Minnesota Association of Professional Employees supports a study of divesting the state pension from fossil fuels

We all know the way it feels when we hear a piece of music well played or see a beautiful dance or a magnificent display of athletic accomplishment. The coordination and beauty of all pieces working together warms our hearts and gives us a sense that all is right in the universe. Well, that’s the way the MAPE Delegate Assembly vote over the weekend made me feel. All the players working together before and during the assembly contributed toward a resounding support for the State Board of Investment to study the advisability of staying invested in fossil fuels.

First, MAPE members Melissa Wenzel and Sharon LeMay alerted us to the dates for the delegate assembly and deadlines for resolutions. Then Sharon drafted a resolution. Our planning team discussed it and Sharon revised it. Teresa Chapman put us in touch with planners for a MnDOT local MAPE meeting, and our Divest-Invest members Carol Mockovak, Linda Littrell and Patty O’Keefe attended that meeting, presenting our reasons for supporting the resolution. Further revisions followed that meeting, based on the suggestions from those attending that meeting. Melissa Wenzel prepared an amendment to the resolution clarifying that the first step would be a study of current investments in fossil fuels.

Patty O’Keefe, Linda Littrell, Carol Mockovak and Emily Moore called all the MAPE local presidents to let them know there would be an amendment and directing them to the information supporting divestment in the resolution information packet.

Patty O’Keefe prepared a handout with pertinent information for the delegates, and Deb Bergeron and Melissa Wenzel distributed the handout to the delegates during the assembly.

Deb Bergeron and Melissa Wenzel presented the amendment and the resolution at two points in the delegate assembly proceedings, and it passed by wide margins. It was added to the 2017 Legislative Priorities for MAPE by amending the green initiatives language of the MAPE Support for Sustainable Resources for State Government Operations to add the study as an additional bullet. Alex Migambi spoke in support of the resolution, as did Dawn Cameron, who also read a statement supporting the amendment on behalf of Sharon LeMay. Response by the delegates could not have been better.

All those efforts by everyone working together before and during the assembly resulted in this most decisive vote in favor of the resolution.