Dear Virginia,
Dear Virginia,

For years we've known of the dangers of continuing to emit greenhouse gases at the levels we are now. We have known the dangers of funding more into prisons and not communities. We have known the dangers of tobacco, but still invest in it. Time and time again we have decided with our dollars and actions to increase our levels of pollution, smoking rates, prison populations and gun fatalities. We are facing rising seas, overcrowded prisons, sickly communities and innocent children dead. We know now that the civil war in Syria was exacerbated by the effects of a lengthened drought due to climate change. We now know that we will have to spend billions of dollars pumping water out of coastal cities to keep them functioning. We now know the extreme dangers of tobacco and cigarettes. We now know the increasing strain our prison system is on our government and economy. We now know that we must solve climate change, gun violence, mass incarceration and so many other problems now!

In our work to solve society's ills there are many ways to bring about a equitable society. From changing our diets, commuting to work differently, installing solar panels, but we often forget one easy way to move towards the society we want and need, divestment and reinvestment. In our society money talks. It is the way we communicate most effectively about what we like and what we do not like to others. Yet, in terms of our views on climate change we stay silent. We keep our money in extractive industry investing banks and invest in companies like Storm, Ruger, & Co or Duke Energy. But today we are committing to make a change in our habits and asking Virginia to make that change with us!

Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly, today we ask you to divest our tax payer dollars from the destruction of our beautiful society. Today we ask you to stay true to your pledge to lead the way in solving climate change, gun violence, mass incarceration and so many more problems. Today we ask you to put people, planet and peace before short term profit. Today we ask you to make a decision to help Virginians for decades to come.

And to show our true support for this cause, we will work at our local level too. We will pass local government ordinances and resolutions to divest local funds from extractive industries. We will talk with friends, neighbors and family to divest with us. We will choose to be conscience of how we use our money and how it hurts other. This petition is not us asking you to do something we will not do ourselves, but a petition and pledge to join with us as Virginians who are committed to a better future for generations to come!

So join with us and let us put peace, people and planet before short term profit!

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This form was created inside of Eastern Mennonite University.