternatives, the Coalition has identified a dozen other “less evil” U.S.-chartered commercial banks that, to the Coalition’s knowledge, are not invested in DAPL and have at least one branch in San Francisco. These include First Republic Bank,**Silicon Valley Bank, East West Bank,* Umpqua, Pacific Western Bank,*First Bank, Cathay Bank, *Sterling Bank and Trust, Westamerica Bank, Bank of Marin, Far East National Bank, Metropolitan Bank, *Bank of the Orient,* Preferred Bank, Mechanics Bank, and Presidio Bank.1

The legislation introduced tomorrow is a result of public pressure in the form of phone calls to the Supervisors, key indigenous and climate justice organizations signing onto our Open Letter, testimonies made during general public comment at the February 28th Board of Supervisors regular meeting, and social media buzz. The SanFrancisco Defund DAPL Coalition has members from various Native Nations and organizations, including 350 Bay Area, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Idle No More SF Bay, SEIU 1021, UPTE, and Fossil Free CA. They have organized this effort with the guidance of local indigenous environmental activists, the encouragement and lessons from the Seattle Defund DAPL Movement (Mazaska Talks), and social media help from Injustice Boycott.

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Jackie Fielder is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Hidatsa), a descendant of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. Jackie earned her B.A. in Public Policy and M.A. in Sociology at Stanford University in 2016. She is currently an organizer with San Francisco Defund DAPL Coalition and can be reached at

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