January 2014: Planning meetings began with a group of public employees and retirees, teachers, students, union members, and other Minnesotans that care about our future.
What we’ve learned
- Structure and function of bodies that make decisions about our investments (board, staff, advisory council)
- Legislative Commissions + Committees
- Investment funds within the State Board of Investment (SBI)
- Investments in fossil fuels – almost $3 billion
- Divesting from fossil fuels is complex but offers the potential for a more secure future.
- Fiduciary responsibility is a firm value held by those responsible for our pensions.
- The underpinnings of what fiduciary responsibility means are shifting rapidly i.e., fossil fuels investments could soon become what are known as “stranded assets.”
- Our pensions are in a wide variety of funds,*
*learned from 2014 SBI Annual Report
What We’ve Been Doing
- Created fact sheets & a petition
- Held divestment training for individuals
- Begun series of information meetings with stakeholder groups and allies.
- Talked with:
- SBI Board members Rebecca Otto & Mark Ritchie
- SBI Director Mansco Perry and his staff
- Legislators regarding legislative language for divestment
- Formed working groups to focus our efforts
- Stakeholders Working Group
- Allies Working Group
- Legislative Working Group
- Communications and outreach
- Web development
Our Future Plans
- Continue relationship building with SBI staff & board
- Begin strategic lobbying campaign at the state legislature
- Expand our working groups to include media and communications specialists
- Gather official endorsements from high profile individuals and organizations
- Work with the State Board of Investment staff and/or the legislature to create fund portfolios that offer current contributors and pension recipients the important choice to divest from fossil fuels and to invest in fossil-free investment portfolios